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Guided Maria Island Walk

Pack Free Maria Island walk

A 3 day guided Pack Free walk

If you are looking for a walking holiday in Tasmania you can’t go past Maria Island on the east coast. Mountainous in the interior and surrounded by stretches of beautiful white sandy beaches, aqua waters and limestone cliffs, this island is a hidden gem unknown to many.

Enjoy three days pack Free walk of Maria Island with your overnight bags transported for the entire journey leaving you free to soak up the spectacular scenery, admire the rich and abundant wildlife and take in the intriguing history.

“This island is pure heaven and has everything you would want in a walking holiday”


Owner Mark Norek says “Maria Island holds a special place in my heart, I proposed to my wife Vicki on the top of the island’s Bishop & Clerk summit. This island is pure heaven and has everything you would want in a walking holiday including spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and so much natural beauty, it’s one of Tasmania’s little gems that is unknown to many Australians.

I’m very passionate about sharing the secret of this magical place with our guests”. Our team is dedicated to providing our guests with an enriching experience, quality and interpretive tours.

Pack Free Walking Experience
The biggest advantage of this tour is you don’t have to carry all your clothes for the entire tour, these will be transported for you each day. This is a big plus for our walkers, in that you will avoid carrying an additional 8kg or more on your back each day with your clothes and personal items. With Life’s An Adventure you will carry as little as your water bottle, camera, lunch and hat every day – a wonderful pack free experience.

Personalised Tours
Our group sizes are small and intimate with a maximum of 10 people, we find this delivers more personalised service, a great social environment and has less impact on the environment.

Our Guides
Our guides are proudly 100% Tasmanian. We call them our CEOs – Chief Experience Officers! Our chief guides on the island, Jef & Danny are passionate, funny, knowledgeable and will go above and beyond to ensure your tour is every bit as memorable as you hoped.

Almost 100% Local Tasmanian Produce and wine
Food is an element very closely connected with Tasmania and an important part of your walking experience on Maria Island with Life’s an Adventure. Providing our guests wonderful Tasmanian local produce, as well as supporting local business is paramount to us and where possible the majority of the food we consume on tour has been sourced from Tasmania.

Genuinely all-inclusive
When you travel on one of our walking tours, you won’t be asked to put your hand in your pocket for extras along the way. All meals featuring local produce as well as Tasmania wine are included in your walking tour with nothing more to pay. You won’t even be charged extra for credit card fees.


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Maria Island Walking Holiday Inclusions

When comparing tours in this region, ensure you check all the inclusions. Some operators may ask you to carry your own clothes meaning you will be carrying an additional 8kg or more each day on your back. We won’t ask you to do this – our client’s overnight bags are transported each day, allowing you to walk with as little as your camera, water and lunch.

With Life’s An Adventure we believe we provide exceptional value for money with all the creature comforts you require. Our walking tours include…

  • Pack Free Walk with your overnight luggage transported to your accommodation EVERY day.
  • Accommodation Night 1: Step back to the times of the convicts as we spend the night at the refurbished Penitentiary at Darlington.
  • Accommodation Night 2: Camp under the stars on night 2 on the southern part of the island at Encampment Cove.
  • 2 x delicious dinners featuring beautiful Tasmanian produce
  • 2 x breakfasts
  • 3 x lunches
  • Fresh fruit and trail mix to enjoy during your walk
  • Fine Tasmanian wine and beer and non-alcoholic drinks served with dinner
    Please note: we advise drinking in moderation as walking can be strenuous. If you would like to enjoy alcohol pre or post-dinner you will need to provide your own.
  • Professionally guided – Our CEO’s – Chief Experience Officers are locals who are passionate, well trained and enthusiastic with the ability to bring to life a depth of information
  • Boat transfers to Maria Island
  • Return road transfers between Hobart and Maria Island
  • National Parks Fees
  • No Credit Card Fees

Please note: the only equipment you will need to bring is a sleeping bag. These can be hired from us for a fee of $40. Our bags are dry cleaned after every use.

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Tour Itinerary

Guided Maria Island Walk

Hobart to Maria Island

The day starts in Hobart at where you will meet at the Hotel Grand Chancellor for a 7.00am sharp departure. We enjoy a scenic drive north winding up the coast to Triabunna where we join our boat and cruise across to Maria Island.

The best way to get an understanding of the significance of the Island is with a walk around Darlington township to reveal the complex and intriguing past of the Island. Learn about the Ghosts, the hardships, the entrepreneurial spirit and sheer tenacity of those who came to live on the Island before us.

