We have been here on King Island now for a few days. For those loyal readers who don’t know where King Island is, it is at the western edge of Bass Strait which separates the mainland of Australia from the island state of Tasmania.
It’s a wild and woolly place with very variable weather; sunny one moment, rainy the next, super windy one day, calm the next. We are staying in a small cottage, Green Ponds, in the middle of Currie, the largest town on the island.
The main reason for popping down here from Brisbane was to attend the annual Long Table Festival. This 3 day event has as its main attraction a ‘long table dinner’, which runs from 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm (technically). We actually finished about 6pm. But more of that later.
Our first day was fully occupied by a tour of various farms and agricultural pursuits. A biodynamic organic farm operation that produced some great little carrots and just the sweetest beetroot and tomatoes. Then onto the KI Cheese factory, little needs to be said about this, just some great cheese. Next was the seafood processor where we saw some fresh southern rock lobsters and giant crabs that had not long been brought in by the fishing fleet. One significant lobster specimen was about 3.5-4 kg and would bring close to $400 when it hit the end consumer. Octopus and eels are also a bi product of the catch.
Other spots along the way were at a beef cattle property. A stop at a wool, possum hair spinner, cum feral cat skin processor establishment in the forest. She was an interesting lady to say the least. Leanne subsequently acquired some of her wool for a scarf project, would not come at a cat skin though.
Also learnt something of the abalone industry on the island and the difference between black lipped and green lipped abalone. And, yes the difference is that one has black lips and the other green lips. The green ones though seem to be more sought after.
In between all this we fitted in a lunch, which show cased a selection of these various products. A long day ended with ‘welcome drinks’ and canapes at an art gallery. Unfortunately, we missed out on the crayfish sliders which were gobbled up fairly quickly while we were outside admiring the view.
Next morning we set off for a drive down to Stokes Point which is the most southern point on KI. The road gets progressively worse all the way to the end. Starts with bitumen, then gravel, then a sandy type track, then stones. It winds it way along the coast, in some sections it would seem that the sea would come across it in a storm.
The main attractions along this route include the cliff top look out at Seal Rocks and the nearby calcified ‘forest’ of tree roots that date back about 7000 years.
Closer to Stokes Point is the Sealers Wall, constructed in the early 1800s by sealers to herd seal up against to assist in the slaughter. We couldn’t quite get to Stokes Point, as there is a small watery causeway to cross.
The road back didn’t seem quite as arduous and we arrived back in Currie in time for a KI scotch filet at the local hotel. Not a bad end to the day!