The Cox Family's Flinders Island Adventure
Earlier this year we ran our major competition for a fully paid family trip to Flinders Island, for five days! Families were required to enter via our Tassie4Kids Facebook page with the winner drawn randomly. Our lucky family who won was the Cox's; Jared, Jo, Riley and Caley. We caught up with them last week to hear all about their Island Adventure, and get the best tips for other families who may be heading to the Island anytime soon.
TASSIE4KIDS: Introduce yourselves: COX FAMILY: Jared (Dad), Jo (Mum), Riley (7 years), Caley (4.5 years). We are from Ulverstone, Tasmania
As lucky winners of the Tassie4Kids 2017 Major Competition for an all expenses paid family trip to Flinders Island , how did it feel to know your family won? VERY lucky! We were very surprised to actually win and it didn’t seem real at first.
Had you ever been to Flinders Island? What do you know about it? No, we have never been to Flinders Island before. We have recently moved to Tasmania therefore we didn’t have much previous knowledge of the Island. Upon reading about the competition, we had a good look through the Flinders Website [Visit Flinders Island] and spoke to friends and colleagues about Flinders. They all raved about it and said it is a beautiful place to visit, but can be expensive to get there.
How would you describe Flinders Island? Regarding the natural environment and landscape, Flinders Island is similar to the North-East coast of Tasmania. Amazing beaches, rolling farmland and some rocky mountains. The community of the Island is a very much close-knit country town communities. A quiet gem.
Tell us about your complimentary flights over and back with Sharp Airlines? The flight with Sharp Airlines was very easy. Being about to take as many bags as you need is great. We wish we brought our fishing rods!!! The flight provides wonderful views and is only 35 minutes, so not too long for younger kids. Being in the small plane was fun.
Your family stayed at the Furneaux Tavern for three nights, followed by two nights at Yakkalla Holiday Cottage. What was the accommodation like? Furneaux Tavern is in a great location with wonderful views toward the water. Bev and the staff were kind and helpful. We had looked up the accommodation on the internet before arriving on the Island and the photos on the website looked great!
The Furneaux Tavern
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The Furneaux Tavern
Views of the Tavern.
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Views of the Tavern.
Yakkalla Holiday Cottage was fantastic! A beautiful cottage with everything you need to self-cater plus some added homely touches like tomato sauce, salt and pepper and local Flinders Island honey. The space was perfect for the family; the kids room had a lovely supply of toys and there were plenty of books about the Island and tourism information. Views from each room and two decks were so nice to sit on and relax. Kevin and Helen were extremely friendly and welcoming and offered to show the kids their sheep and brought around fresh chicken eggs in the morning. We would certainly recommend Yakkalla to any visitors, including families (up to 3 kids).
With five nights and six days to explore the Island, tell us about your holiday, and what you did:
Day one: We flew to the Island thanks to flights kindly donated by Sharp Airlines and picked up our car kindly donated by Flinders Island Car Rentals in Whitemark. On the advice of Tamara at the front desk, we headed off to A Taste of Flinders for a Wallaby snack pack - YUM and of course coffee! The Flinders Island "wave" was everywhere; just amazing how friendly everyone was. Then to Yellow Beach for an explore before checking into the Furneaux Tavern in Lady Barron where we had dinner at thier Kilpi Restaurant - unreal food!
Day two We headed to the famous Trousers Point but in unseasonably windy weather we nearly got blown off the rocks! We headed around to the more protected Fotheringate Bay to see what we could 'FIND'. Found some 'weed balls', then headed back around and explored the more exposed fascinating coastal rocks where Jo had her hat blown off her head into the ocean! We also watched the sheep and cattle get loaded in the stockyards at Lady Barron Wharf.
