Approximately 200 (?) kilometres wide at its narrowest point, it was almost dry during the last ice age. It contains many islands, with King Island and Flinders Island home to substantial human settlements.
Like the rest of the waters surrounding Tasmania, it is notoriously rough, with many ships lost there during the 19th century. In 1859 a lighthouse was completed on Wilsons Promontory to help protect shipping passing that point.