We then start our hike to Skipping Ridge for lunch. Our Lunch location is one of the best on the East Coast of Tasmania. Perched on Skipping Ridge we’ll enjoy magnificent views of Fossil Bay and Bishop & Clerk. During lunch, we will give you a brief geology lesson of the famous fossil cliff of Maria Island. The Fossil outcrop at Fossil Bay is recognised as world class and the best example of lower Permian strata in Tasmania, if not the world. Over the centuries the rise and fall of the seas have left a legacy of amazing sea creatures over 290 million-year-old fossilised into the cliffs. On the lower rock shelf, you can see a variety of fossils including sea fans, coral-like creatures, scallop shells and sea lilies.

After lunch, we hike one of the top 10-day walks in Australia. The walk takes you through grasslands, open forest and tall woodland, to the rocky slopes of the summit. The highlight of this walk is the views at the summit of Bishop & Clerk. These towering dolerite columns of the summit are named due to their resemblance to a bishop, wearing a mitre, being followed by a clergyman. From the summit on a clear day, you’ll be able to take in exhilarating views towards the Freycinet Peninsula. Life’s An Adventure owner Mark Norek says “this summit is so stunning it’s worthy of a marriage proposal and was the location I chose to propose to my beautiful wife Vicki”.

Note this walk involves hiking through a large area of rocky slopes to the summit, with some boulder scrambling near the top. For those that don’t hike to the top of Bishop and Clerk – our Logistics Guide will take you on an alternative walk back to Darlington where you can enjoy some free time.

After your guided hike, return to our accommodation in the world heritage township of Darlington where hot showers are available. Enjoy a delicious dinner featuring local produce and Tasmanian wine.

To get a real taste of what life was like on Maria Island, our accommodation tonight will be in the historic convict Penitentiary which has been refurbished with comfy bunk beds and wood fire heaters. This is share accommodation based on 4 people sharing a large 6 person room. You can request your own room for an additional surcharge which will be on request at time of booking and is subject to availability of rooms.

Day TwoMaria Island Inland Walk
Guided Maria Island Walk

After a hearty breakfast, we set out walking from Darlington inland. We follow Counsel creek through open Woodlands of large blue gums which dominate the area. This is wombat country and also one of the island’s best areas for bird watching. Here you may see the endangered species of the forty-spotted pardalote, fantailed or golden bronze cuckoos, or striated pardalotes. We continue over several bridges and the forest changes to tall stringy bark, young blackwood and silver wattle. We continue towards Frenchs Farm and eventually reach beautiful Encampment Cove. As this part of the island is so remote there are no buildings or accommodation here, so our guide has been busy all day preparing your walk-in tent with off the ground beds for your comfort. Enjoy a short afternoon walk or relax at our campsite and soak up the views. Tonight enjoy a glass of wine or two over dinner as we chat about the day’s adventures.

Guided Maria Island Walk

Painted Cliffs, Return Point and Encampment Cove

After a hearty breakfast, we set off together hiking toward Darlington on the southern part of Maria Island. We walk via Lesueur Point. The convict ruins at the point command a wonderful 270 degree plus a view of Mercury Passage and the local bays. The convicts would have loved the outlook when their cell doors were opened. There are many kangaroos on the open paddocks and the occasional wombat trundling around. We travel further along the Island’s coastline along the way exploring the historical remnants of Frenchs Farm. The farm was built by the French family in 1936 however is now an abandoned farmhouse. We visit famous Painted Cliffs which are stunning patterned and coloured sandstone, carved and moulded by the sea, and bordered by rock pools teeming with marine life before arriving back to Darlington. From here we transfer by boat to Triabunna on the mainland, where our minibus will be waiting to take us on the return journey back to Hobart. Our tour finishes at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, the end of a remarkable journey. Finish time will depend on the pace of the group but will be approximately 7.30pm.

.. and the resultCustomer Testimonials
Joel and Dan were outstanding. They were always helpful, knowledgeable, patient and very caring and well organised. Joel paced the stages of the walk brilliantly so no one was unduly extended physically. His knowledge of the sites was astounding along with the history of the indigenous people. Amazing local foods, wines were served each evening. It was a gastronomic experience and memorable guided walk. Perfect. Tents were set up, chairs provided around a campfire with gourmet delights and shower or foot bath at the end of the day. Comfortable beds, cosy and friendly. Penitentiary was excellent - Incredible. An amazing place to visit that revealed the hardships of so many people's lives from the first peoples, convicts, failed graziers, industrialists and entrepreneurs. This was my first guided walk and surpassed my expectations. I was so impressed by the attention to detail and professionalism of the guides that created a beautiful 3-day experience. I will definitely go on another guided walk with Life's an Adventure.
Tim and Jenny Wilson

