Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

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Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Geevesy » Tue 20 Nov, 2018 5:31 pm

My wife and I have just returned from a very relaxing week on Flinders Island. In doing my research before we left, I didn't find a huge amount of up to date information, so I'll try to summarise here for those thinking of heading over. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and a great alternative to Freycinet for idyllic coastal scenery and spectacular granite mountains. If you like peace and quiet, this is your place.

Getting there
Although the most common way to get over is the (quite expensive) flight, we opted instead to take the ferry from Bridport. It worked out for us that we could get two people over, and the car, for the same price as return flights. So although you are at the mercy of the tides, it's a good way to get over there and take all the gear you need, plus some food because it can be troublesome and expensive if you desire certain food. The Ferry departs at the moment on the first high tide on a Monday from Bridport, arriving back the following day's second high. So depending on the time of the year, this could be 3am if you're unlucky. If you want to go all out, locals of the island will ship their car over and then fly to meet it. The trip is around 9 hours, and you are required to be there about 2 hours before departure to get the car on, as they usually load containers and sometimes livestock after the cars. It makes for a long day for sure. We took a ferry over departing at 1600 arriving 12am, and we returned on a 9am arriving 8pm (delayed due to tides). There is a small lounge to sit in below, so most people sit in their car. However the crew are easy going and you can head up to the bow to get some fresh air when needed. If you get nice weather it's not a bad trip at all.

Accommodation
Initially we planned to camp a lot, but the camping is quite basic. If you would like showers and the like, you're probably better off going for the local accommodation options. We stayed in four different places in different parts of the island and they were all good, and meant we didn't have to lug extra gear over. It's good for the local economy after all. I did hear while over there that Flinders Island has a 20m above high tide "free" zone for camping anywhere... but I didn't see any campers.

The Walking Regions
Now to the interesting part. There is a lot of walking on Flinders Island and despite it having a large percentage of agricultural land, the three main mountain regions are all quite spectacular, and the coastal areas are sublime. In summary:
1. Strzelecki "range" at the south-western end of the island, is the highest and the most "mountain like". The obvious choice here is the trek to the summit, but the coastal walking around Trousers Points is also nice with great views of the Strzelecki massif and lichen covered rocks. In my opinion Strzelecki is the most imposing granite mountain in the state. I think also the highest?????
2. Darling Range, or central mountains is a spine of smaller peaks running from near the main Lady Barron-Whitemark road north to the centre of the island. Less developed, but a few interesting peaks in this area, plus a couple of easy to get to lookouts.
3. Northern Regions - there are a few spots to walk around the northern parts of the island but the main highlight in the Killiecrankie region. Probably the best coastal scenery in this region but Killiecrankie summit is also a great climb.

Recommended Walks
We did a variety of short and longer walks, all were great:
1. Pillinger's Peak in the Darling Range - access from Manns Road, about 3 hours return with a nice technical climb near the top with a fixed rope.
2. Killiecrankie Circuit - from Killiecrankie Township, walk along the beach and follow signs to the summit of Mt Killiecrankie (humorously signed as "K1"). From there follow the ridge north to the upper car park (on the road to The Dock), follow the road to The Dock, and then the coast back to Killicrankie Beach. A reasonable day of around 15km, a nice summit, but some difficulty following the route around the coast (in the sense that there isn't really a route, it's mainly just follow the rocks). A great day though.
3. Castle Rock area - we briefly visited Castle Rock, which is conspicuous feature when viewed from the Wireless Hill lookout. A huge granite boulder overlooking the beach. There is a possible walk from Emita which would be nice (2 hours) but we had just done a day of coastal rock hopping so skipped that bit and drove in.
4. Strzelecki Summit - somewhat of a pilgrimage for Flinders (reminds me a bit of how the Mt Gower track is viewed on LHI). A great climb, unique to the island as it is mainly in forest until near the top. A real appreciation of the complexity of the Strzelecki massif once on top. It took us about 4 hours return with about 30 mins on top and a decent break on the park bench half way up.
5. Trousers Point area - as mentioned about the beaches here offer great views of Strzelecki especially at sunset. A shortish flat walk around the coast is here to explore this region.

Photographs!!!
And a few pretty pics to finish...

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Darling Range from Walker's Lookout


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Near the top of Pillinger's Peak


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Killiecrankie Range from the beach (K1) on right


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View north from Mt Killiecrankie


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The view back down the Killiecrankie Bay


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The "white eyed" man overlooking the dock


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The Dock


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Stacky's Bight


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Castle Rock


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En route to Strzelecki
A path! A path!
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Geevesy » Tue 20 Nov, 2018 5:37 pm

A few more pictures...

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The western face of Strzelecki Peaks


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View to Trousers Point from the summit


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Summit view towards the Darling Range


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Peak bagging


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Trousers Point view to Strzelecki


All in all it was a great trip and would highly recommend to who enjoy not only coastal walking but some interesting mountain climbs.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 20 Nov, 2018 5:48 pm

Great place isn't it. Lovely photos.
Next time I want to climb mt killiecrankie. I really loved the dock area and that whole northern coastline. Excellent diving too.
Had king tides when I was there a few was here ago and the water was halfway up the arch at stackys bight.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Geevesy » Wed 21 Nov, 2018 4:28 pm

Thanks mate, I agree it's a very nice spot. Crazy about the tides, must have been difficult to get around the coast with that water level.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Paul » Wed 21 Nov, 2018 5:35 pm

A Beautiful Island

We walked the entire coastline during 12 days - amazing.

Paul.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby farefam » Sun 25 Nov, 2018 9:06 pm

A good report and great pic's Paul.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby ofuros » Mon 26 Nov, 2018 4:39 am

I can hear Flinders Island calling me...great pics, geevesy
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Wollemi » Thu 29 Nov, 2018 11:21 am

Paul wrote:A Beautiful Island

We walked the entire coastline during 12 days - amazing.

Paul.


Wow! Have only heard of bushwalkers doing some loop of the peaks of nearby Cape Barren Island. A lap of Flinders Island could well be something to do - and with minimal planning! I have climbed Mt Strezlecki twice, during sea-kayak crossings of Bass Strait.
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Re: Forget Freycinet it's Flinders Island!

Postby Paul » Thu 29 Nov, 2018 4:25 pm

Hi Wollemi,

Some planning required - there is no fresh drinkable water the entire lenght of the eastern shore.
I went over a day earlier, and with a resident friend, placed water drops at 3 locations.
Cheers,
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