RIP “Stella”

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RIP “Stella”

It was a relationship with many highs and lows. A rough and rocky ride with the worst bloody steering, oftern you brokedown, or got bogged down along the way but you always got us there in the end. “Stella” our trusty Toyota Hilux is no more. She was as cheap as they came. We found her on the side of the road in need of some TLC, and she gave back to us in spades before eventually succumbing to the abuse of many surfers on a mission to explore King Island’s many great waves and finding untold riches. Alas, she is now tainted beyond repair… and we must move on and let go.

Stella and her white racing strips - the early years.

Stella and her white racing strips - the early years.

Fortunately we have found a new love - “The Beast”. A middle aged Nissan Patrol with 7 seats and enough room up top for a quiver of surfboards and fishing rods. The Beast has more accessories and lights that it probably needs. She has a 48 inch lift kit with tractor tires fitted needing a ladder to get up and ride her. Enough recovery gear to get you out of the trouble. More lights than the MCG, you can now happily keep surfing all day AND night. A rear camera for… umm all that crazy King Island traffic!? An alarm system which would have been very handy in Melbourne’s west, but slightly overkill on a small island where no one is going anywhere fast.

The Beast, doing what she does best.

The Beast, doing what she does best.

We picked her up from a suburb we’d never heard of far out in Melbourne’s western suburbs where all the pimped out cars are found. Parked on the grass as we rocked up, it was love at first sight “this is the one” I said to Anatole, all those other cars we have been looking at were just fleeting romances. Anatole remarked, “Don’t be fooled by her stunning good looks, its what’s on the inside that counts”. Before Anatole had a chance to give her a good shake down and test drive I was handing over wods of cash to a dodgy looking bloke and signing the paper work.

We’ve been driving The Beast around Barwon Heads and doing a couple missions down south Vicco on some 4WD tracks putting her through her paces. She’s a weapon alright, easily passing over any terrain and soft sand we could throw at her. She is perfectly suited to the riggers of King Island apart from that one small thing…. the black liquid leaking from her engine?! I do recall someone once saying to me “be wary of buying any car thats parked on the lawn… it probably means that they are trying to conceal the leaking oil underneath”. Anyway, a couple trips to the car doctor and a lot of $$ later she has past the KI test with flying colours. Time to ship her over to her new home at King Island for our guest to trash... I mean enjoy! Enjoy!!!

Farewell, I hope you have a long and happy island life. May your rust spots be few, and waves you find many.

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Crayfish on the campfire anyone? Hell yes!

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Crayfish on the campfire anyone? Hell yes!

Not only is King Island renowned for having great surf, the island also has plentiful supply of both crayfish and abalone!

So in-between surfs, why not go for a snorkel around many of the island beautiful pristine beaches and catch yourself some dinner. Don’t have any dive gear or forgot your weight belt? No worries, we at King Island Surf Safaris have got you covered. At our cottage where our guests stay, we have complementary dive and fishing gear for you to use on your trip. So you don’t need to worry about lugging your 20KG weight belt on the plane, instead focus on battling with monster 5KG Southern Rock Lobsters.

What better way to finish a great days surfing than a cook-up of cray's and abalone on the campfire - My mouths watering just thinking about it...

If you can’t catch a crayfish in King Island then you should probably rule out a career in catching crayfish for a living. Fortunately, you can just buy one instead from Donna and Max of King Island Seafoods – (03) 6462 1774. It’s also fascinating to watch the professionals unload their boats full of crayfish at the Currie Jetty and put us all to shame.

Just make sure you pick up Tasmanian Fishing licence before you leave if you want to fish or dive on the island. 

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Our commitment to sustainable tourism.

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Our commitment to sustainable tourism.

Local environment and the community.

We all share a responsibility to preserve and improve the beautiful coastal environment in which we are lucky enough to enjoy. 

Apart from great waves, part of the attraction King Island holds is the unique and pristine coastal environment and the friendly community that exists here - This is constantly reaffirmed to us, through the acknowledgement from each and every guest that visits the island. 

The islands 1800 population have a strong sense of place, and the people who live here are deeply connected to the island, the sea, and its natural resources which underpins the islands main industries and leisure activities. The coast plays a strong bearing on the culture of King Island. The responsible management of these natural values is fundamental to protecting the Island’s way of life for the community as a whole. 

