Maria Island Penitentiary
Maria Island Penitentiary

Maria Island Penitentiary accommodation

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Alerts for Maria Island Penitentiary accommodation

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Incident: Maria Island - Track Closures
Applies from 10/5/2022

Due to recent weather events and storm activity, the following areas on Maria Island are closed until further notice. 

  • Fossil Cliffs – Access down to the Fossil Quarry floor is closed due to a landslip, however, the Fossil Cliff Circuit along Skipping Ridge and back to Darlington remains open.​
  • Darlington Beach Access- via the campground is closed.
The weather conditions have also resulted in rapidly changing surface conditions from Darlington to Encampment Cove. Please ride and walk to the conditions.

For more information please contact Maria Island Gateway on 6123 4040 between 9am and 3:30pm

​Parks and Wildlife apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Last reviewed 11/5/2022 08:20 AM

Planned event: Maria Island ferry service change
Applies from 18/3/2022

​​The Maria Island ​ferry service is currently running with an alternative vessel whilst the regular vessel is undergoing repair.

The timetable has not changed, but carrying capacity has been reduced. Bookings remain open and the online ticketing system continues to operate as normal. 

Last reviewed 29/4/2022 08:47 AM

A valid parks pass is required for entry to Tasmania's national parks.
Per room, per night:
Up to two people
Additional adults (18+)
Family (two adults, three children)
Additional children (ages 5-17; under 5 years stays free)
School groups (outside school holidays)

Bookings can be made online via the book now button or by contacting the Sheffield Visitor Information Centre at or (03) 6491 1179.​​

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​​Basic bunkhouse-style accommodation is available in the old Penitentiary at Darlington – a unique opportunity to spend the evening at this World Heritage Listed convict site.

There are nine rustic sleeping rooms, each with six bunk beds and comfortable mattresses, a picnic-style table and chairs, and a wood-heater (wood supplied). A larger, tenth room sleeps 14 people. 

There is no electricity in the Penitentiary rooms and the toilets block is separate but nearby. 
All drinking water on Maria Island is not potable water and treatment is required, use purification tablets or boil for at least one minute before use. Water is available in the Mess Hall. Due to wastewater infrastructure works, the Darlington campground showers are not available.​

You'll need to bring your own food, bedding, a torch or lamp, cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery. Gas stove tops are provided for cooking in the Mess Hall's camp kitchen.  
Smoking is not permitted within the accommodation precincts. Please store your butts in your own carry-out container.

Booking window

Bookings for the Penitentiary are currently open to the public six months in advance so PWS can manage school and group bookings.

The PWS has decided to relax this and open up bookings to 30 April 2022 which will include the Easter period to meet visitor demand.

The six-month booking window will resume for the period after 1 May 2022, with bookings open to 1 November 2022.​

Changes to your departure due to COVID-19 All visitors must use the hand wash facilities provided at Triabunna and at Darlington before boarding the ferry - please allow at least 45 minutes prior to your departure time for this and to sign in.

See also COVID-19 safety informatio​n for general statewide information.

Changes to accommodation due to COVID-19 

Due to COVID-19, PWS has made some small changes to the Penitentiary accommodation on Maria Island. These changes have been implemented to improve the safety of visitors and include:

  • Check in to your room using the Check In Tas App
  • Strict check-out time of 10.30am
  • Check-in time is after 2pm
  • Maximum capacity signs are located at the entrances of each building
  • The spare mattresses that were in each Penitentiary room have been removed
  • There are cleaning kits provided in the Mess Hall
  • Please use the hand sanitiser stations located at the entrance of the main buildings. 
We understand that there may be delays for you due to some of these changes. Some suggestions to improve this for yourself and other users are:
  • Bring your own cooking equipment to avoid congestion in the Mess Hall. NOTE: Stoves are not to be used in the Penitentiary rooms.
  • Be mindful of other users and the building capacities particularly when using the Mess Hall. Please socialising away from this room (Chapel is available) so that other users can access cooking facilities.
Please be patient. The cleaning of the Penitentiary rooms is a critical component of the reopening and there may be some delays. 
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, we are doing our best to keep you safe.  
For further information please talk directly to Maria Island Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

Make a booking for the Penitentiary here. ​