Maria Island, Australia – An Attractive and a Tranquil Island

Maria Island is one of the biggest islands in Tasmania, Australia, in the eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 115.5 square kilometers, or 44.6 square miles, and is part of the Marie Island National Park. It’s located off the Island’s northwest coast and is around 20 kilometers long by 12 kilometers wide at its widest. It’s about 4 kilometers off the eastern coast of Tasmania.

This article will reveal the rich history of Maria Island, Australia. It will also soak you into the beautiful sights of the Island, explaining other features such as how to get there, where to stay, and the challenges and potential dangers of getting around the Island.

Brief History of Maria Island

Three main groups may be identified in Maria Island’s history: the indigenous population, prisoners, business, and agriculture. The Tyreddeme band of the Oyster Bay clan made frequent trips to the Island before European colonization, and there is still significant evidence of their presence, especially in and around the coves on both sides of the Island’s isthmus. The Aboriginal inhabitants of Maria Island were encountered by the French expedition headed by Nicolas Baudin in 1802 and by the early 19th-century whalers. On Point Maugé in the southern part of Maria Island, René Maugé, the biologist who traveled with Baudin, was laid to rest.

Maria Island served as the location of two communities for prisoners in the first part of the 19th century. The first convict era on the Island lasted from 1825 to 1832, while the second, the probation station era, lasted from 1842 to 1851.

On the Island, seal hunting began at least in 1805. Between 1830 and 1840, shore-based cove hunting was carried out on the Island at Darlington, Isle du Nord, Whalers Cove, and Haunted Bay. Whaling ships occasionally anchored offshore and went whale hunting in the 19th century.

The Italian businessman Diego Bernacchi established island businesses beginning in the 1880s, including one that produced silk, wine, and cement using limestone resources at the Fossil Cliffs as the raw material.

Farming characterized the Island for 40 years, from the late 1960s onward. The Tasmanian government reclaimed the Island’s personal property, creating the national park. It was first declared in 1972 and expanded to encompass a portion of the surrounding waters in 1991.

Description of the Sight

​Lush sandy beaches, blue sea, mountainside panoramas, abundant animals, and a complex human history combine on Maria Island to make the ideal island getaway.

Beautiful cliffs surround Maria Island’s eastern side, giving you a great view of the birds diving and swooping into the water. Depending on the time of year, you might even be fortunate to see whales migrating through these waters. The Painted Cliffs on the Island’s western end are one of Maria Island’s most outstanding natural features. They demonstrate the strength of nature in its worn outlines, where the interaction of waves and wind has worn away the sandstone, leaving behind a magnificent front.

The shape of Maria Island is that of an eight, with the north of the Island being somewhat larger than the south. Both regions of the island feature relatively rocky terrain, and a tombolo known as McRaes Isthmus, which is roughly 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) long, connects them. The Island’s tallest point is located in the north and is 711 meters (2,333 feet) above sea level. Since approximately 4,000 B.C., Maria Island has remained isolated from the surrounding mainland of Tasmania. The Island contains fourteen terrestrial plant communities, with eucalypt forests covering most of them. Many animals, like Tasmanian pademelons and bare-nosed wombats, are abundant on the Island and can graze in natural and historic clearings. 

Along with most of Tasmania’s indigenous bird species, Maria Island is home to sizable populations of endangered fast parrots, forty-spotted pardalotes, and over one percentage point of the world’s Pacific gull population.

Compared to the surrounding waters, the marine component of the national park has much more people and populations of important marine species. It also preserves a representative region of the maritime habitat throughout the Tasmanian East Coast. Divers enjoy this area, and it is one of Australia’s most extensively studied marine protected zones.  

Ways to Get There

A ferry travels a distance of 16 km, or approximately nine nautical miles, from the village of Triabunna to the pier in Darlington Bay at the north extremity of Maria Island. Demand determines some sailings in the winter, while additional sailings are offered in the summer.

There is a ferry service from Louisville, which is close to Orford. On the cruise, it’s common to spot common dolphins, Australian fur seals, and seabirds, including Australasian gannets and timid albatrosses. From Friendly Beaches or Cambridge Airport, tourists can fly to the Island. Maria Island can only be reached on foot or a bicycle; vehicles have no access.

As an independent pilot, you must first ask for and receive permission to land at the Maria Island Darlington airstrip.

Details on Traveling the Maria Island, Australia

Significant details of traveling through Maria Island are highlighted below. These details include the best time to visit, accommodation, food, and water.

When to Go: Weather and Season

The climate in Maria Island is as diverse as the landscape. You need to decide when it will be ideal for you to travel. Here are some tips to guide you.

January-April: The average humidity in the air is 68%, and the average temperature is 60°F. It’s an excellent time of year to visit Maria Island because the weather is absolutely beautiful. The highest temperature ever recorded during this time is 84°F.

May: The highest recorded temperature in this month is 66°Fand that makes you want to head straight to the local café to down a glass of anything cold; this month is a great time to visit Maria Island due to the average humidity of 74%. 9.25 mm of precipitation falls on average during this period.

