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Park Ideas - Maria Island

An amazing place to learn about Tasmanian history, wildlife, plants, birds, geology and the marine environment

For enquiries and bookings please find all Maria Island contacts at the office locations and contacts page.

Parks and Wildlife Service staff are happy to help you to work out an educational itinerary for your visit. School groups can visit for the day, though many choose to stay on the island as there is so much to do! 

Basic accommodation is available in the Penitentiary, a convict building, for groups of up to 68. Some groups choose to camp in the large campground.

Access to Maria Island is via ferry from Triabunna, the nearest town on the coast to the island. Encounter Maria Island operate the ferry service, for current timetables, fares and crossing information please visit www.encountermaria.com.au BEFORE your planned departure.


Maria Island School camping
 Things you can do

Camping – Maria Island is a great place for school groups to camp, or stay in the original convict accommodation rooms called the Penitentiary. The Mess Hall provides a perfect classroom and wet weather space with power and data projector for hire.

Information on camping on Maria Island can be found here

• Explore the convict settlement township of Darlington. 
• Climb to the top of Bishop and Clerk to see the awe-inspiring view and the dolerite columns.
• Walk on the east coast to the beautiful sandstone Painted Cliffs.
• Step back in time looking for historic remains to piece together stories of past buildings outside the settlement such as the Engineers House, Hop Ground Kilns, Howells Cottage, Mrs Hunts Cottage, Millers House and the cemetery. 
• Longer walks are to Mt Maria, the isthmus and beyond. 

Investigate the geology of the island – how many rock types can you find? See the model in the Mess Hall for help. 

Mountain biking – ride down the coast to French’s farm and the isthmus with the help of the Maria Island cycling notesheet. Be sure to check out information on Phytophthora before you go.
Scuba diving and snorkelling – explore the marine reserve, snorkel under the jetty and see the amazing multi-coloured jewel anemones. Check out the Maria Island Marine Reserve webpage and the Marine Reserve factsheet for more information.

History of the park – Look in the Coffee Palace and discover the eras of Maria, from convicts to cement works to farming to National Park. Sleep in the Penitentary – original convict accommodation.

Walk amongst the convict-built buildings and ruins – try to guess why they were built. 

Observe the behaviour of our Tasmanian marsupials in the wild – Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies, wombats and other small macropods.
Cape Barren Geese Maria Island
Birds – walk to the Reservoir or the Oast House and see many of Tasmania's endemic birds – firetail finches, yellow- throated honeyeaters and Tasmanian native hens. Check out the Maria Island Birds Checklist for more birds that can be found on the Island including Cape Barren Geese.

Things you may be lucky to see

Forty-spotted pardalote – if you look hard near Counsel Creek you might just see this tiny Tasmanian endangered bird.
Sea eagle – can sometimes be seen surveying the coast.
Watch for dolphins and whales on the ferry trip across Mercury Passage. 
The threatened little hooded plovers may be nesting on Darlington Beach.