Of all the Bass Strait Islands, King Island, because of its superb soft cheeses and legendary grass-fed beef, is possibly the best known of Tasmania’s offshore islands after Flinders Island, which is the largest of them all.
However, King Island has another claim to fame, beyond its 57 shipwrecks, and the Southern Hemispheres tallest lighthouse (48m) at Cape Wickham. That other attraction is the strange, otherworldly Calcified Forest.
To see the shattered trunks of what appear to stone trees rising from the sand has been described as mysterious and fascinating and quite eerie. It is also regarded as a must see experience for visitors to the island. Set in the Seal Rocks State Reserve, the short 30-minute (800 metres one way) walk also gives visitors the chance to see Bennett wallabies, echidnas and many varieties of bird – so take a camera along.
The walk to the Calcified Forest is graded as Level 2 walk, suitable for most levels of fitness. There is a small flight of stairs to the forest viewing platform to contend with.
Walkers should have suitable footwear, a sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses and dress for the day, with a jersey or light jacket on hand.
Pets, bicycles and firearms are prohibited.
There are toilets as the start of the walk and untreated drinking water is available.
King Island can be reached by small plane from Burnie airport. To get to the Calcified Forest, which is 30km from Currie, the main town on the island, take road B25 towards Grassy. East of Currie, take the South Road directly to the Calcified Forest.