June-August: Do you typically remove your clothing throughout the winter? Consequently, these periods would be the most advantageous for you to visit Maria Island. In addition, the afternoons are relatively cool because of the seasonally high humidity. Unless it’s nighttime, when the temperature drops, the day feels like 48°F. 17.62 mm of rain is what you can anticipate on average.

September-December: Temperatures range from 39 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit with an average humidity of 69%. For sightseeing on Maria Island, this current weather is ideal. The average amount of rainfall at this time is 27.09 mm.


The “Penitentiary,” a former location of internment constructed during the initial convict period, is a modest lodging option in Darlington. With the Parks and Wildlife Service, reservations can be made. Each of the ten rooms includes a table and chairs, a wood heater, and bunk beds with rubber mattresses. The tenth room accommodates fourteen individuals, while the other nine rooms each sleep six people. You must bring all necessary cooking supplies, lighting, bedding, and food to the Island. Although there is no running water or power in the rooms, there are nearby restrooms, hot showers, and barbecues. A reservation is not required in advance for camping, which is another popular choice among visitors in Darlington.

Food and Water

On Maria Island, there are no food stores and no food supplies. You might need to bring your supplies if you want to rehydrate.

On Maria Island, water is scarce. Rainwater storage tanks provide all other water at Darlington, Frenchman’s Farm, and Encampment Cove. Drinking water is available at the Darlington mess hall. Before drinking, it is advised that you purify the water. It is wise to bring your water.

Challenges When Going Round Maria Island

Touring Maria Island in Australia presents the following challenges that visitors should be aware of:

1.         Ferry Plan: Maria Island is primarily accessible by ferry from Triabunna on Tasmania’s east coast. Visitors must make travel arrangements in accordance with the ferry’s limited schedule and be mindful of departure hours.

2.         Inadequate Accommodation: Maria Island only has a few types of lodging, namely camping sites and modest cabins. Visitors must anticipate basic lodging since the Island lacks luxury resorts or motels.

3.         Inadequate Facilities: The Island has some basic amenities but they are few and far apart. There are no stores or restaurants, only a visitor center, restrooms, and a small guard station. Visitors must provide their supplies, including food, water, and other necessary items.

4.         Climate: In Tasmania, Maria Island is subject to erratic and changing climate patterns. Visitors must be ready for abrupt temperature fluctuations, powerful winds, rain, and challenging hiking conditions.

Tips to know when Touring the Maria Island

  • There are park entry costs that must be paid. You can do so online or at the Maria Island Gateway in Triabunna. These payments also apply to people who arrive on their boat or plane.
  • Walk and ride periods only include walking or riding. If staying overnight, please allow additional time to discover sights along the way and return to camp in the morning if you want to catch the ferry.
  • Before starting a campfire, always verify local signs for regulations. Bring your firewood and water. Since limitations are subject to change, it is better to bring a fuel burner when cooking.
  • Before you leave, ensure your campfire is out, and no hot coals are left for anyone’s safety.
  • Please take away all trash before leaving.
  • The Darlington showers are unavailable due to sewage system construction.
  • Maria Island is an isolated island experience with no stores or restaurants. Prepare yourself to be self-sufficient. In addition to bringing sufficient nourishment for your stay, a reusable water bottle, supportive walking shoes, warm, waterproof clothes, including a cap, sun protection comprising a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, a personal medical kit, a mobile phone, and a backpack to carry all of your items safely, you should also pack enough nourishment for your trip. In Triabunna, stock up on necessities before boarding the ferry.
  • Before leaving, check the weather report to ensure you are dressed appropriately.
  • All of the water on Maria Island is unfit for human consumption and must be treated beforehand (either with purification pills or by boiling for at least a minute). In the Mess Hall and the barbeque shelter at Darlington, there are water faucets with signs. Please bring a full water bottle as there is a limited supply.
  • When you leave, kindly take all of your trash with you. • Smoking is prohibited inside the boundaries of any accommodation; the Island has neither a trash dump nor a garbage collection service. • Campfires are only allowed in dedicated fireplaces at specified campgrounds. During times of seasonal fire restrictions, campfires are not permitted. It is not permissible to leave a campfire unattended

Potential Dangers

Below are some potential dangers on Maria Island, Australia.

1.         Sporadic Mobile Phone Coverage: Maria Island has insufficient cellphone coverage. Visitors should carry a printed map, notify someone of their plans, and not rely only on their phones for communication or navigation.

2.         Animal Consideration: Wombats, kangaroos, and numerous bird species are among the rich animals found on Maria Island. Visitors must respect the surroundings and species, adhere to any rules set forth by park officials, and do not disturb or injure the animals.

3.         Distant Location: Due to Maria Island’s distant location, it may take longer for emergency personnel to get to the Island in the event of an injury or accident. Visitors should exercise due caution, let someone know of their strategies, and prepare with the essential safety gear.


Its natural beauty, extensive species, and rich heritage make Maria Island a hidden gem. It allows visitors to get fully immersed in a distinctive setting and offers a window into Australia’s past.

The Island is a unique location worth visiting for nature lovers, history experts, and anybody looking for a retreat into untouched wilderness due to its dedication to conservation and environmentally friendly tourism.

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