As first published in The Q Review Summer 2021/22 Magazine. Follow the link to Subscribe and receive your FREE copy each quarter!
Continued from Part 1…
The wood-burning fireplace ensures the villa is always cosy, even when the Roaring Forties are whipping through outside.
Kittawa Lodge is also warmed by the generosity and hospitality of its hosts – Nick and Aaron.
They are there to welcome us in person on our first day and to wave us off on our departure.
There are handwritten notes upon our arrival and each afternoon when we return from adventuring. There are text messages to ensure we are okay before we arrive and after we settle in. There are detailed instructions for the meals that we are cooking ourselves and explanatory notes about the wines and spirits that are available. There are gumboots, waterproof parkas and Akubra hats in case we need encouragement to explore the outdoors, as well a picnic rug, thermos, picnic hamper and yoga mats.
And the two men are just so delighted to be sharing Kittawa Lodge and King Island with their guests, that their enthusiasm is infectious.
The team at YOLO Traveller took advantage of Kittawa Lodge’s Signature Package, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily, with one dinner cooked for us in our lodge by Aaron, and a one-hour massage for two by a local masseuse.
Breakfast is self-catering at your leisure each morning – for a cooked breakfast, there is King Island bacon, locally laid eggs, tomatoes and freshly baked bread, while for a continental spread there is made-for-Kittawa granola, pears poached by Aaron, Tamar Valley yoghurt, Manuka honey and jam.
Fresh orange juice and coffee with milk from the King Island Dairy round out the morning spread.
Lunches can be served in the villa or packed as a picnic to take exploring – perhaps a charcuterie plate with King Island Dairy cheese and crusty bread, or a substantial salad of poached chicken, baby spinach, caramelised sweet potato and beets.
Upon return to Kittawa Lodge, there are freshly baked cakes or cookies awaiting.
For self-cooked dinners, the fridge is stocked with everything you need and detailed instructions are provided.
A rolled loin of King Island lamb is seasoned and ready for roasting along with diced pumpkin, carrots and brocollini, followed by blueberry and white chocolate cake with crème anglaise. Or crumbed Tasmanian flathead fish with oven-baked potato wedges and a salad of King Island greens, then a dessert of delicate chocolate pudding.
But definitely the highlight is the dinner cooked by Aaron, a multi-course delight of King Island specialties cooked to perfection, with Aaron as an accomplished and engaging host, sharing our love of travel and adventure.
When not cocooned within the luxury and serenity of Kittawa Lodge, King Island is ripe for exploration.
The island, marooned in Bass Strait midway between the south coast of Victoria and the north coast of Tasmania, is bigger than anticipated, at 58km long and 21km wide. But it is impossible to get lost, with just a handful of roads crisscrossing the island, linking the small town of Currie with the tiny villages of Grassy and Naracoopa, and the intervening farmlands and sights.
Much of the inland of King Island is given over to pasture. The rolling green hills are impossibly lush and fertile, and home to the prizewinning herds of cattle that have made King Island famous for its meat and dairy produce.
No visit to King Island is complete without a visit to the King Island Dairy to taste their highly awarded cheeses.
There are also King Island Distillery and King Island Brewhouse that take advantage of the island’s pristine waters and clean air in producing their wares.
The coastline is spectacular – rugged, windswept and pristine. The cold clear waters of Bass Strait are full of lobster and other seafood and the sea air is bracing and fresh.
Photogenic lighthouses adorn the shores, while a multitude of nearby shipwrecks pay tribute to the savagery of the Southern Ocean.
There are two worldclass golf courses tucked into the dunes, where every hole has spectacular views of the beaches, cliffs and sea. And if you can brave the cold, there are legendary surf breaks.
Highlights of the scenery include Cape Wickham and Disappointment Bay in the north, and Surprise Bay, Seal Rocks and the Calcified Forest in the south. There is a historical jetty at Naracoopa and a penguin colony in Grassy Bay.
But in reality, almost every cape and cove on the island are stunning – remote, rugged and full of raw beauty. And almost entirely untouched by tourists… for now.