Flinders Island in Bass Strait is the largest of 52 islands in the Furneaux Group. At around 70km from end to end, and half that in width, Flinders is the perfect size to explore – and by the end of your 6-day adventure, you will know much of its coastline intimately, and a good deal of its interior as well.
We’ll paddle to offshore islands and into secluded coves, slipping quietly between beautiful orange granite boulders. The water is so clear that you’ll see sand ripples, swaying kelp, and fish in abundance. Dolphins may also become frequent companions. At break times, we’ll pull ashore in a quiet cove, so you can explore the rocky headlands, swim and snorkel in the clear warm water, or simply laze on the beach.
Your late afternoon and evenings are spent at Sawyers Bay Beach Shacks. Here we have our own secluded beach, a large dining table, comfy lounge chairs and real beds! As we share stories of our day, the sun will set over Bass Strait; the distant Strzelecki Peak will change hue from orange-grey to pink-purple; pademelons and wallabies will arrive; and your glass will be refilled.
Due to the variability of the weather (including Roaring Forties winds) and the range of options available, we have no fixed schedule. Our guides will decide each day’s itinerary based on the weather. Wherever we go, it will be beautiful.
The number of days paddling and the number of hours paddling per day depends upon participants and the weather. On a typical day we will aim to kayak for approximately 2-3 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the afternoon. The paddling speed is gentle to allow plenty of time for you to soak up every island detail.
On days when it’s not possible to kayak due to strong winds, we pull on our walking shoes and hit the track – climb a mountain, or stretch our legs on a long coastal walk. We also often visit the Wybalenna Aboriginal settlement (a sad, but important place to visit) and the Furneaux Museum where you can immerse yourself in the island’s colourful stories, carefully curated by a team of passionate locals.
An afternoon paddle from Sawyers Bay Shacks, past beautiful beaches and a boulder-strewn coastline. In calm conditions we sometimes paddle out to Wybalenna Island.
Killiecrankie Bay is gorgeous! Granite boulder headlands flank a beautiful sweeping white arc of a beach, boats bob in the bay, and Mt Killiecrankie keeps guard. It’s also famous for Killiecrankie diamonds (semi-precious clear topaz) so keep a lookout on the northern end of the beach and amongst the rocks. The Docks is one of our favourite paddling locations with a magnificent granite boulder maze, clear blue water and white sandy beaches.
Picturesque Tanners Bay is a cove with a cluster of small islands and the remains of an old jetty. Roydon Island, just offshore, has a crunchy sand beach and a cute little hut tucked in the coastal scrub. Royden Island is also known as "The Kayakers Island" as it is a main landing point for Bass Strait kayak crossings.
Palana is Flinders Island’s most northerly settlement, home to just a handful of shacks and houses. During World War II, fear of Japanese invasion prompted a military outpost here. Some of the buildings and structures still remain. The long white Palana Beach, and the rocky headlands and coves around to North East River, with views to the Inner and Outer Sister Islands, are spectacular. North East River is a tidal estuary and important bird habitat.
Another favourite bay – with a curious name. We paddle the length of the beach and head south around the base of Mt Strzelecki and Strzelecki National Park to the small port town of Lady Barron.
These small islands are in Franklin Sound, which lies between Flinders and the next largest island in the Furneaux Group – Cape Barren Island. Abundant seabirds and clear waters are a feature – as are the muttonbirding huts on the offshore islands.