Maria Island WalkPackage details

Guides Dan and Danny and Skipper Dennis were fantastic. Dan knew his stuff when it came to the fauna flora and the history of Maria Island - nothing fazed him..Danny cooked yummy meals. Dennis - what a character. What a good team. Meals were excellent - Food delicious and plenty of it - Danny is a good cook. Camping was excellent, Danny did a great job setting up our camp. Tents beds and stretchers very comfortable. How many people can say they stayed in a Penitentiary?? It was so cool and historic and comfortable and cozy - what a great place to start our walk. We loved exploring around the ruins and just taking in this beautiful site. The tour had everything that my husband and I wanted. From the animals to the scenery to the history 10/10. The tour was a good pace - food excellent and we liked how Dan spread out our lunch so we can make our own wraps - choose what you want and we sat in the most scenic spots on the island soaking up the beauty - what more can you ask for...You guys have got it right - don't change your formula...This was on my bucket list to do a 3-day walk and I am so so excited that I achieved this.
Tracey Collins

Maria Island WalkPackage details

Food & Guides - Excellent. The walking staff, led by Kirk, were great company, very enthusiastic and always very helpful. We loved the island and set new personal best for the roughest water crossing as well as the best food and wine on a camp/hiking trip. All three staff made us feel very welcome and thoroughly spoilt us. Night 1 at the Penitentiary was excellent. wood fires were great and sleeping bags/sheets and pillows helped with good night sleep. Overall impression of the Maria Island walking tour .....Beyond Expectations
Raymond Tedman

Maria Island WalkPackage details

Overall impression of the Maria Island walking tour - Beyond Expectations. Our guides Dan and Barry were such willing guides. Nothing was ever too much trouble. The whole group got on well. the weather was perfect and the scenery magnificent. Dan and Barry prepared food like professionals. They were friendly and always happy to assist and join in and chat. A very great group of workers you have employed. It's excellent in pace and distance and challenging in small sections for all levels of walkers. The various forms of fauna made it a special place. It was a personal achievement to have walked on this beautiful island. The turquoise colours of the oceans and bay inlets surpassed the beauty of the Whitsundays which are in my home state.
Angela OMara

Maria Island WalkPackage details

Jeff and Danny were fantastic guides and went above and beyond to make sure our stay was enjoyable and seamless. Dennis the boat skipper and his dog, Jemma, brought a great deal of value to the tour, Dennis' stories were interesting. The food was excellent and better than I thought it would be. Danny has excellent cooking skills. I had such a lovely time on this 3-day tour of Maria Island.
Melissa Efstathiou

3 day walk Maria Island -Package details

Jeff and Dan were excellent. Provided excellent care, interesting commentary, and a good atmosphere. Food was excellent - Over-catered if anything! Bush camp was brilliant. Very comfortable. Tour was above expectations. Jef and Danny are a great partnership and a credit to your company.
John Scholes

Maria Island WalkPackage details

Guides Daniel & Danny were outstanding. Great local knowledge. Nothing was too much trouble. They were a pleasure to be with. Meals, camping and the historic Penitentiary all excellent. Tour was above expectations.
Dan McMahon

3 day Walk Maria Island -Package details

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Tour Accommodation

Guided Maria Island Walk
Guided Maria Island Walk
Guided Maria Island Walk

Night 1

Maria Island historic convict Penitentiary

Although it doesn’t look like a penitentiary, this historic old building used to house convicts in the early 1800s. Staying here will definitely be a unique experience. Accommodation is basic and clean with woodfire heaters in each room. We provide sheets and pillows and you will need a sleeping bag (which can be hired from us).

This is share accommodation based on 4 people sharing a large 6 person room. You can request your own room for an additional surcharge which will be on request at time of booking and is subject to availability of rooms.

Guided Maria Island Walk
Guided Maria Island Walk
Guided Maria Island Walk

Night 2

Encampment Cove Campsite

On the remote southern part of Maria Island lies pretty Encampment Cove. This has to be one of the most magical spots on the entire island to stay with stunning water views from your tent. Guests will stay in walk-in touring tents erected with off the ground beds. Arrive to find the magic fairies (your logistics guide) has magically transported your overnight bags and they are waiting for you in your tent (no small feat). Tonight relax around the campfire as a delicious dinner featuring local Tasmania produce and wine is prepared for your enjoyment.