Day three Busy day! Started with some bird watching at Camerons Inlet and walked along Planter Beach towards the shipwreck. A highlight of the whole trip was a visit to Patriarchs Conservation Area to feed the wallabies; unreal! Went to the Furneaux Lookout, and crossed the 40'S parallel at one of only four spots in the world. We loved the soldier crabs at Patriarchs Inlet. Drove into the clouds at Walkers Lookout. Tried fishing for squid at Lady Barron Wharf then finished the day back at Yellow Beach.
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Day four We started the day heading for Strzelecki Peaks. I [Jared] ran up to the summit while Jo started with the kiddies. The summit was a white out and incredibly windy but loads of fun. The views from part way up just below the cloud were amazing. Super proud of the kids for getting so far up but we will save the summit for their next trip.
We then headed back to Trousers Point for a quick swim and refresh then off to the Furneaux Museum at Emita. What a great place for everyone. Loads of information and well set out. Huge collection of very interesting 'things' and loads of history. Checking into Yakkalla Cottage and we went straight into relax mode. What a place, looking out over the mountains.
Day five Off to Killiecrankie for some diamond (Topaz) fossicking, fun but we came up empty. Had a BBQ lunch and cooked up some local snags. Stopped to say hi to one of the local echidnas. Took a drive up to North East river to watch the change of tide where the ocean fights the inlet and stirs up the water - very cool to watch. Amazing blue water but far too dangerous for a swim. A quick visit to Palana where the red lichen again covers the rocks. Stopped in for some swimming and exploring at Sawyers Bay Beach, yet another amazing spot. Ended an exhausting day by relaxing again at Yakkalla Cottage.
Day six Last day! Packed up and headed to TrouserS Point again but this time it was perfect. So clear and still and quiet. We all swam and couldn't get enough of this amazing place. I had to drag everyone out of the water just so we wouldn't miss our flight home!! Dropped into the Whitemark pub [Interstate Hotel] for lunch and a quick visit to John the Juggler for some local condiments. After the flight home, the kids passed out no trouble!
What was the highlight for you, mum and dad? Climbing Mt Strzelecki with the kids, as far as they could get. Trousers Point on a warm and sunny day was absolutely stunning. The blue colour of the water and the natural beauty of the landscape. We loved the Flinders Island Wave' and couldn’t believe how all the locals did it!
What was the highlight for the kids? Riley loved Trousers Point and Yellow Beach and walking out to one of the small islands off Yellow Beach, walking up Mt Strzelecki, reading the “bee” book in A Taste of Flinders shop and finding weed balls at Fotheringate Bay. Caley loved watching the sheep in the Lady Barron stockyards, feeding the wallabies at Patriarchs Wildlife Sanctuary, going in the water at Trousers Point and fishing.
Where did you eat while on the Island (did you eat out or buy at shops and cook your own)? Did you try any local produce? If so, what? A Taste of Flinders in Whitemark– we visited each day. Dwayne was super friendly and just a nice guy to chat to. Jared enjoyed a daily coffee and the kids enjoyed reading the Bee book in the shop. A Taste of Flinders does an awesome Wallaby snack pack, great coffee and local treats. The Flinders Island Honey is VERY good, we bought some from here and from Walkers Supermarket. There is locally roasted coffee from Flinders that Dwayne serves at Taste of Flinders and can be bought from Walkers Supermarket. Jon ‘The Juggler’ hot sauces is well worth the visit. Jon has recently opened his shop in Whitemark and has a great range of passionately made hot sauces along with a bunch of other great food products including sourdough breads. Jon is also a very good juggler and entertained us with his skills.
We ate at the Furneaux Taverns Kilpi Restaurant the first night. The meals were well priced and tasted great. We’d recommend eating at the Tavern. The remaining dinner meals we cooked our own. Whilst staying at the Tavern, we went to Yellow beach each night and cooked on the BBQ facilities there. We bought fresh meat from Flinders Island Meats and veggies from Walkers Supermarket. The meat was lovely and tastes different, well worth a try. Flinders Island Meat made up some gluten free and preservative free sausages for us which was very kind of them. We took our breakfast food with us from Ulverstone as well as a bunch of the kid’s favourite non-perishable snacks. I thought food on the Island would be very expensive but after browsing the supermarket isle at both the Lady Barron Store and Whitemarks Walkers Supermarket I was surprised at how similar the prices were.
