Biking and Hiking Maria Island

hiking maria island

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Biking and Hiking Maria Island is the best way to explore this part of Tasmania. Maria Island is abundant with wildlife, such as wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and the recently introduced Tasmanian Devil. There are no cars allowed on Maria Island so Cycling Maria Island with it’s numerous campsites and many hiking opportunities make for a great way to spend some time.

How to Get to Maria Island

There is a daily ferry to Maria Island from Triabunna. The ferry takes 30 minutes and there are several sailings per day. There are no shops on Maria Island so buy all food in Triabunna beforehand.

Check ferry the ferry timetable and prices here

Where to camp on Maria Island

There are 3 Campsites on Maria Island. The main campsite is in Darlington but Encampment Cove is much nicer and very quiet. It takes 1.5 hours to get there with the bicycle, there will be many stops for wombats, kangaroos and wallabies.

Wombats of Maria Island
Wombat near Encampment
And another wombat, they are everywhere on Maria Island

Cycling Maria Island

Cycling Maria Island is the best way to get around. There are easy trails that cris cross the whole Island. The trail from Darlington to Encampment Cove campground is a highlight due to the abundance of wildlife.

From Encampment Cove there is a nice trail to Point Lesueur. There are old convict cells that have fallen into disrepair.

McRaies Isthmus is also nearby. It is a narrow strip of sandy land that separates the north and south of the Island. It is a sandy ride on the track and it may require getting off to push on many occasions. Halfway along there is an opportunity to take a side track to Riedle Bay.

It is possible to cycle on the rock hard sand next to the ocean, dodging the incoming waves as they pound the beach. It is a nice ride all the way to the far end of the beach. From there it is possible to explore by foot.

Cycling on the beach at Maria Island
Dead Seal Maria Island

There is also another nice track to the other side of the Isthmus at the sheltered Shoal Bay. More cycling on the beach is possible.

Maria Island Crab
Alone on the beach with crabs!

There is also a which may involve pushing up some of the steep hills. It is pleasant cycling and a nice way to see the different side of Maria Island. Also a chance to see more wildlife including Tiger Snakes. I nearly ran over one when I cycled this track!

French Farm
French Farm
cycling the inland track
Cycling Maria Island
Oh No, flat tyre
Oh No, flat tyre number 2 for the trip.
Eastern Grey Kangaroos
Eastern Grey Kangaroos, baby, mum and dad.
Tiger Snake on the inland track
Tiger Snake, while Cycling the inland road on Maria Island, almost ran over this snake…

Darlington Campsite

Darlington Campsite is the most popular for good reason. It is close to the Painted cliffs which makes the best place to watch sunset on Maria Island. It is also a great base for the numerous hiking trails.

Maria Island and in particular Darlington is increasingly being known as a good spot to view Tasmanian Devils. On my visit I saw a plethora of possums, wallabies, wombats and kangaroos until a black shape about the size of a small dog ran past one of the houses and away from our lamps. Surely it was a Tassie Devil. We were not 100% sure. I would like to claim it as a sighting……..yep, I’m going to claim it as a sighting of a wild Tasmanian Devil.

Darlington maria island
Painted cliffs at sunset
Painted cliffs at sunset
Painted cliffs are a nice place to watch sunset
Painted cliffs are a nice place to watch sunset
Maria Island
Sunset on Maria Island, not so quite as good as I wanted..

Maria Island Walk

Bishop and Clerk is 630m high and the premier Maria Island walk. It is a bit of a climb. I set off via the Fossil Cliffs alone. The sometimes steep, alway exhausting climb took me just under 2 hours to ascend. The hiking trail is well marked and makes for the best views of Maria Island.

hiking Bishop and Clerk is the best Maria Island walk
View from Bishop and Clerk at 630m
maria island walk
Self timer photo, On top of Bishop and Clerk mountain, 630m, storms brewing in the background. .

At 4am I was woken by the loud noises. Howling gale force winds and a tent on the verge of collapse. A storm had hit Maria Island.  My exposed campsite looking out over the water meant that I was not sheltered from its fury. I got out of the tent and re-pegged it more securely. The 50-60km/h winds and rain stinging my body. My now more secure tent provided me with a bit of comfort and in a matter of minutes I was back sleeping, but not for long as it was time to leave the Island by the ferry which departed at 10.30am.

Maria Island Stats

  • Encampment Bay to Darlington (Maria Island) = 35km
  • Darlington Cycling and hiking – 10km bike, 6km hike.

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Complete Guide to Hiking and Cycling Maria Island Tasmania

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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