The Furneaux region is one of those rare regions that really does offer something for every explorer, whatever their age or ability – from photographing the scenery and wildlife seen on many bushwalks, to combing the beaches for treasures, to chasing marlin off the continental shelf, to abseiling down the steep granite cliffs. Much of the region is still exactly as Matthew Flinders found it when he first explored this area 200 years ago. It’s easy to imagine walking back through the centuries as you explore our islands, beaches, mountains and plains. We welcome all explorers to our region – and ask only that you tread lightly as you travel about this impressive but fragile environment.
Much of the Furneaux region is a mixture of natural bushland and rural land. With an environment respected by our small population, the islands have a diversity of flora that is breathtaking. Our islands have a spellbinding array of wildflowers. These blooms are easily seen, whether travelling by road or exploring one of our many walking tracks. The most beautiful of these plants are our shy bush and rock orchids. As many of our flowering plants are quite rare, botanists from around Australia travel to our region to see them.
Let your spirit take flight at the sight of soaring seabirds-albatross, Pacific Gulls, shearwaters – on the wing. Raptors such as swamp harriers, wedgetails and sea eagles provide exciting viewing. During the day, the Furneaux Islands’ diverse birdlife puts on a spectacular show. With over 200 species visiting or living on our shores, you have the opportunity to experience our islands’ untamed nature every day of the week. These birds range from the tiny Superb Wren to the giant Wandering Albatross.
The great massif of the Strzelecki National Park, the granite Peaks of Flinders, seen beyond distant green fields and scattered trees, provides the scenic climax to southern Flinders Island – a challenge to every bushwalker, every climber, and every photographer. The Strzelecki Peaks rise straight from the narrow coastal plain to summits 756m above the nearby sea. The foothills of these dramatic mountains are grey-green with a dry sclerophyll forest of she-oaks and peppermint gums.
Located in the middle of Bass Strait, Flinders Island is a unique part of southeastern Australia. An exciting location to explore the marine environment, the island’s diverse ocean inhabitants experience the unusual junction of warm waters flowing via the East Australian Current (EAC) and the colder waters from the south. Dominated by granitoid rock, the rugged mountain landscape is mirrored by the crevices and ledges of a complex underwater topography. Flinders Island is home to a diverse range of marine life including local and migratory sea birds, marine mammals, abundant fish, Abalone and lobster.
The wildlife pressure here has been studied extensively by the Parks Department and found to be 500% to 1600% more than any place on Tasmania (which means more than any place on the Australian mainland as well). You can watch wallabies by the dozen as they come out to feed at dusk. Or shearwaters by the million as they return to their burrows at dusk from a day of feeding, far out at sea.