Hunter King (2015-)
Parents: Wally Burns & Charlotte King (deceased)
Occupation: Student, Bait Shop Assistant
Hunter was first glimpsed at the end of Episode 6243 as a shadowy figure watching Zac and Leah from the bushes at the caravan park. In his first credited appearance, he was a hooded figure who broke into the house, pushing Josh down the stairs when he disturbed him. He was chased from the house by VJ, who managed to grab his backpack containing a map of the town and a photograph of the family that had been stolen a few days earlier. It wasn’t until Hunter turned up at Charlotte’s motel room that it was revealed that he was her and Zac’s son. Charlotte quickly realised that Hunter was the one who had burned down Zac and Leah’s house, and then framed Billie, who had been injured in the fire and who he had seen arguing with the family shortly beforehand. Charlotte had told him Zac wanted nothing to do with him but had to admit that Zac didn’t know about him.
She covered up his crime and sent him back to his grandmother’s rather than letting him see Zac but he slipped back into town some days later and tried to book into the caravan park, leaving when Alf asked too many questions. He gatecrashed the fundraising banquet for Zac’s family and announced who he was. Charlotte got Andy to keep an eye on him at the motel but he went to the surf club where VJ realised he was the intruder and ended up pushing him over a table, although no-one else chose to pursue the matter. Zac went for a walk with him to get to know him, but Hunter had little time for his extended family of Leah and VJ and privately told Leah he was going to get rid of her, also rejecting VJ’s attempt to make peace. He and Charlotte moved into the flat above the Diner and Charlotte encouraged him to gatecrash Zac and VJ playing basketball together. Hunter pretended to want to get on while Zac was watching, but as soon as he was gone he deliberately injured VJ’s wrist with the ball. He continued to play the innocent with both Zac and Charlotte, claiming Leah had it in for him.
Evelyn invited him to lunch to get to know the family and Charlotte told him to go. He let Leah talk him into staying when VJ snapped at him, but then found out she was trying to get Zac to have a paternity test and threatened her again. As a result, he was prime suspect when Leah’s brakes failed while she and Evelyn were driving and he ended up in a fight with VJ at school that saw them both sent home. Although the brake failure turned out to be a simple accident, Leah refused to have him back in the house. Zac spent the day with him on the beach and Hunter faked a cramp and near drowning to get him to stay longer. On the birthday of his grandfather, who had died shortly beforehand, Zac and Charlotte joined Hunter fishing, a birthday tradition for the two of them, although Hunter admitted afterward that he didn’t really like fishing.
He was delighted when Zac moved in with them and took pleasure in letting Leah know, only to feel betrayed when Zac went back to Leah, showing his father a glimpse of his dark side when he berated him for leaving him for “someone like her”. Andy warned him about letting his anger destroy him. When Zac cancelled spending time with him in order to see VJ’s basketball, Hunter stormed round to the house and accused Leah of keeping Zac away from him, prompting her and Zac to order him out. In order to get back at Leah, he stole the safe from the Diner only to find it contained no money. In the process, he accidentally left some wires exposed, causing Marilyn to suffer a severe electric shock that left her in a coma. Hunter wanted to turn himself in but Charlotte refused to let him, hiding the evidence.
Charlotte summoned him home after a few days. He apologised to Zac but was soon complaining about Kat, who had shot at Charlotte when she caught her breaking into the bait shop, supposedly sleepwalking. After a few days of behaving strangely, Charlotte abruptly told Hunter they were leaving town. Hunter went to Zac and Leah for help and Charlotte claimed she’d changed her mind, then told him they had to leave because someone was blackmailing her. However, their car failed to start and after a stranger, Trystan Powell, fixed it, Charlotte told Hunter they were staying after all. Hunter brushed aside Charlotte’s affair with Matt, one of her students, until he found out she had emptied his trust fund to pay off her blackmailer and walked out on her. When Leah found him sleeping on the beach, he told her and Zac about the missing money and the affair, resulting in Charlotte being fired and the town turning on her. Refusing to go back to Charlotte, he moved into a caravan.
