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“The Maria Island Walk - 4 Fabulous Days”

Maria Island National Park
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Wineglass Bay Day Trip from Hobart
Ranked #44 of 670 things to do in Tasmania
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: National park offers excellent bushwalking, fishing and wildlife viewing of the island's more than 80 species of birds and native animals, including emus and wallabies that are frequently sighted.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“The Maria Island Walk - 4 Fabulous Days”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2012

The trek consists of 8 guests and 2 guides and comprises the following format: Day One collection from your hotel in Hobart for a briefing at The Maria Island Walk office before the hour long drive to Triabunna where you board a private boat to the south of Maria Island. After lunch on a beautiful beach it is a short walk to the camp concealed in trees. The afternoon is at leisure with the option to trek, swim or just relax in camp. Day Two involves a longer trek taking in a deserted farm where the group stops for coffee/tea, lunch at the convict settlement at Port Lesueur and, in the afternoon, the crossing of 5 different beaches to reach the second camp, nestled in the forest above another lovely beach. Day Three is an easier trek to the deserted town of Darlington, via the astonishing Painted Cliffs. In Darlington, accommodation is in the charming colonial period Bernacci House, the former home of charismatic entrepreneur Diego Bernacci. The afternoon is at leisure for strolling round the town and it's immaculately restored buildings, choosing from a number of scenic but easy walks or climbing either Mount Maria or Bishop and Clerk. The morning of Day Four is 'at leisure' to explore more of the locality and its fascinating history before a champagne lunch and the boat ride back to Triabunna and thence to Hobart.

My husband and I had never trekked with back-packs and were a bit anxious that we might find it difficult, but the walking was easy, the rests frequent and we never felt fatigued. The Maria Island Walk also provide a very thorough kit list when you sign up for the trek, which proved invaluable. They also supply super-comfy back packs.

Although Maria Island is quite small - 19km by 13km - the stunning scenery is wild and varied and is home to a variety of birds and animals - some only found in Tasmania. The standard of guiding over the four days was exceptional - enhanced by the ratio of guides to guests. Information about the flora, fauna and the indigenous peoples who settled periodically on the Island, to the more recent whalers and farmers, was first rate and infused with a passion for the Island. The quality and variety of the meals was astonishing and we enjoyed superb three-course candlelit dinners, complimented by different Tasmanian wines, each evening. The choice of breakfast changed daily, always including a hot option. The camps on nights 1 and 2 were extremely well constructed, ensuring maximum privacy with a sound eco-orientation. Water conservation is a priority, so showers were not available until we reached Bernacci House. However, the washroom provision at both camps was entirely adequate. Bernacci House was charmingly furnished in the colonial stye and we enjoyed log fires, a library and fresh linen on the comfortable beds.

Notwithstanding, none of the above conveys the magic of Maria Island, which has to be experienced to be believed - it truly is Caliban's enchanted isle: "full of ... sounds and sweet airs, that give delight..." Spending four days exploring it, seldom seeing anyone else, walking amongst wallabies and creeping close to wombats, following the tracks of tassie devils and swimming in its crystal clear waters - this island has everything for the nature-lover and yet still keeps a little back for itself. We cannot recommend the experiene of The Maria Island Walk more highly.

As a postscript I should like to mention that, flying into Hobart on the evening before the commencement of the trek, we found that our luggage, including all our trekking gear, was still in Melbourne. We rang The Maria Island Office and, despite the lateness of the hour - about 10pm - the staff responded superbly, taking all the details and dealing with Quantas on our behalf. They assured us that, if the luggage didn't turn up the following morning, they would organise an alternative excursion for us until such time as it did arrive, after which we could join the trek. The calmness and efficiency of their response did much to ease what was a stressful 12 hours. In the event, the luggage was waiting for us at the airport the next morning, not in small measure due to the efforts of the team at The Maria Island Walk.

Visited November 2012
4 Thank Grogsblossom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Natural beauty and a haunting history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012

We had a really memorable day visiting this unspoilt gem and finding out about its history as a transportation destination for convicts. The painted rocks and fossil cliffs are awe inspiring but the visit to the convict cemetery and internment buildings were compelling. There were moving stories told of the experiences of those who were transported.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Graham G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level Contributor
249 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Bikes are a great way to explore if you've only got one day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2012

The ferry trip to Maria Island is short but interesting (especially if you're lucky enough to see whales which we unfortunately werent).

As you arrive you'll notice the long white sand beaches and the old ruins on the hill. We'd hired bikes from the ferry company (only $20 a day they were a bargain) and set off to see as much as we could.

The painted cliffs are a must, and very accessible. Then we headed down to 4 mile beach for a lovely picnic on the deserted beach. After that it was a ride through the bush to French's Farm, along the way we saw wallabies, wombats and a big lizard sunning itself on the track. It was a great way to spend the day.

By the time we got back; checked out the visitor centre and the old graveyard and washed the bikes we'd done about 24km and used up all of our day. We were tired but happy on the way back across.

Fish and Chips at the caravan next to the wharf in Triabunna were a great way to finish the day

Visited November 2012
5 Thank andye10000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Maria Island 4 Day Guided Walk - Incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

Having not been a fan of camping since childhood, I had a few reservation about this trip. However, it really is what my daughter calls (Glamping). An incredible experience, filled with breathtaking views, wildlife, history, flora and delectable food. Our guides (Sarah & Dayna) informative and enthusiastic for us to explore the island. Both ladies instilled confidence in our group to extend and climb, the reward a most magnificent view from top of Bishop & Clerk. Thankyou ladies for your attention to detail in all ways, whether we were climbing a peak or sitting down to your fantastic catering. Indeed an amazing experience to share with a group of great people and two highly experienced and passionate guides.

Thanks again to the staff & guides of the 4 Day Maria Island Walk

Lisa & Peter J

Visited October 2012
6 Thank Petejansons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“3 Days Walking on Maria Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

We were a group of 8 people ranging in age from 12 to 65 years old, with 3 guides. After a rough ride across to Maria Island the weather picked up. After sorting out our sleeping quarters in the old penitentiary we headed off towards Bishop and Clerk stopping on the way to look at and hear about the Fossil Cliffs. There were wonderful views over the water on the way up and on the way back to Darlington we encountered lots of wombats, kangaroos, wallabies and Cape Barren Geese. The second day we did a 25 km walk to Encampment Cove and return to Darlington. Unfortunately the tide was too high, so we were unable to see the Painted Cliffs.But we had lunch at the historic remnants of Frenchs Farm. On our last day we managed a short walk to the Reservoir.
Maria Island is a natural, peaceful place with no development and only old historic buildings other than a shower block and the Rangers Office. There are animals,birds and lovely scenery.
Our guides were able to cook up fantastic meals in the Mess Hall on gas BBQs for us, including roast shoulder of lamb,Thai chicken curry, omelettes, crepes and berries and pavlova.

Visited September 2012
Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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