Photography by Maria Island Walk
01 March 2023
One of Australia’s leading tourism experiences, the award-winning Maria Island Walk, is celebrating its 20th walking season of memorable guided walks and experiences.
The Maria Island Walk was first established in 2002, with the first walkers welcomed in the spring season of 2003.
It’s now the 20th season of the award-winning walk, with over 10,000 walkers from more than 20 countries including the UK, Europe and North America, as well as visitors from all over Australia, taking 1,300 walks and experiencing some of the most unique wildlife and spectacular landscapes on the globe.
Now in its 20th summer walking season, The Maria Island Walk is recognised as one of Australia’s outstanding experiences. With its collection of rare and unusual species, it’s not surprising that Maria Island is described as Tasmania’s ‘Noah’s Ark’.
An island sanctuary, it is one of the best places in Australia to see wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren geese, kangaroos and wallabies.
The bird life is also an attraction with 125 species including all of Tasmania’s endemics such as the endangered forty-spotted pardalote and swift parrot.
Tasmanian Devils were repopulated to Maria Island in 2012 when a rare facial tumour in the species had wiped out 90 percent of their population. A thriving ‘insurance’ population of wild Maria Island Tassie devils now roam the island and have played a strong part in the breed’s preservation.
One of the largest burrowing mammals in the world, families of wombats are also in their thousands and provide plenty of photo opportunities on the Island.
At the heart of The Maria Island Walk is its conservation focus – to sustain the precious ecological landscape with its diverse variety of flora, wildlife and fossilised headlands.
Over the past six years, the team at The Maria Island Walk has focused on the introduction of more trees to stabilise lands from natural soil erosion and has planted more than 1,000 casuarinas and coastal wattle at a denuded headland south of Darlington.
An all-inclusive experience, food and dining on the multi-day walk showcases local Tasmanian produce. Wine is supplied by the local vineyards including Bream Creek Vineyard, Milton Vineyard, Cape Bernier and Gala Estate. The wines are coupled with the geography of Tasmania, starting from the south to the vineyards further north.
Bread is supplied by Pigeon Whole Bakers and the seafood is from Mures, including the east-coast Tasmanian scallops and blue-eye trevalla or pink ling. Vermey’s butchers in Sandy Bay sources all local meats including award-winning southern-Tasmanian lamb, wallaby and native bush pepper sausages, and quail from Rannoch Farm.
In 2022 Bernacchi House, the only heritage-listed house in a Convict World Heritage area, was upgraded. It’s where guests spend their last night, following two nights in bush camps.
Key elements of the refurbishment were undertaken by Laura Stucken, local designer and co-owner of award-winning Van Bone Restaurant. Despite the refresh, the historic property remains true to its original fabric and story.
Local artisans incorporated in the project include Scott Van Tuil, who designed the sandstone side tables and coffee tables in the home as a nod to the famous Painted Cliffs of Maria Island, and Simon Ancher Studio, who supplied floating beds using Tasmanian timber.
Soft furnishings were sourced from Hobart-based Featherston Interiors and vases from local potters across the Mercury passage at Dunalley, Tim and Tammy Holmes (Potters Croft), are dotted through the house.
Prices start from AUD$2,850 per person (twin share) and include return transfers from Hobart to Triabunna, the scenic cruise across the pristine waters of the Mercury Passage to the isthmus of Maria Island, gourmet food and wine, two experienced guides, National Park entry fees, accommodation and use of waterproof jackets and day packs.
The four-day Maria Island Walk takes small groups of just 10 guests and two guides to explore the pristine beaches, tall ancient forests and world heritage sites by day and then each night relax with candlelit dining and elegant accommodation.
Conditions apply. Subject to availability.