We ate lunch at the Interstate Hotel in Whitemark on our last day and it was very nice and reasonably priced. The pub is very well maintained and styled inside, worth a look. We had a BBQ lunch at Killiecrankie Beach one day, again using the very clean and well-maintained BBQ facilities there.
There are some truly amazing beaches on Flinders Island, what ones did you visit? Yellow Beach (several times, great spot), Planters Beach (tried to walk to the ship wreck but didn’t make it. Very rough the day we were there so didn’t swim), Trousers Point (AMAZING!!!!), Fotheringate Bay (beautiful also), Killiecrankie Bay (windy the day we were there but still beautiful), and Sawyers Beach.
Flinders has a lot of wildlife, where were you able to get up close to the Islands animals and birds? There is A LOT of roadkill on the Island. As we didn’t drive at dawn or dust we did not have any issues with near miss wildlife strikes whilst driving. We saw an Echidna, lots of Wallaby’s (at Patriarch’s Wildlife Sanctuary), Pacific Gulls, Turns, Oyster Catchers, Black Swans and a couple of blue tongues. We saw up close a snake too. Unfortunately we didn’t see any wombats :(
Do you know about the Flinders Island Wave? Did you experience it? Absolutely! We watched the advert on the Visit Flinders Island website so knew about it. Upon arrival, Tamara from Flinders Island Car Rental’s also told us about it. Dwayne also mentioned it as well as noting that your car keys don’t need to be in your pocket. Just leave them in the car with the windows down…. he was right! As you walk past a car in town you’ll find the windows down and the keys in the ignition :) We made sure we waved to all as we passed them on the road. Even some people not in a car but in a paddock beside the road will wave. It’s a VERY friendly place.
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You had a car provided to you by Flinders Island Car Rentals, how would you describe their service? Flinders Island Car Rentals were very friendly, helpful and convenient. They provided everything we needed as well as additional local knowledge :).
Can you walk around the Island? Is there public transport? There are plenty of walks to do but you really do need a car to get from place to place. You can walk around town and the surrounding beaches in each area but as the island is about 70km long and 40km wide it’s a long way to walk to get anywhere. There is no public transport on the island but there are tour operators that could take you places.
Would you recommend a holiday to Flinders Island for families? If so, why? Yes, there is actually at least a week’s worth of things to see and do. It would also be wise to add a few chill out days on your trip, to slow down and really take it all in. The kids would appreciate a rest day also. The Island is very quiet (well in November it was. I hear January is the busiest month for visitors). The locals are friendly, keen to have a chat and share their local knowledge. There is a lot of very natural and beautiful places on the Island. The Island also has a lot of both Aboriginal and European History to learn about. For those who enjoy escaping into nature, Flinders Island is certainly a destination to add to your wish list!.
Would you enter a Tassie4Kids major competition again? Why? Absolutely. I think #tassie4kids have been very generous and organised to pull together such a high-class competition and prize. Before the competition, we followed #tassie4kids because it provides some great destination ideas for our family to explore on our weekend or in school holidays. Thank you very much.
Anything else you would like to add? The prize was amazing and we are very thankful to Tassie4Kids and the other contributors. Flinders Island is a very special place and we are very lucky to have been there. Thanks so much.
Tassie4Kids Would Like To Thank The Following Businesses For Sponsoring Our 2017 Major Competition To Flinders Island.
Please click on their logos for more information.
If you would like to know more about the places that the Cox family visited, or to purchase some Flinders Island Honey (unable to import to Tasmania) or Jugglers Hot Sauce click on a logo below to head directly to their website.
The following video is from 'Visit Flinders Island', and is a great summary of the Islands great destinations!
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