Tasmanian Native Hen
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Type: Groups, Shared.
Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
This four day guided walk across magnificent Maria Island, combines intimate wildlife encounters, fascinating history, pristine white sand beaches, and locally sourced gourmet food. Small groups of maximum 10 guests and 2 guides, will explore the World Heritage Listed island with gentle walks by day and enjoy elegant private accommodation and candle lit gourmet dining each night.
As a vital location for numerous threatened and endangered species, Maria is now an island sanctuary and one of the best places in Australia to observe Common Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren Geese, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies and 125 species of birds; including all of Tasmania’s endemics, the beautiful Swift Parrot and the endangered 40 Spotted Pardalote.
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.
On arrival to the historic coastal town of Triabunna, guests will cruise across to Maria Island via the sparkling waters of Mercury Passage to the three kilometre sandy isthmus of Maria Island. On these pristine and untouched beaches, it is common to see Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers, Crested Terns, Australasian Gannets, Pacific Gulls, Hooded Dotterels, Silver Gulls and Short-tailed Shearwaters (from Spring until Autumn).
After enjoying a delicious lunch overlooking the crystal azure waters of Shoal Bay, walkers will head towards the tranquil Casuarina Beach camp. The afternoon brings the opportunity to explore a trail through tall eucalypt forests down to the spectacular Haunted Bay, renowned for its vivid orange-and-yellow lichen smothered granite rocks.
On the return journey, walkers should keep a keen eye out for Short-beaked Echidnas, Pademelons, wallabies and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. That evening, after a fine Tasmanian gourmet dinner, guests can stroll along the beach at sunset with a glass of wine, delighting in the day’s adventures.
Overnight Accommodation: Wilderness Glamping at Casuarina Beach Camp
Waking up to the busy chattering of Yellow Wattlebirds, guests will watch the morning sun sparkle through the forest from the comfort of bed. After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to start the journey along five beautiful beaches.
This brings the opportunity to watch Bottlenose Dolphins play in the surf and White-bellied Sea Eagles soaring overhead whilst walking past the carpet of exotic shells lining the water’s edge. Winding through tracks of grassy tussocks to the sand dunes and to Bloodstone Beach, walkers will retrace the steps of French explorer Nicholas Baudin who visited in 1802 and pass the probation outpost of Point Lesueur.
Before settling into the White Gums Camp, walkers can take a quick swim or observe numerous bird species, including the rare Forty-spotted Pardalote, Spotted and Striated Pardalote, Scarlet Robins, Silvereyes, Green Rosellas, Yellow-rumped Thornbill and Strong-billed, Yellow-throated, Black-headed, Crescent and New Holland Honeyeaters.
Cuckoos (Fan-tailed, Pallid, and Golden Bronze) may also be spotted on the White Gums in Spring, when they lay eggs in the nests of Superb Fairy-wrens, Satin Flycatchers and Yellow-rumped Thornbills. Walkers will also find an abundance of Common Wombats, Bennett's Wallabies and Forester Kangaroos. After this perfect day, guests can relax with fellow walkers, before enjoying a candlelit dinner of the finest Tasmanian food and wine.
Overnight Accommodation: Wilderness Glamping at White Gums Camp
Today the Tasmanian Walking Guides will lead walkers inland to the heart of the Island to discover the lush and majestic forests. Wandering through the world’s largest stand of giant Tasmanian Blue Gums, walkers may spot Common Wombats and the noisy Swift parrot that feeds on the flowering nectar.
This critically endangered migratory species returns to the east coast of Tasmania in August to nest in the hollows of trees and breed. Walkers can choose to climb the peaks of Mt Maria or Bishop and Clerk, providing 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.
In the evening, walkers will arrive at Tasmanian’s fascinating World Heritage listed settlement of Darlington, staying at the elegant colonial Bernacchi House for a final night banquet with fine wine and conversation. Outside, guests will commonly see Bennett's Wallabies and the Tasmanian Pademelons eating the heritage lavender in the gardens.
Overnight Accommodation: Bernacchi House
The final day commences with a delicious breakfast followed by a walk around the northern tip of Maria Island. This trail covers a variety of spectacular woodlands and forests, before arriving at the dramatic sea cliffs of Fossil Bay.
These massive limestone cliffs store a prolific volume of fossils from a 280 million year old sea bed including fully formed shell fossils. Arriving back 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. Before boarding the boat to go back to the mainland Tasmania and Hobart, walkers will enjoy a celebratory farewell lunch to reminisce about the amazing four days walking across this beautiful Island.
Pricing: from $2,500 per person (based on twin share including touring, meals & accommodation).
Group Size: Maximum of 10 guests, with a minimum ratio of one guide per 5 guests.
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Hobart accommodations in city centre.
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 7:30– 7:45am pick up on day one and 5:00pm drop off on day four.
Our pack free walk option is an additional service available on nominated and private group departures for a rate of $200 per person. It’s the perfect option for guests who prefer not to carry their backpack which can weigh between 6-8kgs. We will transfer your gear between each nights’ accommodation, so you only carry your lunch, water, jacket and camera.
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 Walk is available to be booked online via the button below. If you have any queries, please contact our friendly team via 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