The tourist market is important to the economy of King Island and is seeking to grow for future prosperity. Approximately 6% of the Island’s labour force is directly employed through the tourism industry. Of course with the money you spend during your stay on King Island feeding directly back into the community, King Island Surf Safaris also employs, partners and works with local businesses and people to ensure the community and environment benefits. We also make a direct financial contribution. $25 of your payment goes towards King Island Natural Resource Management Group* (KINRM). King Island Surf Safaris matches this dollar value giving a total of $50 for every group that travels with us. We have chosen a local organisation to make sure 100% of the money goes directly back into the island. We are always looking at how we can continually improve, and be a leader in sustainable tourism in surf travel so others can enjoy the islands unique environment in future years.

*KINRM promote co-ordinated and integrated management of natural resources, which will contribute to the economic and environmental sustainability of King Island. Want to learn or do more about where your money goes? volunteer or donate? Visit: http://www.kingislandnaturalresources.org

 

Responsible surfing tourism.

Apart from the stunning beaches, part of the attraction surfing KI is the lack of development and crowds due to its remoteness. In order to maintain the islands surfing charm, King Island Surf Safaris are committed to only taking small groups of surfers over to the island at one time. This keeps the number of surfers in the water down, if fact most of the time when you visit it will just be you and friends surfing the waves at King Island. Our core focus is to preserve this uniqueness for those guests that visit us future.

King Island does have a small population of local surfers that live on the island and as when visiting any place, you need to be respectful of the local surfing community and the environment you are in. All guest’s who visit the island are fully briefed by us to be respectful of where they are, move on from a break that already has enough surfing it, leave as little impact on the beaches as possible, stick to existing tracks etc. We find the uniqueness of the island naturally attracts a type of persons that is seeking this solitude in a surf trip and are generally very respectful and sensitive to the island and people. The KI people are some of the most friendly and welcoming people around, and will happily help or give you advice on where to surf or anything else you are after. 

 

A few things to keep in mind when visiting:

  • Stick to designated 4WD or walking tracks. Before you drive, decide if you really need to take your vehicle on the beach. When driving on the beach, drive on the wet sand below high tide mark. This way you will have less impact on the shorebirds and it will avoid dune erosion. 
  • Vehicles are prohibited on the beaches within Lavinia State Reserve
  • Bird nesting season is from September - April. Please take particular care during these months.
  • Fishing licenses are required when fishing KI.
  • Take in, take out! Don't forget your rubbish & pick up any litter - Leaving the place cleaner than you found it.
  • Leave the gates as you find them! Access to some beaches is through private land and we don’t want to inconvenience the owners.

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Surfboards - Check. Puffer jackets & beanies - Check Check.

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Surfboards - Check. Puffer jackets & beanies - Check Check.

While the rest of surfing world was focused on the huge swells off WA last weekend, a few hardy souls sought their own adventure hitting King Island.

Mark and Darren (from Ocean Grove), Marc (from Sydney), and Surf Photographer Steve Arklay donned their puffer jackets and beanies to jump onboard our plane, leaving Barwon Heads Airport last Saturday morning to score some epic waves around Martha and beyond for 3 days.

The boys all said they had an awesome trip: “KI was a true authentic surf experience - with great uncrowded waves," "We all got some sick waves, and would come back for sure!”

Here some images from their trip, courtesy of © Steve Arklay Photography.  ENJOY!

Remember: If you and your mates want to book a trip to King Island King Island Surf Safaris will organise everything for you, including a private charter aircraft out of Barwon Heads Airport, Car and Accommodation. Go on… you only live once!


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Swell Warning - update

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Swell Warning - update

Following up on the swell system we were tracking last week. 

It’s shaping up to be REALLY good waves at King Island this coming weekend!

Sunny, Light SW winds and 6-8ft swells arriving this Saturday lasting till Monday. This should be perfect for Martha to break at around 3-5ft light offshore.

Don’t miss out! Get a few mates organised to book ASAP and score some of the best waves of your life.

OK, here’s our suggestion to get the most out of this system… take a sick day on Monday and book a 3 day package to take full advantage of this system. Arriving at King Island Saturday morning and surfing till you can’t walk on Monday afternoon.

To book, call us or book online.

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