Dec 042014

KI4  026this is the estuary at the front of andrew and di’s property, winding its way into the ocean, as the sun sets over our holiday on king island, the last few days since my most recent post have been a blur of activity, we have explored the island from the northern tip at cape wickham to the southern most extremity at stokes point. we have walked beautiful beaches, clambered over rugged piles of lichen decorated rock formations and driven the beach tracks of this amazing island.

we have eaten wild rocket picked from the foot of the wickham lighthouse, local wallaby, king island cheeses, quail eggs, king island beef, wild water cress, parsley and salty succulents, freshly caught lobster, abalone and warrener shells and we have picked plump, fresh rasberries off the vines, its been a foodie dream and there is no question that KI deserves its reputation for great produce.

all the people we have met have been wonderfully hospitable, friendly and generous, its not hard to see why di and andrew fell in love with the lifestyle!

we had a fabulous day for di’s birthday starting with eggs florentine with wild water cress for breakfast and then a trip up to cape wickham and dissapointment bay before returning to yellow rock for dinner with friends tim & claire, and claire’s parents chris and louise. i cooked abalone slices in butter and garlic for a starter, followed by a chilli spiced mince abalone on rice and the finale of lobster salad with baby potatoes and wild local rocket with a lemon, garlic and butter dressing.

we spent a day exploring the south of the island, visiting surprise bay and stokes point, seeing a huge copperhead snake and a few furry echidnas before ending up at grassy (the other town on the island), for dinner. we got the keys to the sailing club and used their bbq to cook dinner and ate sitting beside their wonderful warm wood fire with friends of the blakes, john and lyn, before watching the fairy penguins make their nightly trek out of the ocean and back to their nests.

yesterday sal and kai and i had a day on our own and explored the kelp factory and kelp walk on the coast by currie before having lunch in a cosy cafe in currie and then heading home via the chesse factory for a tasting and stock up before an explore along porkys beach and heading home to another meal of bbq wallaby and a few glasses of fine red wine!

we will leave the island with many happy memories and a much better understanding of what attracted the blakes this far south! i think we really got in the rythym of our gap year here too, i feel more disconnected from my previous life and engaged in what lies ahead for the next 12 months!

thank you andrew and di for so generously sharing your little piece of paradise with us, your amazing home is better than anything we had expected, far surpassing the expectations created by the tv show and your own descriptions and photos! thanks for all the delicious food, cold beer and great wine.


Nov 292014

KI2  003we rose yesterday to a stunning king island spring day, after a leisurely sleep in, and decided that it was the perfect day to head out on the boat for a fish. we hooked up with a couple of andrew & di’s neighbours, dave and tim, and rendevoued at the boat ramp. we launched and set off for christmas and new years island which lay just off the coast from the blake house.

the plan was for the boys, andrew, tim & dave to go diving while i took the girls and kai to the beach on christmas island – as keen as i am to get in the water and kill things, the water temp in bass strait is below my threshold!

we found a sheltered cove and had a fat old time, the girls sunbathed on the beach while kai and i scrambled over the rocks exploring the coastline, like two rock monkeys. well one rock monkey and one slightly overweight old man.

meanwhile the hunters were hard at work collecting abalone and crayfish, all of the catch was very kindly donated to our household so i shall be doing a big seafood cookup over the weekend.

after getting back in and cleaning up we got ready to head out for a highlight of the king island social calendar, the Sustainable Agricultural Fund’s Annual Christmas hoe down at the old reekara school, it seemed most of king island’s population turned out for the 2 spit roasted pigs, chargrilled lambs, and wallaby haunchs as well as about 10m of salads laid out on tables.

we got to meet a lot of the very friendly and welcoming locals and kai had a ball running round all night with the local kids. the pork was perfect, and the lamb and wallaby cooked on the Argentinean grill was as good as I have ever had.

the Argentinean grill was interesting because as you will see in the photos, they have a very low level charcoal layer under the meat, but the main cooking is done by the fire on top of the grill, this means there are no flare ups of fire from dripping fat as the meat cooks.


Nov 282014

KI  001

so its goodbye to tassie and off to king island, for those of you who dont know, king island is in the middle of bass straight between tasmania and victoria.

we have dear friends, andrew & dianne blake who moved to king island and built an amazing house which featured in an episode of grand designs australia, you can read about it here, Grand Designs Story – we have wanted to visit ever since they finished the house and now was the obvious opportunity.

KI  002

we flew up to melbourne from hobart on the ‘tassie devil’ plane and then caught a little plane down to currie, the main town on king island, andrew and di picked us up at the airport and took us straight down to the boat house in currie harbour, the boat house is run as a bring your own food restaurant – so everything you need is there, crockery, cutlery, glasses, tables, bbq,  etc.

the woman that runs it cleans it every day and there is an honesty box for a donation, its a marvellous idea and so we enjoyed a magnificent picnic on the banks of the currie harbour.

after lunch we drove across the island to andrew and di’s house and settled in for our visit, its an amazing house in an incredible location, filled with their collection of arnhem land art as well as their own works. the house has a wonderful energy and we felt totally at home from the moment we walked in the door. the beach is five minutes walk across the amazing sand dune that lies astride the landscape in front of the house. there is even the wreck of an old paddle steamer on the beach, all that remains is the boiler and the ‘axle’ for the paddles, but its a grim reminder of the history of this coastline.

finally a few more images from currie harbour,