The Share Plate Guide to... Flinders Island
There's a rugged island off the coast of Tasmania, rich with fresh ingredients you can hand pick from the land and surrounding sea, and a small community of down-to-earth locals who are passionate about their slice of paradise. No, we're not talking about Bruny Island, or King Island - we mean Flinders Island, the amazing Bass Strait outpost becoming a must-see foodie destination.
This article is produced by Share Plate in partnership with Tourism Northern Tasmania. If you're curious about more places to Eat and Drink, head to the TNT website to build your itinerary.
As the destination's reputation grows, this small island of 900 residents will no doubt see more and more visitors come to explore and sample the best of the island. Here are a few highlights from Flinders Island that will leave you wanting to book a trip immediately:
Residents Tom and Jo Youl have created a creative hub on Flinders Island that wouldn't look out of place in any global major city; housing a café/restaurant, co-working space, Tasmanian-focused providore, Unique Charters, Flinders Island Aviation, the zero-waste Furneaux Distillery, Flinders Skin & Day Spa, plus there's a beehive in the wall - BYO container to fill fresh honey straight from the hive!
The licensed eatery is open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making the most of the best produce Flinders Island has to offer. An awesome feature of how the Youls are building a community is their guest chef program, hosting Australian chefs for a week to explore the island before a weekend takeover sees an exclusive menu put together from their experience.
Speaking of experiences, curated dining and activity packages give visitors a unique way to experience the island. Including scenic flights, hikes, dives and foraging, paired with a lazy lunch and drinks at a secluded location.
The interior is light-filled and contemporary, overlooking the rough waters of Bass Strait, with the Wharf proving a great outpost to either hole up and treat yourself, or use as a base to go exploring. You can book accommodation through them too as they run the Cray Shack, Dwarfs Cottage for a farm retreat and Killiecrankie Beach House for self-catered beachside living.
Open 8am-5pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 8am-10pm Fridays and Saturdays and 8am-3pm on Sundays at 16 Esplanade, Whitemark.
Building a distillery with a hyper-local focus makes alot of sense when you live on a small island. Furneaux only opened in March but have already established a clear sense of place by using 100% Tasmanian barley, pure rainwater and local maritime peat, distilling, maturing and bottling all on Flinders Island. Using renewable and sustainable local resources is a great way to produce quality product that reflects where the production has happened. With single malt Whiskey, Gin and Vodka rolling out, we're expecting great things from Damien and the team at Furneaux.
Sign up to their email list to find out more -
Flinders Island Condimental
John, Flinders Islands resident joker, and Alison provide essentials at the Condimental, including great sourdough, baguettes every day and a range of Juggler hot sauces home smoked from Tassie ingredients. Well stocked with more options like home made dips, condiments, local honey, pizzas, pies and organic wholefoods, the Condimental is worth the trip to have a cheeky chat with John alone.
Open 9am-4.30pm Tuesday to Friday, 9am-1pm on Saturdays at 3 Bowman St, Whitemark.
James and David Madden set about restoring an unused abbatoir on Flinders Island in 2010, and from there have developed a network of local farms that produce what might be Australia's best tasting lamb.
The meats unique tenderness and flavour is thanks to the characteristics of the island. The world's purest air is blown over the lush pastures of the Flinders Island farms, carrying trace ocean elements and minerals - along with salt spray - before settling into the earth, where the animals roam free with no stresses.
Nationally distributed and becoming increasingly used within the finest restaurants in Australia and through Asia, the tender lamb coming from Wymmswood, Killara and Nalinga farms are a cut above the rest.
Cooma House Cooking School
📷 Sammi Gowthorp
Wendy Jubb-Stoney is a local girl grown up, having returned home from running an upscale B&B in Victoria's high country, now offering refurbished rooms within her property for tourists and travellers. On top of this, she runs a Cooking School, using her experience and passion to provide a locally focused set of classes inside the Cooma House commercial kitchen, complete with a Tasmanian cedar dining table from the 1850s.
Flinders Island Food & Crayfish Festival
The 2019 Festival was held in April, but now's a good time to start planning your Flinders Island culinary journey for 2020. Created to showcase the natural beauty and food of the island in 2018, it went up a notch this year. With a long lunch the focal point, chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett (Oakridge), James Viles (Biota), Mark Labrooy (Three Blue Ducks), Enrico Tomelleri (10 William St), and Vladimir Panevin (Ettie’s) came together for five days to explore, dive, forage and taste before creating their unique menu. A huge highlight was the local crayfish, harvested by the single remaining crayfish fisherman remaining, 74 year old Jack Wheatley. Additional activities included produce sampling, cooking classes, grape picking, a pop-up market and cocktail party. You can't get a better introduction to all the best features of Flinders Island food and drink.
Keep an eye on the Flinders Wharf website for details on the 2020 Festival.
Get there: Flying direct from Melbourne will take an hour, or you can leave from Launceston for a 45-minute scenic flight.
Mick and Marianne will help you with a hire car - the best way to get around the island safely.
See more of our favourites from Northern Tassie inside the Northern Tasmania issue, covering from Stanley in the northwest to the Bay of Fires in the east, through Burnie, Devonport and Launceston. We've jam packed 116 pages to bring you stories of our favourite eateries, farms, producers, wine, beer, spirits and social enterprises! Purchase here:
Produced by Share Plate Media in partnership with Tourism Northern Tasmania.
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