There’s no better way to enjoy a wildlife preserve like Maria Island than by hiking its mountains, forests and beaches and camping amongst its unique wildlife – picture wombats at your tent door, wallabies grazing nearby, and at night the rare Tasmanian Devil scampering past on its way to forage and feed. Add to this, the island’s fascinating convict and early settler history (Maria Island is a World Heritage Australian Convict Site) and you can be sure this Self-Guided adventure will be packed with memorable moments. On this 4-day walk, you’ll stand upon the summit of spectacular Bishop and Clerk Mountain and discover the amazing colours and patterns of the Painted Cliffs. You’ll also get to explore the remote southern reaches of the island with its empty, pristine beaches and secluded bays lapped by turquoise waters. A part of the island few visitors ever see.
SUGGESTED PRE NIGHT ACCOMMODATION: Grand Chancellor Launceston.
DEPARTURE TIME: 6:00am
TRANSFERS: Morning: 2 hour 15 mins transfer from Launceston to Triabunna where you jump on board the ferry to Maria Island. Ferry ride 30 minutes.
WALK GRADE: 12km return, 3-5 hours. Medium Grade. Less Strenuous Option: If any of your group want a shorter walk today, they can join you as far as they feel comfortable (we recommend at least making it to the cliffs above Fossil Bay) then return to the campground via a choice of routes.
TERRAIN: The walk begins on formed gravel roads and crosses open grassy hills before becoming a narrow, natural trail that climbs steeply over uneven terrain. There is some rock hopping over large boulders and some scrambling up rocks to reach the summit.
WALK ITINERARY: Meet your driver in Launceston, they will have your pack prepared for you with a sleeping bag, gourmet meals and eating utensils. From here we enjoy a scenic drive winding through farmland and forests to the east coast town of Triabunna where you embark on the Maria Island Ferry, for a pleasant cruise across the Mercury Passage to the island. Once on the island, check in at the Commissariat building close to the wharf then proceed to the campground behind Darlington beach. Make time to first set up camp then simply grab lunch and water and head off on your first walking adventure to the spectacular summit of Bishop and Clerk mountain. After climbing the mountain and enjoying the views, loop back to your campsite via the amazing Fossil Cliffs and past some of the islands most interesting and intact convict buildings. Enjoy dinner tonight provided at Darlington.
WALK GRADE: 22km one way, 8-9 hours including an 8km, 4-hour optional side trip. Difficult Grade. Without the side trip this walk is 14km, 4-5 hours. Medium Grade.
TERRAIN: Mostly on wide, well-formed gravel and sand trails and roads. Optional side trip on a narrow foot track with one steep ascent/descent that requires scrambling over boulders.
WALK ITINERARY: Prepare your breakfast provided tonight. Pack down camp and head off to discover the southern end of Maria Island. Along the way, there is the option to climb the island’s highest peak – the 711m high Mt Maria, a dolerite outcrop with sweeping views across McRae’s Isthmus and towards mainland Tasmania. After this side-trip you continue south through coastal woodland and tall, wet forest to reach the island’s more remote historic locations as well as its stunning coastline of hidden coves and beaches. There is even the chance for a refreshing swim at Shoal Bay or Encampment Cove at the end of the day. Set up camp and enjoy the views before cooking dinner that has been provided.
WALK GRADE: 23km return, 8-9 hours. Medium Grade. Largely flat walking along beaches and sandy roads. Less Strenuous Option: If you want a shorter walk today, you can walk as far as Shoal Bay and Riedle Bay (10.5km return, 2-3 hours. Easy Grade) or simply explore the area around Encampment Cove.
TERRAIN: Mostly flat, on wide, well-formed sand trails and roads with some beach walking. There is one short, steep descent and ascent on a narrow foot pad to Haunted Bay.
WALK ITINERARY: After enjoying breakfast we head out to explore another part of the island. Today’s walk takes us to parts of Maria Island few visitors ever see. We head further south, with some beautiful beach walking on Shoal Bay before crossing McRae’s Isthmus to visit Maria Island’s only surf beach on Riedle Bay. We then follow a wide trail through coastal woodland and tall forest to the remote, cliff-lined Haunted Bay with its dramatic orange, lichen-covered rocks. If you feel like a less strenuous day, there are plenty of options for exploration and walking in the vicinity of Encampment Cove. After our walk we return to our camp at Encampment Cove. Tonight prepare dinner provide and relax under the stars.
TRANSFER TIMES: Afternoon: Ferry ride 30 minutes. Triabunna to Launceston transfer 2 hour 15 mins.
WALK GRADE: 12.5km one way, 3-4 hours. Easy Grade.
TERRAIN: Mostly flat on a wide, well-formed gravel road with some beach walking.
WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, we pack down camp. We return today to Darlington via the spectacular coast taking in some of Maria Island’s scenic wonders including pretty coves, beaches and headlands as well as the renowned Painted Cliffs. What these cliffs lack in height they more than makeup for in beauty – with rich honeycomb colours and mesmerising patterns. There is also time at the end of the walk to explore the historic buildings at the Darlington precinct with its rich convict and early settler heritage. Then enjoy the ferry back to Triabunna, where you will be met by your driver for the return journey to Launceston.
ARRIVAL TIME: We arrive back into Launceston at approximately 7:30pm.
and selecting a date of your choice
With self-guided walks you are able to choose a date of your choice subject to availability.
This is a seasonal walk - the best times to walk are between September and May, but it is also available all year round.
Once you make your booking, it will remain pending until we confirm availability at your accommodation, once this is done we will contact you to make your deposit/payment. Please do not book flights until your walk is confirmed.
FIRST TIME TRAVELLER
$ 1399 /p
First time traveller with Life's An Adventure
4 day self guided walk – $1399
$ 1299 /p
Travelled with Life's An Adventure previously
4 day self guided walk – $1299
$ Xtras /p
The following extras can be purchased with your walk:
PRE-WALK NIGHT PACKAGE for 2 persons
PRE-WALK NIGHT PACKAGE for a solo traveller
Before you book please read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Click here.