One of my first impressions of King Island happened at the supermarket, shortly after our arrival. The friendly staff packed our holiday supplies into cardboard boxes and then proceeded to carry them to our car, all with a smile and no questions asked. Straight away I got the feeling we were going to enjoy our stay.
As our week unfolded we discovered thundering waves, shipwrecks, endless deserted beaches and a warm, honest country community.
The exploring opportunities around the coastline are almost endless and it is possible to spend hours on the spotless beaches and bush tracks and not see another person or vehicle.
At night we cooked simple family meals in our rented shack* and warmed ourselves by the fire while the waves of Bass Strait pounded against the coastline just metres from our front door.
The websites promised great shell collecting and we were not disappointed. Some of the most beautiful pieces were spotted on the beach right in front of our shack.
Honesty boxes are used widely on the island for everything from roadside egg stalls to accessing the spectacular golf course, after hours. In the main street of Currie I quickly spotted a charming unattended art gallery brimming with bright art work, shells and fresh flowers while the soothing sounds of ABC Classic FM floated through the air. Visitors are simply asked to pay on an honesty system.
We blew out 7 candles on a special holiday birthday cake at The Boathouse. This delightful little place is an unattended BYO restaurant complete with Classic FM, tablecloths, wine glasses, cutlery, crockery, fresh flowers and water views. Visitors are simply asked to clean up after themselves and make a donation. This concept may not work on the mainland but it seems to work perfectly on King Island.
As a family we enjoyed this quiet holiday minus the usual commercial tourist attractions and conveniences. Calling in to the bakery, butcher and other small shops was a pleasure when we needed extra supplies. Cheese tasting and plenty of fishing opportunities added to our island experience.
If nightclubs, shopping malls, theme parks and fast food restaurants are part of your holiday requirements King Island will not be for you. I get the feeling these things are just not required by the locals, they would rather be chatting to their neighbours, creating artwork, fishing or tending to their farms and businesses.
Have you visited King Island?
I have become intrigued by island life.
* The classic beach shack that became our home for a week deserves a separate post, stay tuned.