The Classic Weekend
The King Island Classic Weekender (2-3 days)
Pushed for time? Try this whirlwind tour for the best of King Island.
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast, either cook it at home using fresh eggs and King Island Bacon from Russell's Butchery or pop into the King Island Bakehouse where you can choose from a wide range of delicious snacks.Don’t forget to pick the brains of the locals about what’s on this weekend and where to go.
Pick up your pre-ordered hamper from Foodworks and hit the road for Cape Wickham at the far north of the island. Allow some time to stop on the way up for a walk along Yellow Rock River to see the remains of The Shannon which was wrecked on King Island in 1906. Don’t hang about too long enjoying the view, we’ve got deadlines to meet but if you’re a keen ornithologist then have a look along the river trail on the way back to your car and see what you can spot, this is a very popular nesting area.
Keep heading north until you see the sign for Disappointment Bay to your left. This is one of the best beaches on the island and is ideal for a paddle or a wander through the scrub popular with local campers.
Assuming you didn’t catch a fish on the beach then all that sea air has probably left you feeling a bit peckish so we recommend taking the short trip to the 150 year old Cape Wickham Lighthouse where you can enjoy your lunch in the shelter between the long drop toilet facilities and the lighthouse. As you encircle the enormous stone base you can try to work out how they managed to build the largest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere at such a remote location.
Refreshed from your lunch and rehydrated with King Island Cloud Juice you should be ready for a visit to Pennys Lagoon and Lake Martha Lavinia; the latter being not only a great swimming spot but also a rare perched lake found in only three locations in the world. Again there are facilities here including a wood fired barbecue, shelter and a toilet. Feel free to take a walk around the lake or save yourself for a longer walk along Martha Lavinia Beach, one of the best (and emptiest) surf beaches in the world.
If you can tear yourself away from the beauty of this beach then it’s probably time to head back to town. After a freshen up you’re free to choose between any of the local eateries in Currie for either some hearty pub grub at the Golfie, Club or Pub or maybe you’ve made it back in time to enjoy the view of the sunset with a pre-dinner drink at The Boomerang.
Next morning you should be up with the larks again unless you stayed out too late with the locals last night and caught wine-flu which tends to be quite contagious around these parts. Pop into Harbour Road this morning for an enlivening coffee and perhaps a cake or a muffin to set you up for the day ahead. We’re off down south today so you might want another hamper or alternatively just pick up a freshly made roll from the King Island Bakery (and possibly one of their delicious homemade treats).
If you’re not used to gravel roads then drive carefully and try to tear your eyes away from the beautiful coastal scenery which accompanies you on your way towards Surprise Bay. This is another wonderful beach and far more aptly named than Disappointment Bay. There’s a lot to see down here so you may have to make some decisions if you failed to get up early enough. The Calcified Forest is on most itineraries but then so is the spectacular Seal Rocks which is the starting point of one of the loveliest walks on The Grazing Trail. The Sealer’s Wall is also tucked away down this end of the island and is a haunting reminder of why so few seals are found on the island today. Once you’ve made your decisions then head back to the car and start making your way to Grassy. If you do have any spare time then a visit to Red Hut Beach is highly recommended. You may be all beached-out but this one really is a stunner and won’t fail to bring a smile to your face.
Once in Grassy head down towards Grassy Harbour. If you’re here on a Sunday you might see the Searoad Mersey dropping off supplies or taking cattle away. Turn left before you get to the harbor and visit Portside Links which was once a golf club and has been turned into top quality tourist accommodation adjacent to a delightful gallery exhibiting a range of work by local artists. You will have time to top up on a cup of coffee or tea while you enjoy a locally made snack or two.
Head into Grassy and meet up with Ondrea Richards who will be happy to take you on the Platypus Tour (bookings essential). This is only a short walk but the terrain is uneven and steep on occasions.
The highlight of many visits to the island is a visit to the Fairy Penguins at Grassy Harbour. Feel free to go under your own steam at dusk any day but please follow the advice given on the signs which aim to protect these enchanting creatures from harm. If you’re staying another night then dinner at King’s Cuisine in Grassy is highly recommended before you head back to your well-earned rest.
Make sure you pick up your cheese from the King Island Dairy Fromagerie before you leave or you might find that your friends never speak to you again! It’s only ten minutes from the airport so is makes and ideal last stop on your tour.