Tasmanian Native Hen
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Type: Groups, Shared.
Departs: Fridays & Saturdays (please enquire for other dates)
Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
The ‘Maria Island Winter Escape’ is a three day lodge based experience which explores the beautiful and historic northern end of the island. The adventure starts and finishes in Hobart and begins with a hotel pickup. Guests will enjoy a number of seasonal wildlife events including spotting Tasmanian Devils emerging from their dens with imps (baby devils) on their backs and Common Wombats are also abundant at this time.
Gangs of Tasmanian Native Hens begin their raucous territorial fights as a precursor to mating. During windy weather, Shy Albatross and Gannets fill Mercury Passage chasing baitfish. Cape Barren Geese are also pairing up and mating and building nests.
About The Maria Island Walk: Ian and Bronwyn Johnstone developed their dream to start The Maria Island Walk in 2002, showcasing this magical island to a new band of travellers that valued natural wildlife encounters in remote and tranquil settings, combined with world-class hospitality. Central to the company’s philosophy is the importance of creating connection between walkers and guides, with a maximum of ten guests led by two professional guides. Working closely with Parks and Wildlife Tasmania, the walk has received widespread acclaim for its environmentally friendly practices, contribution to conservation projects as well as leadership in the ecotourism and walking sectors.
Guests are picked up from their central Hobart accommodation between 8.30am and 8.45am. The group is then driven to Triabunna, about 90 minutes away, to board one of the local ferry boats which crosses Mercury Passage en-route to Darlington on the island. Landing at the historic Darlington precinct, just a short walk to the historic Bernacchi House, guests can relax around the house in front of the wood fires or take a walk to the stunning Painted Cliffs or Fossil Cliffs to watch the sunset over the water.
These massive limestone cliffs store a prolific volume of fossils from a 280 million year old sea bed including fully formed shell fossils. At Darlington, it is common to see grazing Common Wombats, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett's Wallabies, Cape Barren Geese, Tasmanian Native Hens, with a keen eye spotting pairs of beautiful Flame Robins darting around. Delicious fresh Tasmanian produce and fine wines will be served by the guides. The approximate walking distance is 2 km or up to 12km if taking one of the afternoon walks.
After a leisurely and relaxed breakfast, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings before guests choose their walking trail for the day. For the adventurous, there is the choice of the island's two towering mountain peaks of Mt Maria or Bishop and Clerk. These both provide stunning views towards Tasman Island, Freycinet, Schouten Island and the Ile Des Phoques.
Towards the top of the peaks, small scree and big dolerite boulders are a remnant of the last glaciation period around 20,000 years ago, when upright columns fell due to freezing between the rock. For a more relaxed stroll, the Reservoir Circuit or Oast House Circuit is ideal that provide abundant opportunities to see the island's marsupials.
Arriving back at Bernacchi House in the afternoon, guests will be entertained by native birds, Bennett's Wallabies and Tasmanian Pademelons, often seen eating the heritage lavender in the gardens. After enjoying delicious local wines on the deck, guests will be served a satisfying and scrumptious dinner. Walking distances range from 6 kilometres up to 18 kilometres if a mountain peak is chosen.
After breakfast, guests can explore Darlington, the convict settlement and industrial ruins of this World Heritage Listed site. The island’s grasslands are one of Australia's best locations for viewing wombats, kangaroos and wallabies in a natural setting. Forester Kangaroos, Bennett's Wallabies, Cape Barren Geese, Tasmanian Native Hens are commonly seen grazing in natural or historic clearings, whilst pairs of beautiful Flame Robins dart around.
A farewell lunch will be served overlooking Darlington before guests board the boat for Triabunna and the return trip to Hobart or the airport at approximately 6pm.
Pricing: from $1,490 per person (based on twin share including touring, meals & accommodation).
Group Size: Maximum of 8 guests
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Hobart accommodations in city centre.
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 8:00am pick up on day one and 6:00pm drop off on day four at airport, or 6:30pm drop off in city.
As part of our commitment to sustainability we have developed a code of practice relating to our wildlife interactions and have received accreditation as a Climate Action Leader. We have sought independent verification of our practices through Ecotourism Australia. Our Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation is awarded to Australia's leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.
Tasmania’s local produce, wineries and boutique beers are world famous and we use the freshest of produce from local suppliers like:
Our guides prepare restaurant quality meals and each evening serve a 3 course, candlelit dinner under the stars complimented by award winning Tasmanian wines from vineyards like Cape Bernier, Springvale and Bream Creek and local beers. Bon appétit.
WINNER Tasmania Tourism Awards 2017 • 2016 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010 • 2009 • 2008 • 2007 • 2006 • 2005
WINNER Qantas Australia Tourism Awards (Best Tour & Transport Operator) 2017
WINNER Qantas Australia Tourism Awards (Best Adventure Tourism) 2012 • 2011 • 2008
The Maria Island Winter Escape can be booked via our friendly reservations team using our enquiry form - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.
"What a treat - 4 days on a beautiful island - fantastic food, wonderful Tassie wines, helpful friendly and knowledgeable guides, amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery, great walks (beach, track and mountain), extremely comfortable and well designed camps the list could go on ….. It is easy to see why the company has won so many awards. Highly recommended!" - Anne, Australia
"From the delight of great Pinot Noir to the thrills of a mountain climb this walk has it all. Fantastic guides, beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, gorgeous beaches, wildlife, history, great food and wine. We were a group of eight plus two guides and it was amazing from start to finish. The optional walks are more challenging but worth the effort. Bookend the trip with some time in Hobart and a visit to Mona, a great holiday." - Robert, Australia
"This walk was a unique opportunity to experience both beautiful scenery and wildlife close up in a unspoiled National Park setting. Our guides, Sue and Emma, provided excellent commentary and support as well as gourmet quality meals. There were several walking options each day so you could participate even if not athletic. The longest walk was 11 miles but well paced on flat beaches - Sheila, United States