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Maria Island is a special place, rewarding those that visit with World Heritage convict history, abundant wildlife, spectacular coastal cliffs and deserted beaches. Boasting a diverse range of highlights, our active day tour takes it all in! Maria Island is just a 30 minute ferry ride, but it feels like a world away.
Just one hour’s drive from Hobart to the ferry and 30 minutes across the water, brings us to Maria Island - a stunning island National Park. An island, off an island, off an island!
This is a tour for the active traveller who is keen to walk and enjoy this unique island. There are no cars on Maria Island and the only way across is on the passenger ferry. The main highlights are the Painted Cliffs, the Fossil Cliffs, and of course the wildlife, history and amazing scenery.
Maria Island has a fascinating history, which our tour guides will share with you as walk the trails. Many cultures have once been to the island, including the Tyreddeme Aboriginals, Dutch, English, French and Italians. The island has been home to explorers, whalers, sealers, convicts, fishermen, farmers and industrialists. The World Heritage listed Darlington settlement is beautifully preserved and is one of the best examples of Probation Convict Settlements in the world. The Darlington convict settlement pre-dates the more widely known Port Arthur. The island was declared a National Park in 1972.
We enjoy a series of easy-moderate walks exploring the history and the main highlights of the island. Setting out on foot we have 2 main walking trails for the day, covering a total distance of almost 10 kilometers.
The walk to the Painted Cliffs is gentle, mostly flat and leads us to Hopground Beach with the Painted Cliffs at the far end. We have plenty of time to explore the cliffs, photograph the unique features, and discover the many rock pools and beautiful nature in the area.
The Fossil Cliffs walk, takes us to amazing cliffs that drop sheer into the ocean. The views from the top are sensational. Even the non-avid geological fan, will be fascinated by the sheer abundance of the various shell fossils exposed in the cliff face. It offers a fascinating insight into the past environments of Maria Island along with expansive views of the Freycinet Peninsula.
The island is a haven for wildlife, and one of the best places in Australia for viewing wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren geese, kangaroos and wallabies. The bird life is also an attraction with 125 species including all of Tasmania’s endemics including the endangered Forty-spotted pardalote and Swift parrot.
Even the ferry ride is part of the highlights of the day, the waters we cross are also abundant in sea life, we keep our eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and penguins along the way.
While on the island, you have an opportunity to swim, photograph, observe the wildlife, and soak up the island life as Maria works its magic on you.
Join us on this day of discovery rich in environmental and cultural history, the perfect island playground for an adventurous day out.
Important Note: Maria Island is a special, beautiful and wild island National Park accessible by boat. There are no cars, shops, charging stations for devices etc. on the island. Facilities are limited. Please ensure you are able to carry everything you will need for the day. You will need a day pack to carry warm clothing as necessary. A jacket suitable for walking in light rain conditions. Equally, you will need adequate sun protection should it be a warm sunny day. Please ensure you have a large water bottle. You will have an opportunity to purchase lunch/sandwiches in the morning but we recommend you buy your snacks prior to the day if you prefer a wider choice or have special dietary requirements to consider. Please ensure you wear comfortable footwear for walking. The walking on Maria Island is graded as easy walking. However, we are on the island for around 6 hours, with around 10 km’s of walking trails to explore. Please ensure your clothing and footwear is adequate for this type of activity in the great outdoors. There is time to swim and relax should you choose to.
- Explore Maria Island National Park (5-6hrs)
- Watch for Dolphins & Whales on the ferry journey (30 mins each way)
- Walk to amazing “Painted Cliffs” and wander amongst the unusual rock formation
- Enjoy spectacular views as walk to the “Fossil Cliffs”
- Explore and discover the geological history amongst the exposed fossils
- Walk around and discover and the convict history at the Darlington World Heritage convict site
- Be amazed at the abundant wildlife enjoying life on their amazing island
- Relax and take in all the stunning secluded bays and beaches in this paradise setting
- National Park entrance fee
- Return ferry crossing fee
- Professional guides and interpretive walks
- Small, friendly groups
- Select, central Hobart Hotel & Backpacker Hostel pick up and drop off
- Airport drop offs on request with prior arrangement
Please note, delays can be possible based on the returning ferry and conditions on the day
- Food and drinks
You may bring your lunch with you or we will stop to give you an opportunity to purchase a bakery style takeaway lunch on the day.
What to bring/wear
- Sensible shoes for a full day walking*
- A variety of warm clothing*
- Weatherproof jacket if possible*
- Large Water Bottle, Snacks, Lunch (or buy it on the day)*
- Sense of adventure
- Duration: 1 Day
- Departs: Hobart 6.55am
- Returns: Hobart 5.00-5.30pm
- Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday (01 Dec – 30 April)
Our tours are active and visit National Parks and wild areas that involve some walking. We focus on the great short walks of Tasmania. Although most of the walks are classified as easy, a suitable level of general health & fitness and physical abilities is essential. All tour participants will be participating in outdoor, active activities and therefore subject to the outdoor weather conditions of the day.
We educate all our guests on Minimal Impact Bushwalking and the Leave No Trace policy’s before entering our National Parks. We provide accurate interpretation and keep wildlife disturbance to a minimum by viewing from appropriate distances and informing our guests how to view wildlife with patience and respect. Activities are always confined to tracks and boardwalks to minimise negative impacts.
- - Explore Maria Island National Park (5-6hrs)
- - Watch for Dolphins & Whales on the ferry journey (30 mins each way)
- - Walk to amazing “Painted Cliffs” and wander amongst the unusual rock formation
- - Enjoy spectacular views as walk to the “Fossil Cliffs”
- - Explore and discover the geological history amongst the exposed fossils
- - Walk around and discover and the convict history at the Darlington World Heritage convict site
- - Be amazed at the abundant wildlife enjoying life on their amazing island
- - Relax and take in all the stunning secluded bays and beaches in this paradise setting