After their shaky start, he and VJ made tentative moves towards becoming friends. Olivia got Hunter to hang out with her and VJ and they bonded over being used to living in the city. The townsfolk conspired to keep Charlotte away from him, although Irene and Olivia did encourage him to visit Charlotte when someone threw a brick through her window. VJ resented the fact that Olivia preferred Hunter’s company to his so Hunter offered to stay away from her, then wrecked the offer by telling Olivia why, causing her to get angry with VJ. However, he was left with mixed feeling when Olivia gleefully told him that Irene was getting Charlotte evicted, although he then had a go at Charlotte when she accused Olivia of being the person who vandalised her apartment. He was briefly kidnapped by Charlotte’s blackmailer and dumped in the bush, having been drugged. When Charlotte ran Trystan over and killed him, claiming it was an accident, Kat questioned Hunter who claimed he didn’t know Trystan but then confronted Charlotte about it, realising he was her blackmailer.
When he met Olivia for a swim, she asked him to look away while she got out of the water but he peeked and saw scars on her legs. He told VJ but wanted to leave the matter alone; however, VJ convinced him to tell Zac. He tracked Olivia down when she ran away and convinced her to go home. He continued to spend time with VJ and Olivia but they upset Irene by moving some of her things while looking for a DVD; Hunter joined Olivia in cooking her an apology breakfast. He tried to get Olivia to wear a shorter dress to Zac and Leah’s wedding, prompting VJ to point out that she was worried about people seeing her scars. After spending an evening alone at the beach house, Hunter nearly kissed Olivia but backed off and went home. Olivia followed him and asked if her scars put him off; he explained that he’d been worried she’d feel uncomfortable if he touched them and they kissed. Olivia later confided in him that she’d been self-harming to deal with the fact she’d been abused by a friend of her uncle’s when she was young. She told him she loved him and they slept together, although the experience left them both slightly uncomfortable and Olivia admitted she wasn’t fully over her abuse.
Charlotte gave him back some of the money she’d taken from his trust fund but then asked him for it back, which he refused. He found out that Denny had been found in a shallow grave with the safe that he’d stolen and confronted Charlotte, who admitted that Denny had found the safe and realised he was behind the robbery and that she’d accidentally killed her while stopping her from going to the police. Hunter agreed to keep quiet on condition that Charlotte left town. He was asked to be ring bearer at Zac and Leah’s wedding, although the service was interrupted when Charlotte arrived ranting about all the secrets she knew, including the arson. Hunter dragged her away and told her to go to hell when she told him it was his fault Denny was killed. After the wedding, he told Olivia that soon people would hate him as much as Charlotte and he was leaving town. Olivia caught up with him as he was hitch-hiking and tried to get him to stay but he left anyway.
He returned to town a few days later to find out that Charlotte had been shot dead. He was interviewed as a suspect in her murder, where Zac stopped him from telling the police about his argument with her. He told Olivia that he’d stayed with the guy who gave him a lift but was actually receiving texts from a girl called Lindsay Ford. He texted Lindsay back telling him to leave her alone, then claimed he didn’t care about Charlotte’s death, but Olivia found him crying on the beach. He tried to avoid going to Charlotte’s funeral, then learned Billie was about to stand trial for the fire and was facing ten years. Andy told him he knew he was responsible and he’d back him up if he blamed it on Charlotte. Hunter told Olivia about his role in the fire, the Diner robbery and Denny’s death and she also encouraged him to blame Charlotte. Instead, he confessed during the trial. He was charged and bailed and also questioned again over Charlotte’s murder on the grounds that her knowing about the arson gave him motive. He argued that he wouldn’t have confessed in that case but overheard Zac admitting that he wasn’t sure he was innocent. Neither Leah nor VJ wanted him around the house so Olivia arranged for him to stay with Irene. They called Leah for help when Irene ended up top of the suspects list next.
