One of eleven places nationwide that make up Australia’s World Heritage Convict Sites, Maria Island lets you spend the night in the original penitentiary built in the 1820’s, Hike to magnificent lookouts, trip over wombats, rent a bicycle, see geological marvels, and soak in the remoteness of this historic island. Don’t miss the Painted Cliffs, an overhang of stained sandstone that transforms sunlight into a surreal geological masterpiece. Carved by wind and wave, it’s one of our favourite spots in the whole country. There’s a lot packed into a small island, which makes any visit well worthwhile.
Length of Trip : Anywhere from a day trip to several days
The cost includes your return ferry ride, luggage, and accommodation in the old penitentiary if you're not camping. Click here for the latest pricing. There are also day-tours available with various operators.
Best time to go : November to March
Wheelchair friendly : The island is rugged. Contact a tour operator to make arrangements.
Family friendly : Yes, your kids will run amok!
Where to eat :
You'll have to bring your own food (and take all your garbage with you). There's a great little sandwich truck at the ferry departure point in Triabunna. There are also camp cooking facilities at the penitentiary and campground.
Official Site :
Where to Stay :
Basic accommodation is available in the old Penitentiary which has 9 rooms, each with 6 bunk beds and mattresses, a picnic-style table and chairs and a wood-fired heater. One other larger room sleeps 14. Firewood is available. Note there is no electricity. Coin operated showers are available in the amenities block, and there are flush toilets. You need to book rooms well in advance.
Getting There :
Maria Island is a 30-minute ferry ride from Triabunna, about one and a half hours from Hobart, and two and a half hours from Launceston.
Note from Robin :
On both my visits to Maria Island, I've been swept away by the scenic beauty, historical legacy, ambiance and abundant wildlife. It's the kind of place where the clocks stop, although you'll definitely need to be prepared if you plan on visiting for more than a day. Bring a head lamp so you don't trip over the wombats at night! The full day hike to Bishop and Clerk gives you incredible ocean views from the top.