One or Two More Reasons to Visit Flinders Island
While I love getting out amongst it all as much as the next urbanite, even the thought of ablutions while visiting remote places leaves me shaking my head as much as my wet hands, nursing sore quads from seat avoidance and feeling more exposed to bacterial infection than an open-mouthed gargle of the Yarra River. If you relate even a little to my dread, I have a small sanitary secret to share with you; the public restrooms on this island put the rest of the world, including tech-toilet wonderland Japan, to shame.
You might be seeking a quiet place to drop yours after swimming amongst fish at the idyllic paradise that is Trousers Bay, feeling an urge down the road after a perfect almond café latte from A Taste of Flinders, or looking to lose some weight after last night’s wallaby burger at the Yellow Beach picnic ground. Fear not. Every well-stocked restroom will delight you with its cleanliness, location, freshness, facilities, abundance and dare I say it, style.
Yellow Beach has inviting mellow sand, gentle waves and the tracks each morning to prove a wide variety of furry visitors were up and about well before you rubbed the sleep out of your eyes at your Furneaux Tavern accommodation. After you finish your morning yoga on the coral-red adorned rocks, take advantage
of the unpretentious wood and corrugated colourbond dual toilet block next to the hiking hut. You won’t be disappointed - gleaming stainless steel and spotless dry flooring greets you along with the infant change table, the ample hand wash and paper towels.
North East River
Those seeking to marvel at architect designed composting pit toilets, complimented by weathered decking on salty, undulating dunes should visit North East River camping and picnic ground. If you’re used to holding your breath when using pit toilets, don’t bother. These airy wonders on the north coast collect rainwater in a tank for flushing and the salty breeze under and above the walls takes care of any unwelcome odours. Don’t neglect to wash your hands, as a trip to the tap at the side of the facility will impress with the minimal impact it all appears to be having on the surrounding environment.
Patriarchs Conservation Area
Another pleasant surprise for dedicated twitchers who have unflasked one too many teas can be found just behind the A-framed centre at Patriarchs Conservation Area. After entering the door to the blindingly clean, modern, white restroom and using the pleasant eucalyptus scented hand wash, you would be forgiven for thinking you have stepped through a rift in space into an inner-city hotel kept in perpetual asepsis by a slightly monomaniacal cleaner. Not so, as wallabies and flame robins are still waiting to greet you as you make your satisfied exit with a spring in your bird-loving step.
Lady Barron Wharf
When at last you decide to stop catching your dinner
of wrasse and greeting the gummy sharks and Pacific dolphins on the Lady Barron wharf, allow yourself a moment to freshen up in the lofty iron-clad council cleaned duo by the wharf-workers’ car park. The sink outside will do to wash off any lingering taint of bait. However, the roomy spotless cubicle to your left also provides an infant change table, sanitising hand wash and paper towel with a generously sized waste receptacle.
Another blue-ribbon experience can be found at Trousers Point picnic ground. After you enjoy that BBQ lunch under the pavilion (made twice as tasty by your swim in the Killiecrankie diamond-clear water), walk uphill a little and you will be greeted by a pristine blue-toned ode to comfort nestled amongst the tea trees. Following suit with ample hand wash and paper towel supplies, this hygienic fully flushable model will leave you and your trousers feeling composed and ready to scale Mt Strezlecki.
If you decide to visit Emita Museum, make sure you don’t miss any of the attractions. Their composting hybrid toilet will impress, not only with the architectural style
of the building and its wood-featuring early-adopter sustainable design but also the fresh and tidy state of the sink, mirror, stick-shifter and pedal that will whoosh away your artefacts. This is, for most, a once in a lifetime chance to take enjoyment from the act of flushing. It’s almost worth the modest $5 museum entry on its own!
Though admittedly not every restroom on the island has change tables for those with infants to attend to, there are always picnic tables and bins nearby and the facilities are also predominately wheelchair friendly.
Since the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service passes bought by visitors trekking up Mt Strezlecki or picnicking at Trousers Point have paid for many of these excellent facilities and their maintenance, be sure to purchase your Parks Pass when you touch down in Whitemark. That way we can all continue to enjoy these refreshingly civilised, drawer-dropping additions to the otherwise wild and rough-cut gem that is Flinders Island.
By: Robyn Canfield
Photo Credit: Dietmar Kahles
Back to News Section