It is fair to say that King Island does not enjoy the best climate in Australia. The island is situated in Bass Strait, a fairly tumultuous body of water which separates mainland Australia, particularly Victoria, from the island state of Tasmania.
Bass Strait is in the Roaring Forties the ever-present westerlies that circle the world’s southern latitudes. This guarantees that King Island is surrounded by rough seas, is blasted by biting, ferocious winds, and is the recipient of more than its fair share of rain. A miserable place, you might think? But no, King Island is a rugged but beautiful island, and all that fresh air and rains has created an environment which allows the island to produce some of the best dairy products you will get anywhere.
Only about 1,000 people permanently live on King Island, with its biggest town called Currie, in which lives about three quarters of the total population. Located on the western side of the island, Currie is where the airport is located, and where most of the accommodation on the island is found.
King Islands has long sandy beaches, and many surfers are attracted to the island because those Roaring Forties currents produce spectacular waves. By and large, though, people visit King Island to sample its epicurean delights.
King Island Cream, which is thick and unctuous and unbelievably delicious is produced here. The contented herds which graze on the island’s pristine, lush, wind-swept pastures produce some of the purest, sweetest milk in the world. That milk is the base from which many magnificent cheeses are also produced under the trademark of the King island Dairy.
The soft whites, such as the bries, double bries, camemberts should be allowed to reach room temperature before being served so that when you cut through the thick, pearly-white skin, the soft cheese just oozes out just like a condensed milk.
With a huge range of brilliant products, including cheddars, blues, potent washed rind cheeses, plus yoghurts and desserts, to over indulge in the dairy is reason enough to visit the island.
Other renowned local products include succulent beef, genuine seasonal lamb, plus a multitude of cold weather vegetables which all spring from the land including local honey, herbs and garlic to enhance the flavours.
The rich seas which surround King Island present us with large rock lobster, oysters that are imbued with the flavour of Bass Strait’s pollution-free waters, and a vast range of fish, octopus and squid, most of which is exported right around the world.
King Island is low key, there are no vast resorts there, but it is an irresistible place to visit of you want to get back to nature and enjoy a place that is still unspoiled.