He found meetings with his extended family awkward and continually butted heads with VJ. During basketball training, VJ continually went in hard on him. However, he did befriend Skye and convince Olivia to treat her better. He and VJ got into a fight in class but Phoebe suggested it was because deep down they still liked each other. After a lecture from Olivia and Skye, they became friends again and Leah invited Hunter to move back in. They went out for a celebratory pizza only for Zac to be arrested for Charlotte’s murder and subsequently charged and remanded. The family became the subject of a hate campaign and Hunter and VJ tried to clean graffiti off the toilet block before Leah and Alf saw it. With the other teens, he arranged a special lunch for Leah at the Diner. He welcomed Zac back when he was released but managed to annoy him by pestering him for details of life in prison.
He was angry when Olivia secretly did a DNA test to see if Claire Lewis was Irene’s daughter, telling her she had no right to interfere. She promised to tear up the results but instead looked at them and told the pair they weren’t related, causing Claire to leave. Hunter refused to tell her she’d done the right thing but the argument was superseded by the arrival of Lindsay, who announced that she and Hunter had kissed while he was staying with her. Hunter asked Lindsay to leave town and told Olivia they had kissed once on the first night he was away after which they’d been purely platonic, but when Olivia saw Lindsay with her arm round him she broke up with him. They argued again when Lindsay sent him a photo that appeared to show Olivia kissing her friend Drew Parton. Despite not being interested in Lindsay, when she came round with DVDs he agreed to hang out with her as friends. However, she then took Alf’s ute for a joyride and when Hunter clambered onto the side he was thrown off. Zac and Olivia took him to hospital and Olivia forced Lindsay to leave town.
Hunter discharged himself and then reunited with Olivia. He took her for a picnic in the bush to celebrate but collapsed, unable to breathe. It turned out he had a tension pneumothorax and Zac had to release the air under instructions from Nate. Olivia re-did the picnic on the beach but ran off when Hunter tried to get intimate with her. Puzzled by her behaviour, he went away on a surfing trip with VJ. On his return, Olivia told him she was pregnant. Although his first instinct was to walk away from her, after a chat with Zac he told Olivia he’d support her. However, Olivia quickly decided they wouldn’t be able to cope with being parents and chose to have an abortion, with Hunter and Irene accompanying her to the clinic.
He suggested he and Olivia go to the movies with VJ instead of the hospital fundraiser, meaning they missed out on the explosion that killed Oscar and Hannah. At the wake, he heard Skye telling Olivia that Tank had caused the explosion and announced it to everyone. However, he defended Tank when Olivia dismissed him as someone who would never change. He helped Olivia search for Irene, finding her abandoned car, and acted as confidante for VJ after he slept with Billie. He tried to get Olivia to stay over in his caravan but she told him she had to wait six weeks after the abortion before having sex again; however, she later admitted the real reason was that she was cutting again and didn’t want him to see the scars. He tried to help her but she told him to let other people do it and just be her boyfriend. When she told him she was ready to sleep with him again, he checked she was sure before complying. However, he worried she would start cutting again when Skye ran away; she reassured him that it didn’t happen every time she was upset.
He and Olivia tried to spend time with VJ and Billie but Olivia ended up insulting Billie and Hunter ordered her to apologise. He then learned that Andy had confessed to killing Charlotte, distracting him from helping Olivia when she became concerned about Irene again, but the police refused to let him see him. He accused Josh of knowing what was going on and, on learning Andy was being transferred for his bail hearing, went to see him. When Andy was unable to explain why he’d done it, Hunter stabbed him with a pair of scissors and was arrested. Initially he didn’t care what happened to him but after a talk from Zac he co-operated with the police and was released on bail, delivering a contemptuous speech to Andy as he left. He was given a suspended sentence and community service for both the stabbing and the arson and, at his first community session, got on the wrong side of his supervisor Danika Kulevski by questioning her instructions. She also refused to let him and Zac take one of the other boys, Jordan Walsh, to hospital when he fainted from mild dehydration. He then found out Josh really killed Charlotte; he was warned by Andy to stay away from him but insisted to Zac that he didn’t care. However, he began skipping school, ignored Zac and Olivia’s attempts to talk to him and burnt all his mementos of Charlotte.
