This may have been the highlight of the trip. Maria Island is a magical place – peaceful, beautiful, full of gentle creatures.
We took a ferry from Triabunna, which is about an hour drive from Richmond. We took the 1030 am Maria Island Ferry. It was a lovely 45 minute ride to Darlington, Maria Island.
Maria Island Ferry
Views of Maria Island
When you first arrive, there’s a welcome center where you can learn about the rehabilitation of the Tasmanian devil population, as well as the life of the prisoners who were sent here in 1825. You’ll also read a little bit about the original land owners were the Puthikwilayti people, who lived here for more than 40,000 years! There’s more of the history here.
Old penitentiary building at Darlington
It was raining off and on when we arrived, so we spent some time exploring this old settlement. Once the weather cleared up a little, we headed out. We decided we would walk to Encampment Cove, which according to the map, was 3.75 hours away. Along the way are the Painted Cliffs, a sandstone formation with beautiful colors.
Walking on the track south toward French’s Farm and Encampment Cove, our camping destination for the evening.
The Painted Cliffs.
The rest of the walk had quite a diverse landscape, and was very enjoyable. It rained a little off and on, but it was a pleasant rain and it helped to keep us cool on the hike.
Four Mile Creek
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
When we reached Encampment Cove, we sat down our belongings, and took in the setting. There were all kinds of kangaroos, and – the most amazing animal EVER – a wombat!
Is there anything more adorable?
And then we set up the tent, and as we were getting the fire going, a rainbow came out over the water, with a kangaroo and a wombat in the foreground. It was the most picturesque Australian scene I have ever seen!
Our secluded location at Encampment Cove.
And the of course the sunset was great.
That night we saw two Tasmanian devils sprint through our campsite. We saw the flash of white on their fur, which helped us to know that they were the infamous tassie devils.
The next morning we lingered, enjoying the wonderful scenery before we headed back. We even saw an echidna on the way another first!)!
Echindna just to the left of the tree.
Once back at Darlington, we saw these cool Cape Barren geese, and then when we got on the boat, we saw dolphins! The perfect end to our Tasmania adventure.
Maria Island will always hold a special place in my heart.