Maria Island cliffs
Maria Island cliffs

Maria Island National Park

A tranquil island of rich heritage.

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Alerts for Maria Island National Park

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Fire ban: Campfire restrictions are in place
From 21/10/2019, last reviewed 28/10/2019

​Campfire restrictions are now in place for this site.  This means you will not be able to use campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves. Gas stoves and gas barbecues are still permitted.

Parts of the east coast are experiencing the driest conditions for the past three years with traditionally wet or damp gullies now dry. An above average fire season has been forecast for the east and south eastern parts of Tasmania due to warmer and drier conditions.

These conditions have increased the risk of unattended or poorly constructed campfires escaping and becoming bushfires. We have a duty of care to our community and want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable camping experience.


About

​The ideal combination of nature and history rewards those who seek to explore Maria Island, off Tasmania’s East Coast. After arriving on the Maria Island ferry, start your exploration at Darlington Probation Station​ – a World Heritage Australian Convict Site​. From Darlington, continue your Maria Island discovery by weaving along the numerous trails on foot or by bike and leave your ordinary life behind.

Spectacular cliffs wrap around the eastern side of Maria Island, providing a perfect vantage point for watching birds dive and swoop into the ocean. In season, you may even be lucky enough to spot the whales that frequent these waters during their annual migration. On the western side of the island, the Painted Cliffs ​are one of Maria Island’s more memorable spectacles, showcasing the power of nature in their weathered contours, where the combination of wind and waves has eroded the sandstone to reveal a striking facade.

Maria is a special place where long sandy beaches, turquoise water, mountaintop vistas, abundant wildlife and a multi-layered human history come together to create a perfect island destination.

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The story of Maria Island is dominated by the ocean: from the rise and fall of the sea that created the island and left a legacy of creatures fossilised in its cliffs, to the history of its human occupation.

Start your explorations at Darlington, the most intact example of a convict probation station in Australia, and a World Heritage Australian Convict Site. You can visit convict buildings dating back to 1824 and ruins that reveal key features of the convict probation system. Rediscover the fascinating history through interpretive displays at the Coffee Palace Museum and Commissariat Store. You can even stay overnight in the old Penitentiary buildings or camp in the nearby campground.

There are plenty of rewarding short walks, day walks and even overnight walks. No matter where you are on the island, you're going to see wildlife, including wombats, devils, kangaroos and Cape Barren geese.

Cycling is another great way to explore, or explore further afield, on the island, as there's no vehicle access. Bring your bike on the ferry (fees charged) or hire one on the island (limited availability).

Maria Island Marine Reserve protects a range of beautiful marine life and is home to a diverse range of plant, invertebrate and fish communities, making it a fabulous place for swimming and snorkelling, or a ramble among the rockpools.

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Experiences in Maria Island National Park

Maria Island National Park

Bishop and Clerk

A challenging walk offering exhilarating cliff-top and ocean views from the towering dolerite summit.

4-5 hours return, 11km, Grade 4
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Maria Island National Park

Darlington Township Walk

Discover the stories behind the island’s rich human and natural history.

1-2 hours, 1 km, Grade 2
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Maria Island National Park

Encampment Cove Walk

Look for the ruin of a 1920s home in this sheltered cove.

4 hours one way, 13km, Grade 3
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Fishing on the rocks at Friendly Beaches, Freycinet National Park

Statewide

Fishing

Tasmania has a wealth of excellent inland and ocean fishing locations where you can cast your line.

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Maria Island National Park

Fossil Cliffs

This stunning set of cliffs on Maria Island hold stories both ancient and modern.

1.5-2.5 hour circuit, 4.5 km, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Frenchs Farm Walk

Explore the old farmhouse and shearing sheds on Maria Island.

3 hours one way, 11 km, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Haunted Bay Walk

Located in the far south of the island, breathtaking Haunted Bay is worth the walk.

7 hours one way, 20 km, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Hills Walk

Wander the hills that surround the Darlington Settlement, uncovering ruins and learning the fascinating history.

1-2 hours return, 2km, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Maria Island by bike

Maria Island is a cyclist’s paradise with gently undulating roads and an opportunity to explore more in one day.

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Maria Island National Park

Maria Island History

Maria Island is a special place with something for everyone - historic ruins, sweeping bays, rugged cliffs and mountains, and remarkable wildlife. Whether you’re here for hours or days, you can choose the kind of stay that suits you and let Maria work its spell.

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Maria Island National Park

Maria Island Marine Reserve

Maria Island’s marine reserve protects a range of marine habitats, perfect for coastal explorations – both on land and in water.

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Maria Island National Park

McRaes Isthmus Walk

The beautiful white, sandy beaches on either side of the isthmus shows nature at its finest.

4 hours one way (to northern end of Isthmus), 14km, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Mount Maria Walk

Mount Maria is the highest point on the island – a dolerite outcrop with sweeping views south of the twin bays and beyond to Tasman Peninsula.

8 hours return, 16 km, Grade 4
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Mountain biking Meehan Range

Statewide

Mountain biking and cycling

Tasmania is fast creating a name for itself as a premier mountain biking destination and a must see on your mountain biking holiday.

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Maria Island National Park

Painted Cliffs

One of Maria Island's most beautiful features, these cliffs lack height but they more than make up for it with their amazing colours and swirling patterns.

1.5-2.5 hours return, 4.3km return, Grade 3
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Maria Island National Park

Point Lesueur Walk

Explore the convict ruins that once made up the Long Point Probation Station on Tasmania's Maria Island.

4 hours one way, 14 km, Grade 3
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Group rafting on the Franklin River

Statewide

Rafting and kayaking

Tasmania’s oceans and rivers have a well-deserved reputation as some of the cleanest in the world, and what better way to explore these wondrous waterways than up-close and self-propelled.

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Maria Island National Park

Robeys Farm Walk

Traverse McRaes Isthmus and continue down the island’s west coast through woodland forest to a small farm tucked into the hillside.

6 hours one way, 19 km, Grade 3
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Beachside snorkelling

Statewide

Snorkelling and scuba diving

Bring your wetsuit, mask and fins to discover the underwater life.

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Maria Island National Park

The Reservoir Circuit

Capture a glimpse of Maria Island’s wildlife and history on a quiet discovery walk through open woodlands. A beautiful place to relax and reflect.

1.5 hours return, 4km return, Grade 3
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Wedding at Highfield Historic Site

East coast, Hobart and South, Launceston and North, North West

Weddings

There are a number of locations around the state that offer a unique setting for your wedding ceremony.

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Accommodation

Stay Overnight

  • Maria Island camping - Darlington

Located close to the heart of Maria Island, Darlington campground is the perfect spot to pitch your tent on your island adventure.

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Maria Island camping - Darlington

  • Maria Island camping - Encampment Cove

A free campsite is available at Encampment Cove, where you can explore the convict ruins that once made up the Long Point Probation Station at nearby Point Lesueur.

Bookings and more info

Maria Island camping - Encampment Cove

  • Maria Island camping - Frenchs Farm

A free campsite is available at Frenchs Farm, providing an excellent base for exploring McRaes Isthmus – a narrow neck of sand with sweeping beaches on either side.

Bookings and more info

Maria Island camping - Frenchs Farm

  • Maria Island Penitentiary accommodation

Basic bunkhouse-style accommodation is available to visitors in the old penitentiary at Darlington.

Bookings and more info

Maria Island Penitentiary accommodation