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Tour Availability

We run regularly scheduled tours from October to the end of April every year. Dates are listed below however availability changes by the hour – to see real-time availability click on the monthly calendar at the bottom of the page and select the month you require. We will also consider opening up a new departure date if we have enough demand. Email us at walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

Check below to see if your preferred departure has a Spot Specials savings of $150 per person or qualifies for a Free Pre-Tour night. Conditions apply see pricing page.

DateAvailabilitySpecial Offer
16 Jan 2020Few spots remainingNot applicable
12 Mar 2020AvailableSpot Special saving
16 Apr 2020AvailableSpot Special saving
Oct 2020 to Apr 2021AvailableEnquire for dates


Date of your choice is available for groups of 10 people. Subject to availability. Free Group T’shirts also available – see details.
Please contact us for more details on (02) 9975 4553 or email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Tour Prices

Spot Specials save $150 per person. (Past Passengers save $250 per person)

Spot Special savings of $150 per person are available on some other dpartures - check our departure page for details.

Private groups of 10 people can save $50 per person off Normal Prices when they book a departure. Choose the date of your choice subject to availability. Or enjoy a $200 savings if you book and pay in full at time of booking. Free Group T'shirts also available enquire for details.

Spot Special Price Shoulder Season 1 to 30 Oct '19 and 1st April to 30 April 2020
$ 1749 /p

Past Passengers only $1649

on specific departures
SAVE $150 per person
Book and pay in full at the time of booking.
Spot Special Price

Past Passenger Price ……..$1649
SAVE $250 per person


Deposit of $250 per person.
Final payment due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Normal Price
Past Passenger Price ..$1799

Book Now

Spot Special Price Peak Season 1 November to 31 March 2020
$ 1849 /p

Past Passengers only $1749

on specific departures
SAVE $150 per person

Book and pay in full at the time of booking.
Spot Special Price 

Past Passengers Price $1749
SAVE $250 per person

Deposit of $250 per person. Final payment due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Normal Price $1999
Past Passenger Price $1899

Book Now

Private Groups from
$ 1699 /p

Departure of your choice

10 participants
Departure of your choice subject to availability.
Group Special Price…. $1699 (Low Season)
Group Special Price…. $1799 (Peak Season)

Book & Pay in full at time of booking.

Group Normal Price…. $1849 (Low Season)
Group Normal Price…. $1949 (Peak Season)

Deposit of $250 per person. Final payment due 8 weeks prior to departure.

$100 extra Past Passenger discount available for those in the group that have travelled with Life’s An Adventure previously.

Make an Enquiry

Single Supplements

Unfortunately, due to limited accommodation, we are unable to provide single supplements on this tour. Solo travellers will need to share with other solo travellers of the same gender.

Discount Information

PAST PASSENGER DISCOUNT: Those who have travelled with Life’s An Adventure previously, receive a past passenger discount of $100. In order to receive this discount please email us for your special “promo code” to use when booking. In your email, you should outline what Life’s An Adventure tour you have done with us in the past so we can cross-check.

EARLYBIRD & SPOT SPECIAL CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations are not permitted for Earlybird Deals or Spot Specials, however, transfers to another date are permitted 8 weeks or more prior to departure. We advise taking out travel insurance, in case unexpected circumstances prior to the trip, prevent you from joining this tour. Earlybird or Spot Special discounts cannot be used in conjunction with another offer. To receive these special discounts, full payment must be made at the time of initial booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. We have organised through NIB Insurance for you to purchase travel insurance directly with them – please click here for details.

Booking Conditions

  • Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
  • Deposit of $250 per person required to secure your booking. (Unless taking advantage of Earlybirds or Spot Special which requires full payment at the time of booking).
  • Note: If you are booking within 8 weeks of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
  • Prices are based on twin share of tents and rooms. If you are travelling solo you may be required to share with someone of the same gender. If this is not suitable you can request to pay a single supplement, however, limited single rooms and tents are available per trip so are on a request basis.
  • Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
  • NO Credit Card Fees apply.
  • We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc.
  • Where a tour is altered due to unsuitable weather conditions, our guides will provide the best alternative itinerary possible, no refunds are provided for cancelled activities on tour.

Cancellation Policy and Conditions of Travel

Click here to view Cancellation Policy and Conditions of Travel.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How fit do I need to be to do this walk?

This walk is suitable for those who are looking for a walking / hiking holiday experience. A good level of fitness is needed to complete this walk. You must be capable of walking between 5 – 6 hours a day along formed tracks and beaches. Because we carry our guests overnight packs it makes the walk that much more enjoyable. We’ll take the pace at a level that suits everyone, with plenty of rest stops and opportunities to take photos during each day. Please note if you have any medical conditions which may affect your walking we suggest you seek medical advice before booking this tour.

