It was once a convict settlement pre-dating Port Arthur and it also had an industrial era. little is left now except some beautifully restored convict era buildings.
The island has 2 parts, northern and southern. The two parts are joined by a narrow isthmus and both have distinct geographical features. There are no vehicles, shops, hotels, or power on Maria, so visitors have to be self – sufficient.
The trails that you’ll walk are easy and your day pack will be light. You will explore the length and breadth of the island and there is much evidence of aboriginal and colonial occupation, farming and early industry. The island is abundant with wildlife and plant communities. You will see wombats, wallabies, pademelons and eastern grey kangaroos. There are over 114 bird species including the introduced Cape Barren Geese. The islands vegetation is varied and stunning.
At the booking stage of the tour we will provide you with the how, when and where of the tour. This will include booking information, a personal bush-walking equipment list, our environmental policy for the National Park, travel and accommodation information. Please enjoy reading the trek itinerary below. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to give us a call.
- Tour duration: 3 nights/4 days
- Track grading: easy walking.
This tour departs every Monday and Thursday from 21st November through to 26th April.
Day 1: Hobart to Darlington, Maria Island. After picking you up from your Hobart accommodation we head to Hobart Airport where you’ll board a charter flight to Maria Island via the Tasman and Freycinet Peninsula’s. On the flight you will have magnificent views over coastline and islands of Southern and Eastern Tasmania, Maria Island and Wineglass Bay. One hour later you’ll touch down at historic Darlington on Maria Island.
From Darlington you’ll stroll along Hopground Beach to the amazingly patterned Painted Cliffs. The spectacular patterns in the cliffs are caused by water percolating through them leaving traces of iron oxides. From here it’s on to Encampment Cove for our first night. Encampment Cove is a small sheltered cove in Shoal Bay. Here you can take an afternoon swim before dinner, relax and enjoy your surrounds.
Day 2: Encampment Cove to Frenchs Farm. Early this morning you’ll walk a short circuit visiting the many ruins of Point Lesueur and the red rocks of Bloodstone Point. Mid morning you’ll head south along the beach of Shoal Bay to McRaes Isthmus, a narrow neck of sand that has sweeping beaches on either side. From the isthmus we take the south west track to Robeys Farm. No longer in use, the sheep and cattle have since been removed, and we are left with the relics of Maria’s agricultural past.
After lunch you’ll enjoy a forest walk to Haunted Bay at the southern end of the island. In the early days of European settlement the area was used for hunting whales and seals. There is also a colony of penguins living here whose eerie sounds at night gave Haunted Bay its name. You’ll retrace your footsteps from Haunted Bay to McRaes Isthmus and on to our second night’s camp at French’s Farm. The farm was built in 1936 by the French family but it is now abandoned and disused.
Day 3: French’s Farm to Darlington. From French’s Farm you’ll walk inland through the heart of Maria Island and you are given the opportunity to climb Mt Maria, the islands highest point at 710m. The climb is well worth the effort as you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the south of the island and mainland Tasmania. On our return to Darlington you’ll stop off at the Oast House, a series of hop kilns that were built in the second convict period. Italian entrepreneur Bernacchi had a wine making phase and the kilns were used for crushing his grapes. After another stunning day’s walk you’ll stay the night in the penitentiary (converted convict cells) at Darlington and enjoy a spectacular dinner complimented with fine Tasmanian wine.
Day 4: Darlington then Hobart. Today you’ll explore the settlement’s buildings, ruins and be intrigued by its historical past. You will also stroll through grasslands to the Fossil Cliffs, the site where 290 million year old marine shellfish are embedded in the rocks. You will walk through stands of giant Blue Gums and Stringy Barks where you can choose to climb to the summit of Bishop and Clerk (599 m) that will offer you stunning views over Maria Island or walk back to Darlington to relax or explore some more. Late afternoon you will enjoy a ferry cruise across the Mercury Passage to Triabunna and our waiting coach.
Your tour cost is based on joining from Hobart and includes the following:
- Spectacular 1 hour scenic charter flight over the Tasman Peninsula, Freycinet and Wineglass Bay then landing on Maria Island.
- We will supply you with a comfortable day pack, raincoat, sleeping bag, and pillow. Fleece jumpers and walking poles are also available for loan at no extra charge.
- When walking your day pack and your personal gear should not exceed 8,5 kg.
- All food while you are on the tour. All evening meals are 3 courses, consisting of local Tasmanian produce complimented with fine Tasmanian wines.
- Two experienced and qualified guides.
- Large and comfortable twin share tents that you can stand up in plus camp stretchers.
- National Park Passes, that you can use after your tour for up to 8 weeks in all Tasmanian National Parks.
- A great ferry journey from Maria Island, across the Mercury Passage to Triabunna.
- Transportation from Triabunna back to your accommodation in Hobart.
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Australia and Oceania Australia Outdoor: Land Rambler Walking Tours Hiking & Trekking
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