He refused to discuss Josh and Andy’s escape with Olivia and turned her away when she tried to spend the night with him. When VJ invited him and Olivia over while he was staying at the farmhouse, Hunter invited Jordan as well. He proceeded to get drunk, accuse Jordan of cracking onto Olivia and get into a fight with him. He was unrepentant the next day, arguing with Zac and Olivia and trying to stop the latter spending time with Jordan. They nearly got back on track when Olivia arranged a special afternoon for them but when Hunter reacted badly to learning Jordan had queried why she was with him Olivia broke up with him. He was convinced to go along to the fundraiser sleepover Evelyn was organising but reacted badly to finding Olivia hanging out with Jordan and Tabitha Ford. After a talking to from VJ about how pretending he didn’t care about Charlotte was just making him angry, he tried to apologise but Olivia refused to talk to him and Tabitha warned him off.
He and Olivia began to get close again when they had a study session with VJ and Tabitha, but Tabitha clearly still disapproved. When Olivia had gone, Hunter told Tabitha that Olivia wasn’t really her friend and just saw her as a project. Tabitha then told Olivia that Hunter had called her scars disgusting and even though he denied it she refused to speak to him. He eventually managed to convince her of the truth but she remained friends with Tabitha while refusing to reunite with him.
However, Hunter rushed to Olivia’s side when a plane carrying Irene, Leah and several other residents crashed in the desert. When Tabitha asked him for an update and claimed Olivia would want her rather than him, Hunter told her that Olivia had been ignoring her calls (as she had done while he was with her) and was with her real friends. He was suspicious when he bumped into Tabitha at the school out of hours. When his exam results were altered on the school computer, he suspected Tabitha but had no proof and tried to convince Olivia he had been framed. Olivia was convinced after finding an incriminating video on Tabitha’s phone and managed to record Tabitha confessing, clearing Hunter. Afterwards, Hunter and Olivia admitted they still loved each other and kissed. However, that night, Tabitha came to Hunter’s caravan dressed as Olivia and kissed him, and it took him a few seconds to realise she wasn’t Olivia. He insisted to Olivia that it was a mistake but the incident brought a halt to their reunion.
Hunter tried to defend Olivia when girls at school gave her a hard time because of comments Tabitha had posted and convinced Zac to report the incident to the police. He and Olivia bonded when they worked together to make a recipe book for Chris as a farewell present and he talked her out of going to confront Tabitha. He then asked her out and she accepted. At VJ’s suggestion, he planned something special but when he turned up at the house Olivia frantically threw him out. He realised something was wrong and when he saw Tabitha using a laptop in the Diner he discovered her sending threatening messages to Olivia posing as her abuser, Kirk Shephard. He let Olivia know what was going on and made a statement to the police but Olivia freaked out when he touched her. He supported her when she made a statement about Kirk, then joined her in sharing a civil farewell dinner with Tabitha, who was going away to boarding school, and her ill sister Juliette, after which he and Olivia shared a kiss.
Olivia kept questioning him about what he wanted to do after school so he announced he wanted to be a sports physio. Olivia excitedly pushed the idea but John sensed Hunter wasn’t so keen and advised him to live a little. As such, he convinced Olivia to use her trust fund to take a gap year but Irene refused her access to it and Leah and Zac were also worried about his motives. Hunter spoke to John about getting a summer job as a lifeguard to pay for it and learned he would need his bronze medallion so applied. Zac asked him to check Olivia was as keen on the idea as him and she admitted that she just wanted to take a short break and be back for the start of uni. Despite this, he was angry with Zac for accusing him of pressuring her.
