Thursday, 9 April 2015
Our last day on the island was decidedly grey and windy, but it wasn't enough to affect our plans to revisit the area of Emita, which included Wybalena, Settlement Point, the Furneaux Museam and various nearby beaches. We had to pack up and check out of the cabin park so we had a fairly late start to the day.
The first place we went to was Cave Beach, which had really cool limestone rock formations which looked like they would be better suited to Thailand than Tasmania.
Then it was time to learn about the Shearwaters and mutton birding from the nearby Shearwater viewing platform. The platform looks over a mutton bird rookery which I recognised from numerous news reports over the years about mutton bird season. The parents of the chicks had already left for the Arctic a but the chicks stay another two weeks in their burrows before they leave too - apparently an ABC journalist had just moved into the cabin park we were staying in to do the usual reports.
Then we went to have a look at the normally picturesque Lilies Beach, but it was windswept and seaweed covered so we only stopped briefly and took no photographs. We checked out Settlement Point as much as we could before we reached a locked gate, so then we decided to go to the sheltered Allports Beach for lunch while we waited for the museum to open (at 1pm). I'd been warned that Flinders Island was often windy, but the great thing is that you could almost always find a spectacular beach on a sheltered part of the island, as there's certainly no shortage of spectacular beaches.
After lunch Andy and Alexa went on a quick jaunt out to Castle Rock as they missed it the first day, while we played round after round of Hiyaki, a hide-and-seek type game from my youth. The beach rocks were perfectly placed for a fantastic game and we easily kept ourselves occupied for the few hours while Andy and Alexa were away.
I wasn't allowed to take photos from the museum but it was really good - there's definitely something for everyone there and it's worth visiting.
And then our time was up. So we dropped our luggage at the airport, took the car back to the cabin park, and realised a dream I'd had since I watched The Castle bat in 1997.. we walked to the airport..
and a few mintes later we where there.
Cool huh! The airport was pretty nice actually, little but newish. Parking is easy and free.. although it looks like people have really taken advantage of the 'Long Term' parking.. this car had been parked so long that bits were falling off it..
While we waited to take off I watched a freight plane arrive and unload. It was pretty funny that the first item that was unloaded was its official wheel barrow which was what the pilot then used to unload all the rest of the cargo! Flinders Island airport busy little place, lots of coming and going of really small private planes as well as cargo planes and our relatively large 20 seater. Our flight home was pretty smooth and was really just us and a few groups of bushwalkers.
And so ended our fantastic trip to Flinders Island. It far exceeded my expectations - it's like shining jewel in Bass Strait, surrounded by lots of other islands that maybe we'll get to explore further one day. I wonder why I knew so little about it before we left - it's not that it's 'underrated', it's more that it's completely 'un-rated'. I feel that Flinders Island natives must look at Freycinet and Wineglass Bay and say "well that's A beach, what else have you got?" as Flinders Island has beautiful beaches everywhere, great walks (Alexa had a book of 50 of them) and of course no crowds. I suppose it's all about accessibility - it's just hard to get there. And it must be hard to live there when everything has to be shipped in. There are hardly any shops on the island, everything larger than a tennis raquet would need to be shipped or flown in. Goodness knows how people manage to build new houses and things there.
Anyway - I highly recommend visiting Flinders Island, you won't be disappointed and you might get to go snorkelling too which is apparently pretty good over there.