MARIA ISLAND is a lovely island with a large convict settlement, high mountains, large forests and great beaches. It has the second largest convict settlement after Port Arthur, plus a huge variety of wildlife. Maria Island is located off the central EAST COAST of Tasmania. Access to the Island is via a ferry from nearby Triabunna. There are no facilities on Maria Island and accommodation there is controlled by the ranger. However, there is some accommodation at Triabunna.
The ferry runs regularly, but the crossing time and delays must be factored into any planned destinations from Maria Island. To be on the safe side, add 2 hours to the times from ORFORD.
View Region East Coast of Tasmania 3 in a larger map. Unfortunately, you need to go to the Google Page 2 map to see all of my marked features.
FACILITIES: There are shops, a cafe, a hotel and a petrol pump at Triabunna. There is a cafe, the ranger's shop and camping sites on Maria Island. MARIA ISLAND accommodation and camping on the island call the ranger on (03) 6257 1420 There is accommodation at nearby ORFORD and Triabunna.
TOURIST information is at the Corner Esplanade & Charles Streets, Triabunna, the telephone number is (03) 6257 4772
EAST COAST CRUISES is at 49 Tasman Highway, ORFORD, the telephone number is (03) 6257 1300 and 0408 313 904 or the contact is www.mariacruises.com.au
FERRY to MARIA ISLAND the telephone is 0419 746 668
MARIA ISLAND WALK offers multi day guided tours: (03) 6234 2999
PARK RANGER at Darlington handles the accommodation and camping on Maria Island. There is bunk accommodation in the Penitentiary at the Darlington settlement, plus camp sites in the South at French's Farm and Encampment Cove. The telephone is (03)62571420
SIGHTS: Maria Island is a uniquely beautiful and interesting place. It was formerly a convict hell, then a whaling station and is today a wild life reserve.
When you land at Darlington, you are greeted both by ruins and by a plethora of restored 19th Century buildings. You are also greeted by hordes of Cape Barren Geese and Kangaroos for whom Maria Island is home. Tasmanian devils were introduced to Maria Island in 2013. There are also beautiful beaches and great forest walks on Maria island.
No cars are allowed on the Island, so many people bring or hire bicycles. Camping is permitted and there is some accommodation, but it must be pre booked. Maria Island has a real far away aura to it and it is a unique experience to camp over night in such an isolated place. The main attractions are the;
MARIA ISLAND CRUISE is the easy way to see the sights of the Island. It leaves from Louisville, which is just south of TRIABUNNA. The telephone is (03) 6257 1300 or the Internet contact is www.mariacruises.com.au
DARLINGTON convict ruins and the restored buildings,
ANIMALS are seen all over Maria Island, especially the Cape Barren Goose and Kangaroos,
PAINTED CLIFFS are just south of Darlington. They are a unique sight and must be visited at low tide,
BEACHES are white and beautiful and are all around the island,
WALKS allow you to explore the hidden parts of the island,
Mt MARIA Lookout can be reached after a steep climb to reveal a vast panoramic view of the island and the east coast. However, this is for experienced walkers only.
- MARIA ISLAND
1/ Maria Island is on the central east coast of Tasmania. Darlington is the old convict town on Maria Island. Many of its buildings have been restored, giving the town a very ancient look. Darlington is the second largest convict ruin after Port Arthur.
2/ Near Darlington is the ruins of the old whaling station of Maria Island.
3/ These Darlington cottages were once the homes of free settlers of Maria Island.
4/ This barracks once held the garrison of Maria Island.
5/ The commissionary store was once the most important place on Maria Island. Cape Barren Geese are profuse on Maria Island.
6/ A lonely barn is graced with a divine rainbow. Maria Island really is an enchanting place.
7/ These bent trees tell the story of the strong winds of Maria Island.
8/ Maria Island is a wild life haven. Once these geese were eaten by the settlers, but today they are everywhere.
9/ Wombats are common on Maria Island as well.
10/ Kangaroos have a color which blends into the background. You only notice them, when they move. They are also profuse on Maria Island.
11/ The cemetery of Maria Island had some interesting stories to tell.
12/ This grave of a Maori may well be significant. I would love to know why he was sent to Maria Island.
13/ This photo is looking towards the famous painted cliffs of Maria Island. You have to be lucky to have the tide and sun in your favour to take good photos of them.
14/ Sunset over Maria Island exemplifies the serenity that makes the Island an excellent place to visit.