Please note that some tours may not show availability for forward bookings until early June.
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Most tour operators shut down for maintenance over the quiet season between June and October 1st.
Maria Island is Tasmania's only island National Park. Located off Tasmania's east coast and accessible only by a 30-minute ferry ride from Triabunna, Maria Island has a diverse range of highlights including historical ruins, sweeping mountain peaks, majestic coastal cliffs, gorgeous deserted beaches & excellent hiking and biking.
It is natural wildlife haven and is home to wombats, pademelons, Forester Kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies and Tasmanian Devils. It's also one of the best places in Tasmania for bird-watching with many Tasmanian endemics, including the rare forty-spotted pardalote and the Tasmanian native hen. The abundant marine life including seals and whales and clear waters.
There is one town on Maria Island, called Darlington. It lies near the northern tip of the island. Darlington has several historic buildings and no permanent inhabitants other than a few park rangers.
Maria Island, located off the east coast of Tasmania, Australia, experiences several seasonal departures throughout the year. These departures are shaped by the changing weather patterns and are characterized by an influx of tourists and visitors during peak seasons, as well as a decrease in activity during the off-season.
Spring (September to November) is a time of rejuvenation on the island, as the weather begins to warm up and the flora and fauna start to come alive. This is a popular time for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, as the island is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including wallabies, echidnas, and several species of birds.
Summer (December to February) is the peak season on Maria Island, with the island experiencing its warmest weather and the most tourists. This is the perfect time for beach-goers and water-sport enthusiasts, as the island is surrounded by pristine beaches and clear, turquoise waters.
Autumn (March to May) brings a change in weather, with cooler temperatures and occasional rain. This is a peaceful time on the island, as the tourist crowds have thinned and the scenery transforms into a beautiful tapestry of fall colors. This is a great time for those seeking a more relaxed, low-key experience on the island.
Winter (June to August) is the off-season on Maria Island, with fewer visitors and a more muted atmosphere. The weather is cooler and wetter, and it's worth noting that some tours and activities may not operate during this time, particularly between June and September. However, the island is still beautiful in its own way, with the rugged coastline and rolling hills providing a stunning backdrop for walks and hikes.
No matter the season, Maria Island is a destination unlike any other, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its rich history, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, it's no wonder that people from all over the world flock to this magical place year after year.
Access Maria Island by passenger ferry from Triabunna, located off the Tasman Highway (A3), about one and a half hours from Hobart and 2.5 hours from Launceston. The ferry runs from Triabuna to Darlington on Maria Island daily with five ferries per day and takes around 30 minutes.
Advance bookings are recommended. As of 2019, the return journey costs $45 per adult & $28 per child. There are discounts for students, and seniors. Your ferry ticket includes one carry-on bag.
In order to check-in for the ferry, you will need a valid National Parks pass which you can purchase online at the same time as you make your ferry reservation.
Once you get off the ferry on Maria island you will need to walk 500m from the ferry dock to Darlington town. There are a small number of wheeled carts you can use to carry your luggage.
There is plenty of free parking near the ferry dock. If you don’t want to worry about driving, book a day tour from Hobart that includes ferry reservations.
Book the Maria Island Ferry here:
Maria Island Ferry Times to Meet the Shuttle from Hobart
Morning Ferry to Maria Island
The Maria Island Shuttle arrives in Triabunna at 8:10am.
Book the 8:30am / 10:00am Ferry if you are riding on the Shuttle from Hobart
Return Ferry to Triabunna from Maria Isalnd
Book the 4.15pm from Maria Island to Triabunna Ferry to meet the 5:00pm return Shuttle to Hobart.
The township of Darlington is where you’ll start your time on the island. The first site is the Commissariat Store, near the ferry jetty. It’s the oldest building on the island and was originally a storehouse.
Today it’s home to the park visitor centre and has some interesting displays for visitors. Through an avenue of macrocarpa trees lies the penitentiary, which once housed convicts and now offers bunkhouse-style accommodation, as well as the restored Coffee Palace and mess hall.
Most walking trails start from Darlington.
Camping at Darlington
The Darlington camping area is situated behind the dunes on Darlington Bay Beach (500 metres south from the jetty).
You will need a valid pass & camping fees are payable at the Maria Island Gateway prior to boarding the Ferry.
Phone: (03) 6257 1420 for more info.
Maria Island Penitentiary accommodation | Darlington
Basic bunkhouse-style accommodation is available in the old Penitentiary at Darlington. You will generally need to book months in advance to stay here. Phone (03) 6491 1179. for more info.
There are nine rustic sleeping rooms, each with six bunk beds and comfortable mattresses, a picnic-style table and chairs, and a wood-heater (wood supplied). A larger, tenth room sleeps 14 people.
There is no electricity in the Penitentiary rooms and the toilets block is separate but nearby.
All drinking water on Maria Island is not potable water and treatment is required, use purification tablets or boil for at least one minute before use. Water is available in the Mess Hall. Due to wastewater infrastructure works, the Darlington campground showers are not available.
You'll need to bring your own food, bedding, a torch or lamp, cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery. Gas stove tops are provided for cooking in the Mess Hall's camp kitchen.
There is no vehicle access to Maria Island – you can explore the island on foot or by bike.
Maria Island On Foot
Most of the major sites are within an hour’s walk of Darlington and the ferry. From a casual stroll around Darlington, to scrambling up boulders to the summit of Mount Maria, and just about everything in between, there are short walks, day walks and overnight walks to suit all levels of ability.
Maria Island By bike
One of the best ways to experience this island sanctuary is by bike. You can get around faster so you can travel further and see more of the island. Biking is allowed on all roads on the island, but not on the walking tracks.
The tracks in the north of the park are accessible to most cyclists, while more experienced cyclists can also head south to reach more remote areas. If you have limited time, riding allows you to explore further afield than you can on foot.
You can bring your own or reserve bikes online ahead of time. Bikes can be collected (up to 3:15pm) from next to the penitentiary in Darlington.
Bike Hire Prices
Book Bike Hire Here:
Brilliant day trip from Hobart to Maria Island. Everything went as planned, friendly and knowledgeable guide, and the island itself is spectacular with bushland, native animals and spectacular coastlines. You are warned that you need to take your own food and drink as there's nowhere on the island to buy it.
We crossed from Triabunna to the island on a chartered fishing boat and spent the day on two walks -- Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs. Kirk led the walks and talked to us about the natural and social history of the island, and Daniel made morning and afternoon tea and a big lunch, all local produce. It was a great day and I'd definitely recommend the trip to Maria Island with See Tasmania.
Wonderful organisation of a fabulous trip. Our private party (female)ranged in age from 50+ to 70+ and included the fit and not so fit but the guides were able to accomodate all. It gave us the chance to experience what normally only superfit experienced bushwalkers can do - i.e go bush without the strength to carry huge packs with all provisions. wonderful beaches and lots of animals upclose and unafraid. Food and wine first class all the way. Well worth the money!