Maria Island Walk
Few places on the planet offer the tranquillity and natural beauty of Maria Island, a national park with no permanent human population.
Combine this with specialist guides and superlative accommodation and you have the Maria Island Walk – a peerless four-day experience and one of the world’s great walks.
Family-owned and operated, Maria Island Walk offers an authentic Tasmanian experience, showcasing stunning beach, marine and bush environments as well as local history and culture. The wildlife is spectacular and abundant: you should see Tasmanian kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and echidnas; the birdlife includes the endangered forty spotted pardalote, Cape Barren geese (the world’s second rarest breed), eagles and numerous sea bird species; the surrounding ocean harbours migrating whales, dolphins, seals and an abundance of fish varieties.
The Walk makes use of two wilderness camps situated amongst beautiful bushland and only a stone’s throw from the beach. With the sounds of the bush and a warm comfortable bed, a good night’s sleep is assured. On the last night you’ll enjoy an authentic colonial experience, staying in the beautifully restored and Heritage-listed home of Diego Bernacchi.
The Maria Island Walk guides are recognised as amongst the best in the industry. They love the island, love to share their knowledge – and they love to cook. At the end of each day, you’ll sit down to a candlelit dinner to enjoy a gourmet meal of fresh local produce complemented by some of Tasmania’s finest wines.
With the River Derwent at its heart, Mount Wellington rising above it and dramatic settler history behind it, Hobart is arguably Australia’s most distinctive city.
Tasmania’s capital is a pocket-sized modern metropolis but enjoys the tranquility of a city from a bygone era: its European beginnings are evident everywhere, from quaint settlers’ cottages to the lofty porches of colonial mansions. Once bustling with whalers and entrepreneurs, 19th-century sandstone warehouses now serve as dockside cafes, artist’s studios and restaurants, where you can enjoy excellent cuisine and fine wines.
Hobart is a place of fishing boats, fish punts at the docks, and coffee under the sun-umbrellas where the famous Salamanca Market is held every Saturday. Take a harbour cruise past square-rigged yachts, or drive to the summit of Mount Wellington for a bird’s eye view of islands and estuaries.
The area surrounding Hobart is rich with landscapes and experiences, including the Coal River Valley wineries and Australia’s most famous convict heritage site, Port Arthur.
The East Coast region is known for its beauty. At its northern extremity is Flinders Island, where you can hunt for the Killiecrankie ‘diamond’, or dive into a world of giant crabs and crays. To the south is the Bay of Fires, where the sea is aqua and deserted shell-strewn beaches stretch for kilometres. House-sized granite boulders reddened by lichens, are polished smooth by waves that thump and sigh as they crumple onto the shore.
Just before the small fishing town of Bicheno, is the Douglas-Apsley National Park, a landscape of rugged river gorges, waterfalls, and gently flowing rivers. Nearby, occupying a whole peninsula, is spectacular Freycinet National Park, with Coles Bay at its entrance overlooking crystal-clear Oyster Bay, an ideal place for diving, snorkelling, kayaking, boating and fishing. The park is dominated by the pink granite of the Hazards Mountains and best known for the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay. Enjoy superb seafood of cray, scallops, oysters, salmon, and berries in Swansea, before the journey south and the first sight of Maria Island. The whole island is a national park, free of vehicles. It is a refuge for Forester kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons. The island has rich Aboriginal, convict and settler histories.
You arrive at the historic coastal town of Triabunna. A boat will take you through the sparkling waters of Mercury Passage to the isthmus of Maria Island, where you will set foot on a pristine, untouched beach, exactly as explorers did years earlier. Here you enjoy lunch overlooking the crystal azure waters of Shoal Bay before taking a walk to the tranquil Casuarina Beach camp.
That afternoon explore the trail through the tall eucalypt forest down to the spectacular Haunted Bay.
That evening, after a fine gourmet dinner, stroll along the beach at sunset with a glass of wine.
Wake up to the chattering of wattle birds and, from the comfort of your bed, watch the morning sun sparkle through the forest. After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to start your journey along five beautiful beaches. Watch dolphins play in the surf, and sea eagles soaring overhead as you walk past the carpet of exotic shells at the water’s edge. By late afternoon you arrive at White Gums camp for a refreshing swim. After the perfect day, you can relax with your fellow walkers, before enjoying a candlelit dinner of the finest Tasmanian food and wine.
Today you head inland to the heart of the Island and discover the rich greens of the grand forests.
You’ll wander through the planet’s largest stand of giant Tasmanian blue gums and can choose to climb the peaks of Mt Maria or Bishop and Clerk – a 700m climb through rare “cloud” rainforests. That evening you arrive at the fascinating world heritage settlement of Darlington where you’ll stay at the elegant colonial Bernacchi House and enjoy a final night banquet with fine wine and conversation.
The last day begins with a delicious breakfast followed by a walk around the northern tip of Maria Island.
The walk takes you through a variety of spectacular woodlands and forests with rare endemic birds, wallabies and wombats. You continue on to the dramatic sea cliffs of Fossil Bay and then head down to the remarkable fossils at Fossil Cliffs. Arriving back at Darlington you enjoy a celebratory champagne lunch before boarding the boat to go back to the mainland and Hobart taking with you incredible memories and stories of an amazing four days spent in a very special place.
Transfers are included from Hobart.
|You may also like:|
|Bay of Fires Walk
|NT Immersions / Gecko Canoeing