Hunter tried to study with Olivia but realised he was falling behind. A classmate, Rebekah Pops, offered to sell him an exam paper for $300. He trained with John instead of studying and was briefly interested when Zac offered to help him, only to lose his temper again when Zac wasn’t available immediately. He asked Olivia for the money but instead found himself being tutored by Roo and, when he started improving, he abandoned the plan. However, Olivia then found out what he’d intended to do and the matter ended up being reported to Zac. Hunter proceeded to oversleep before his first exam and was refused admittance when he turned up only three minutes before the exam ended. He asked Olivia to back up his story that he had been sick but she was unable to go through with it. Since he mainly just wanted to go to uni with Olivia, VJ suggested he try for a different course but Olivia was angry that he had tried to get her to lie for something he wasn’t even really interested in. He went along with it when VJ bought Olivia flowers and a tutoring voucher on his behalf but ignored VJ’s advice that he and Olivia had problems and the relationship was distracting him, even though he seemed to be spending all his time helping her study rather than studying himself. Olivia told him she might be pregnant just before his maths exams. Afterwards, he told her it could be different this time and they’d manage, but when she revealed it was a false alarm he was furious, since he’d spent the exam unable to concentrate because he was worrying about it.
He was just celebrating the end of exams when he learned John had given him the wrong date for his bronze medallion assessment and it was the next day. When he turned up, John was inattentive and turned out to not have given him half the information he needed, then failed him. Hunter got into an argument with him and broke his radio, then had Olivia break up with him. He piled up all their things and was about to set fire to a photo of the two of them when John turned up; they argued again and Hunter stormed off. He was suspected when the pile of items was found on fire but it turned out John had started the fire by accident. He kept a cool head and got John to hospital when he found him collapsed outside the surf club, impressing Olivia, although she still backed off when he suggested they could be more than friends again. When he found her on a date with Mason, he accused her of hooking up with the first guy she came across, prompting Olivia to say that she was trying to get over him. After a talking to from Zac, he apologised to her and told her he wouldn’t stand in her way. He was however pleased when she told them they weren’t together and went round to tell her Alf had given him a job at the bait shop, but then looked at her phone and found out she’d been exchanging messages with Mason, provoking an argument.
He got drunk at schoolies, moaning to Matt and Evelyn about how Olivia didn’t love him anymore. When Olivia offered him his ticket to the prom, he refused it but ended up going anyway. Although Olivia was there with Mason, they shared a dance and he witnessed her and Mason arguing. He ended up in a fight with Mason when Mason ordered him to stay out of the water at the beach and Hunter retorted that Mason couldn’t accept that Olivia still loved him. Olivia tried to blast him for it but he told her Mason threw the first punch. Although he did badly on his exams, he congratulated Olivia on her results when he saw her at the Summer Grooves music festival but walked away upset when he saw her kiss Mason.
Not long after, a fire broke out nearby. Hunter looked for Olivia without success and Zac had to convince him to shelter from the fire in a shack with him, John, Evelyn, Matt and Phoebe rather than continuing to look for her. However, he went looking for her when the fire moved on, only to be hit by a falling branch and suffer minor injuries. He was then visited in hospital by Olivia, who had left the area before the fire and thanked him for looking for her. When he was discharged, Leah tried to interrogate him about his plans after school but he refused to talk about it. He seemed happy to carry on working at the bait shop but Alf convinced him to go back to school. Ironically, his first day was delayed when he was taken in for questioning over starting the bushfire but he was released when his phone GPS suggested he was on the other side of the woods at the time. He was upset to see Olivia kissing Mason at Luc’s baby blessing. Despite this, he helped her out when she reopened the Diner after Billie’s death, sharing a moment with her. Afterwards, he told her they couldn’t be friends.
