Maria Island’s rich history, natural bushland, sandy beaches with turquoise water and abundance of wildlife makes it the perfect place to visit if you want to get a snapshot of Tasmania. If Maria Island still isn’t on your bucket list after reading that, then let us explain further.
The whole place is a national park – no cars are allowed but you can hire bikes or walk around – meaning you’ll get fit while basking in nature. As you wander around, you’ll see evidence of Maria Island’s rich history, from Aboriginal middens to remains of the European convict settlements. The island’s Darlington Probation Station has even made it onto the World Heritage Australian Convict Site.
Wander, or bike ride, some more and you’ll stumble on the famous Painted Cliffs at Maria Island. These stunning sandstone cliffs feature striking patterns caused by iron oxide. The nearby Fossil Cliffs feature, yep you guessed it, ancient fossils buried in the cliff face. If all that walking has you sweating, then take a dip in the incredibly clear coastal water and spend the afternoon lounging around on the white island sand.
Now if this isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, then get excited to get up close and personal with a bunch of wildlife on Maria Island. It starts on the ferry ride across, with sightings of dolphins, seals, whales and albatrosses. Once you’re on land you’ll see an abundance of wombats, pademelons, wallabies, deer, echidnas, possums, Tasmanian devils and loads of birds. These critters aren’t shy around people, so you can get some great pics.
With so much adventuring to be done, you’ll want to pop on your finest activewear and lace up your walking shoes so you don’t miss a thing. We highly recommend checking out the Iconic to grab essential outfits before you head off.
Where to stay on Maria Island
Maria Island is bringing it back to basics, with shared dormitory style rooms on offer at the old Penitentiary. The woodfire heater in each room is a huge plus, but you’ll still need to bring your own food, bedding and torches.
Getting to Maria Island
All you need to know about Maria Island
Where: Off the east coast of Tasmania
When: Open year round
Cost: Just a ferry ticket to get you there