King Island: where paddock to plate can't get much closer »
The wild island that is a foodie's paradise
By Kerry Scambler
From the wild, turbulent waters of Bass Strait, between mainland Australia and the island state of Tasmania, rises King Island. It’s a small island at just 64km long and 27km wide but the lush pastures are swept with clean air and rain and the deep, clear waters serve up world-class cheese, beef, crayfish and abalone for food lovers around the globe. It’s a place where paddock to plate can’t get much closer!
Going to the source of your food, especially the premium produce from King Island, can give you a whole new appreciation of just how much the environment can influence the taste, smell, texture and even the look of the produce.
Yes it truly is worth visiting KI (as the locals call it) just for the food!
And what makes it so good? Consistent rain falls on mineral rich soils and the sea air adds its salty edge. And it’s all super clean – the air, the sea and the rain. In fact the perfectly named King Island Cloud Juice (bottled rainwater) is exported to the big island (mainland Australia) and beyond, finding its way into discerning restaurants and retailers.
Chefs around the world may seek out the island’s beef, lamb and seafood but thankfully the locals make sure there’s enough left for them and their visitors!
Here’s a selection of what you’ll find to graze or gobble on the island:
King Island Dairy: home of amazingly good cheese and dreamy double cream. Can be tasted and purchased at the Dairy for picnics or taking home.
Camp Creek Gardens: Paul and Cynthia Daniels grow a huge range of vegetables for the locals on their organic and biodynamic farm and offer seasonal fruit and vegies for sale. They also organise the annual Long Table event in Feb/March each year (Register your expression of interest soon, it sells out quickly apparently!)
King Island Natural Garlic and Permaculture Farm: garlic grown naturally with out herbicides or pesticides. No bleach, fumigant or GMO, just clean island air, healthy fertilisers and living soil. Offer several cultivars, for kitchen or garden. www.kingislandgarlic.com
King Island Lymwood Honey: taste King island on your morning toast with manuka, clover and wild flower honeys! Available from local supermarkets and airport shop.
Russells Butchery: the one stop for all those famous KI meats.
King Island Seafoods: straight from the deep blue to you. Seriously sized cray, abalone, wrass and oysters…
King Island Kelp Industries: OK so this is not something that will be served up on your plate but storm cast kelp is one of the island’s key exports. Gathered from the shore the kelp is dried and granulated for the alginates. It’s the shipped around Australia and exported to Norway to go into around 300 different products. These are in turn have thousands of other applications actually so much so that KI’s Kelp Industries reckon it’s very likely that you eat, drink, wear or in some manner use their bull kelp!
Local food outlets: all the local supermarkets and retail outlets on the island proudly showcase their produce with some offering gourmet hamper/picnic services.
Restaurants, cafés and bars: across the island are fully licensed restaurants with stunning views, a legendary bakery, cafés with great coffee and snacks and friendly clubs all serving up a taste of King Island with pride.
Dining locations: alfresco has to be the perfect way to relish food as fresh as this. Imagine the locations with a magnificent coastline like this… nestled in your own secluded bay or on a picnic rug spread atop a headland with views across the world or at high tide mark on a deserted white beach surrounded by shells. And of course, on an island rich in protein, BBQs are also available!
And there’s the Boathouse Restaurant – a kind of reverse restaurant where they provide the setting and you bring your food of choice!
So, what could be more enticing than an island holiday? One with lashed with cream, King Island cream of course!
This article was compiled from a range of information sources including King Island Tourism.
See links below for more reasons to visit King Island.
- King Island (TAS)
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