Flinders Island Show Day
The Flinders Island Show takes place on Palana Road on the western side of the island and is a big annual tourist draw, bringing in crowds from all over Tasmania, Australia, and the world. It is primarily an agricultural show but has many other attractions as well.
You will see sheep, cattle, and wool on display, which makes sense since grazing is the number one industry on the island. In fact, Flinders Island exports wool, beef, and lamb meat. There will be competitions for the best cows and sheep and the finest wool quality.
There will also be various horse-related events, a wood chopping competition, produce on display and for sale, arts and crafts exhibits, and plenty of convenience foods available. In the trade hall, you can also learn about the island's rural industries, traditional homemade products, and old-time way of life.
Flinders Island is the main island in the 52-island Furneaux archipelago, which lies in Bass Strait, the body of water separating Tasmania from the continent of Australia. It lies north of Cape Portland, mainland Tasmania's northeast point.
The island has a fascinating history. First, it was likely once part of an ancient land bridge between Tasmania and Australia and was settled from very early times. Later, in the 18th Century, it became a sealing station for British seafaring men. In 1830, the last 160 Tasmanian Aborigines were resettled on the island after being all-but wiped out by the British on Tasmania's main island. Finally, in the late 1800's and mid-1900's, settlers from Tasmania and New South Wales bolstered the low population, which still only stands at around 900 today. However, there are several towns and villages, including: Whitemark, Emita, Wingaroo, Loccota, and Lady Barron.
If you visit Flinders Island for Flinders Island Show, here are some of the activities you may want to engage in:
▸ At the show, look for kids' activities like merry go round rides, jumping castles, and carnival rides and games. Also look for more "adult" entertainment during the evening. There will be plenty for everyone to do, and you will find some authentic Australian food being served up as well.
▸ In Whitemark, visit the Bowman History Room to learn more about the island's past. Also look for the Furneaux Museum, where there are relics recovered from old shipwrecks near the island and an "Aboriginal Room" telling the story of the last survivors of Tasmania's original population, after they were transplanted to Flinders Island. Finally, also look for the Flinders Island Sports and RSL Club, where you can play a game of golf on a nine-hole course.
▸ Get away from the town life and see Flinders Island in its natural beauty. There are many nature preserves, including Wingaroo Nature Reserve, which wraps around a large lake, a number of game reserves and conservation areas protecting forests, mountains, lagoons, and sand dunes, and especially Strzelecki National Park, which surrounds Mount Strzelecki, Flinders Island's highest peak. You will find over 800 plant species, wallabies, brushtail and pygmy possums, geese, fur seals, and other wildlife.
Flinders Island is a very unique spot within Tasmania, and the tourist will find both Flinders Island Show and Flinders Island itself to be well worth the visit.