So what will I need to carry?

All our guests will just need to carry a small day pack with water, camera and any small personal items you want access to during the day. Your overnight bags will be transported to your accommodation and campsite each day.

What accommodation is provided on each night?

On night one you will stay at the refurbished Penitentiary at Darlington offering basic accommodation with fireplaces in all the rooms. Accommodation is based on shared accommodation of 4 people per room. If you do not want to share, you can pay an additional amount for a room on your own – this will be on request at time of booking and subject to availability. On night two we enjoy camping at beautiful Encampment Cove.

What gear is provided in the package?

Tours include accommodation on night 1 at Darlington and on night 2 all your camping gear and equipment including stand up touring tents, off the ground beds with deluxe mattresses, pillows, all your eating utensils, the campsite’s cooking equipment. Pretty much all you’ll need to bring is your clothes, a torch/flashlight and your personal items packed in a medium-sized overnight bag. Please ask your hotel to store any large suitcases. Once final payments are received you will be emailed a Clothing and Gear checklist in your Pre-Departure Information. You’ll need to provide your own sleeping bag or hire one from us.

Do you cater for different dietary requirements?

Yes, we can provide for any special dietary requirements. When booking please specify your special dietary requirements with as many details as possible. If you require specific meals such as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, other than our standard menu you can either bring your own supplements or a $50 surcharge will apply.

When is the best time of the year to do this walk?

We believe the premier time to do this walk is between September and April when the weather is best for hiking. We therefore only run this guided walk during this period.

How do I check availability?

Click on the Availability tab above. Our booking shows real-time availability. Click on your preferred scheduled date highlighted in green to check availability and dates. To request a new date please email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

How do I book?

A $250 deposit is required at time of booking to secure your place with final payments due 8 weeks prior to departure. Bookings can be made online by simply clicking on the Book Now button or by calling us. Note if you are taking advantage of earlybird or Red Hot Savings savings you will need to book and pay in full at the initial booking stage.

Can you recommend any pre or post accommodation?

As our 7.35am pickup is at Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, for convenience we recommend this hotel of choice for your pre-tour accommodation. This is the only drop off point at the end of the walk as well. Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, the city’s premier 4.5-star hotel, offers superior accommodation, superb Tasmanian cuisine and extensive facilities in the centre of the capital of Tasmania. A special room rate has been organised for our guests. Call the hotel directly and mention Life’s An Adventure to get your special rate. Pickups are also available from RACV Hobart.

How many people per tent?

Our tents hold 2 people in a 4 man walk in touring tent.

Am I able to organise an exclusive group departure?

Exclusive departures may be able to be organised on other dates for groups of 10 people. Please email us with your requirements.

If I am travelling on my own do I need to pay extra?

No, we believe you shouldn’t be penalised for travelling solo, in fact, we have many guests travelling on their own so you won’t be charged any additional fees. When there are a number of solo travellers in the same group you may be required to share a tent with someone of the same gender, if there are no other single travellers on your departure of the same gender you will have the tent on your own. You can request a room and tent of your own however a surcharge will apply.

What time does this adventure start and finish?

We meet in Hobart at 7.35am at the Grand Chancellor Hotel on day 1 for a 7.45am departure. On the final day, you will return to the Grand Chancellor Hotel at approximately 6.30pm.

How many people are in each walking group?

We run our tours with a maximum of 10 walkers.

Is my tour guaranteed to go ahead?

All tours are subject to minimum numbers of 4 or more people. Before you book, you are welcome to ring our office to check which tour dates are guaranteed to run. If minimum numbers are not met for your booked date we will call you to reschedule to another date. It is advised if you are not booked on a guaranteed departure, that when booking flights you choose tickets which allow you to amend your dates if required.

Do I need travel insurance?

We often get people who injure themselves before their tour or something unexpected happens and they are unable to make it to Tasmania. Travel insurance will cover all your tour, flights and pre-accommodation costs and is therefore extremely valuable if the unforeseen happens. We strongly advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. We have organised through NIB Insurance for you to purchase travel insurance directly with them – please click here for details.

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Get in touch

Friendly help is a quick email away...

Contact Us
  • Address: HEAD OFFICE: 4/23 Narabang Way,
    Belrose NSW 2085.

    Guests can meet this tour at our Life’s An Adventure Premises:
    29/6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur.
  • Phone: (02) 9975 4553
    After Hours: 0457 002 482
  • Email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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