Not long after however, Olivia and Mason broke up. On learning she was panicking about starting uni, Hunter skipped school and enlisted Evelyn’s help to give her a tour. Afterwards, he and Olivia reunited. He accompanied her to O-week where one of her classmates, Byron, provoked him into a fight and Mason had to step in. He worried that he and Olivia wouldn’t be able to spend time together while she was at college and he was at school and suggested they get a place of their own. They managed to get Irene and Leah’s tentative agreement, but after applying to four places they were rejected by every one. They were eventually accepted for a private rental which they hadn’t viewed and turned up to find it messy and dirty. They put on a brave face and cleaned it up but then got burgled and realised they had no insurance. Since the landlord had new tenants lined up and was happy to let them out of the lease, they accepted Irene’s offer to move in with her.
When he learned Zac had cheated on Leah, he accused him of messing things up for them but also defended him to VJ. He was originally inclined to treat Irene’s place like a hotel, leaving mess around, until Olivia convinced him they needed to pull their weight. He talked VJ into speaking up for John in court but snubbed Zac, prompting Roo to ask him to give him another chance. Olivia told him she didn’t want to celebrate her 18th birthday so he took her out for dinner the night before. However, she ended up in tears, admitting she mostly regretted not having her parents there to celebrate. Hunter convinced her to have a birthday lunch and invited VJ along despite the tension between him and Irene over custody of Luc, with them managing to stay civil. Afterwards, Hunter took Olivia and VJ to Salt and called some of Olivia’s uni friends to join them.
He and Olivia took VJ out to cheer him up over losing Luc. However, when he found out VJ had tried to kiss Olivia, he confronted him and they ended up in a fight. Hunter found himself on the end of tellings off from both Zac and Olivia over not cutting him slack. He was furious with both Leah and VJ when Zac was hospitalised after falling off a roof drunk. When Zac came round, he mentioned he and Charlotte had broken up at Christmas, rather than Valentine’s Day as Hunter had thought. Hunter told VJ and Olivia he thought Zac might not be his father: He had been born nine months later but was two months premature. He considered doing a secret DNA test but changed his mind when he saw what a mess Zac’s caravan was in.
He tried to collect Zac from the hospital only to find Zac had already asked Nate to do it. When he learned Zac had spoken to the Department about relocating, and Zac was evasive when he asked him about it, Hunter assumed Zac was planning to leave town without him and decided to do the DNA test after all. However, it turned out Zac was considering a move to Hunter’s home town and would only go if he agreed. Hunter changed his mind again but VJ had already posted the DNA samples. He confessed to Zac, who explained he and Charlotte were on and off until Valentine’s Day. He initially binned the DNA results when they came but later retrieved and read them. He mocked up fake results showing Zac was his father but Olivia soon realised that he wasn’t. Hunter felt uncomfortable around Zac and considered moving to Robertson with him but Olivia forced him to admit he didn’t really want to go. When Zac then decided to give up his chance of a fresh start to stay with him, Hunter admitted the truth. He told Zac not to stay for him and drove him to the airport after he decided to join Evie in Vietnam, with Zac giving him his car.
Olivia dragged him and VJ out into the bush and tried to get them to shout out their feelings but neither was interested and instead Hunter started driving the new car recklessly. He ended up blowing out a tyre and Leah had to come and collect them. Hunter accused her of driving Zac away, but after a talking to from John, he apologised to her and Olivia and sent a message to Zac. However, when he only received a basic reply, he skipped school to mope at home. VJ joined him and gave him a surfing lesson to cheer him up. However, he continued to be withdrawn despite both Leah and VJ insisting they were still family. Alf assigned him to work with Mason setting up the surf carnival but they simply clashed. He ended up challenging Mason to a fight, shoving and slapping him while Mason refused to hit him, then broke down in tears and confided in him about Zac. After they had taken part in the swimming race together, he decided to look for his real father.