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  • Maria Island

    Posted by Duncan McDermott November 17, 2013 - 1,905 views - 0 comments - 1 like - #tasmania  #Wildlife  #Camping  #Hobart  #history  #convicts  #Maria Island  #Maria Island ferry  #bushwalking 


    The best camping in Tasmania can only be experienced on Maria Island. Last month, a few friends and I spent a weekend on this pristine and beautiful Island, just half a days travel from Hobart. Whilst there, we had the experience of a life time.





     Maria Island is often overlooked by travellers and doesn’t draw huge crowds. This makes it all the more special. It has a rugged and diverse terrain; rolling, green hills that give way to rocky mountain outcrops, and thick forests that suddenly part to present panoramic plains with herds of huge forester Kangaroos, bounding across the landscape. Along the perimeter of the island are broad beaches and sheer cliff faces.



    The Maria Island Ferry



    At 30 dollars return, the ferry is well worth the price for even a day trip to Maria. The trip takes about an hour and offers views of remarkable coastline, teeming with occasional dolphins, seals, whales and sea eagles along the way.



     With free toilet and shower facilities and a sheltered bbq and fireplace area, the Darlington region in the north of the Island is the most popular camp-site.  



    Maria is a national park and is home to many protected and endangered species that can be spotted whilst exploring the Island.






    Wombats wander in and around the grassy camp-sites, foraging for food and can often be approached for a cautious cuddle.


    At dusk, the nightly migration of fairy penguins starts. They can be witnessed ascending from the water and making their way towards their nesting burrows. No flash photography.












    I snapped this cheeky possum at close range whilst he was venturing to the edge of our camp to steal food.


    The grassy plains to the north of the island are home to the endangered Cape Barron geese. These are quite large and interesting birds that can often be more curious of you than you of them. As they are almost fearless of humans and can often be territorial, it's best to keep an eye on them when they're near.



     Maria Island has a rich and convoluted history. It was one of the first points of contact between aboriginal people and Europeans in the early 19th century and became an established penal colony from 1825 as well as a whaler settlement. Warden cottages, prison ruins and other distinctive architecture of this period still remains, dispersed throughout the landscape and serves as an occasional reminder of the former inhabitants and the harsh lives that they led.


    Bush walking

     The bush walks are spectacular. There are plenty of day walks that traverse the coastline and small mountains that offer superb views as well as the more ambitious six day trek that runs the length of the Island. Bikes can also be rented as there are a few gravel roads to travel on.




    These strange rock formations are known as 'the painted cliffs'. They are particularly beautiful at sunset.



    If your looking for a weekend camping in Tassie, I highly recomend you get some friends together and make a trp to Maria. You will not be dissapointed.