Maria Island Walks

Bushwalks on Maria Island
Walks & HikesDarlington Township WalkBishop and ClerkEncampment Cove WalkFossil CliffsFrenchs Farm WalkHills WalkMount Maria Walk

Walks & Hikes

Maria Island Walking Trails

There are many bushwalks to be explored on the island. The Ferry from Triabunna lands at the world heritage Darlington Probation Station which was used during the last phase of convict management in eastern Australia. From here you will find many paths and trails leading to parts of the island.

Short walks will allow visitors to explore the buildings and ruins of Darlington. The Reservoir Circuit is sheltered from the coastal winds and provides a glimpse of Maria Island's wildlife and history as you wander through open woodlands into a tall eucalypt forest.

Darlington Township Walk

Darlington Township
1-2 hours, 1 km | Grade 2
Start From Darlington Township

Take a self-guided walking tour around the fascinating Darlington Township, which has undergone many changes since European settlement in the 1800s. The now tranquil island has been, among other things, a setting for convict stations, a stronghold for the varied enterprises of Italian entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi and a base for the National Portland Cement Company.​

A walk around the buildings and ruins of Darlington offers insights into that ​varied history. Discover the stories behind the island's rich human and natural history when you step inside the Coffee Palace Museum and the Convict Administration buildings.

Sturdy footwear is recommended as this is a heritage site and contains steps, uneven floors and undulating terrain.

Bishop And Clerk

Bishop and Clerk Trail Maria Island Tasmania

​Darlington to Bishop and Clerk
4-5 hours return, 11km | Grade 4
Start From Darlington Township

Maria Island may be best known for history and wildlife, but it also has this challenging walk that offers exhilarating cliff-top and ocean views.

The 11km return walk climbs from grassland, through open forest and tall woodland, to the rocky slopes and towering dolerite columns of the summit (620m). These were named Bishop and Clerk because of the resemblance to a bishop, wearing a mitre, being followed by a clergyman.

The views from the summit are magnificent. As the walk involves steep up and downhill sections, and an extensive field of rock boulders, it is best suited to experienced walkers.

To reach the summit rock scrambling is required. One section of exposed blocks of dolerite near the top requires skill and confidence to complete. The summit is exposed with sheer drops and should be avoided in strong, windy conditions.​

Bicycles are permitted along the track as far as the 'no bikes' sign (approximately 2km past the Fossil Cliffs junction). Please leave bikes at this point and continue on foot.

Encampment Cove Walk

Darlington to Encampment Cove
4 hours one way, 13km | Grade 3
Start from Darlington Township

Look for the ruin of a 1920s home in this sheltered cove. The surrounding area is a good place to set up camp and explore the southern section of Maria Island.

You can either choose to camp at Encampment Cove or walk another 45-minutes to the quieter site at campground at Frenchs Farm. During rock lobster season, Encampment Cove campground can become busy with visitors in their personal watercrafts staying in the campground.

A round trip of 1.5-2 hours from Encampment Cove allows you to explore the nearby convict ruins ruins once made up the Long Point Probation Station at

Fossil Cliffs

Fossil Cliffs

Darlington to Fossil Cliffs
1.5-2.5 hour circuit, 4.5 km | Grade 3
Start From Darlington Township

This stunning set of cliffs on Maria Island hold stories both ancient and modern.

An easy amble adjacent the grass airstrip leads to the dramatic cliff edge. A short steep track gives access to a rock shelf from which you can see the cliff's rock strata up close. They contain a vast number of fossils, including clams, sea fans, corals, scallop shells and sea lilies, that were deposited in the sea around 300 million years ago. This extraordinary fossil richness is one of the finest examples of its kind anywhere in the world. The resulting sedimentary rocks are so lime-rich that the cliffs were briefly mined for the manufacture of cement. On the way you pass silos near the jetty that date from that time.

Bicycles may be ridden on this track but not on the fossil platform.​

All facilities are in the Darlington township.

Frenchs Farm Walk

Darlington to Frenchs Farm
3 hours one way, 11 km | Grade 4
Start From Darlington Township

Frenchs Farm can be reached by the coast track or via the inland track, which takes you through shrubby forest.

Once you arrive, explore the old farmhouse and shearing shed at Frenchs Farm. The campground ​here is on the edge of the grassland paddocks.

From Frenchs Farm, it's another 1 hour walk to the northern end of McRaes Isthmus – a narrow neck of sand with sweeping beaches on either side. If you are on a bike, the track is sandy and slow going.

Hills Walk

Darlington to Hills Ruins
1-2 hours return, 2km | Grade 4
Start From Darlington Township

Wander the hills that surround the Darlington Settlement, discovering ruins and learning the fascinating history as you explore. Stroll from the Convict Barn to the Millers Cottage and discover the ruins of the old cemetery, Convict Hospital and Grand Hotel. Enjoy magnificent views of Darlington Township and Darlington Bay.​ Keep an eye on the time to make sure you can catch the ferry back to Triabunna.

Mount Maria Walk

Darlington to Mount Maria
8 hours return, 16 km | Grade 4
Start From Darlington Township

At 711m, Mount Maria is the highest point on the island – a dolerite outcrop with sweeping views south towards the Tasman Peninsula. The track begins south of Darlington near the mouth of Counsel Creek. It meanders through open woodlands ascending quite gently at first, and ends with half an hour of scrambling over rocky debris and large boulders to reach the summit.

Take adequate clothing as the temperature at the summit may be much cooler. Wear sturdy shoes and carry a map, enough food and water for the day. A high level of fitness is required.