Tasmanian Native Hen
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Type: Groups, Shared.
Departs: Selected Dates (please enquire)
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.
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. 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.