Finally, there is Maria Island National Park which is reached by a short ferry trip from Triabunna, south of Swansea.
There are no cars on Maria Island – you can explore on foot or by bike. Whichever you opt for, be prepared for plenty of wildlife encounters – there are wombats, wallabies, Cape Barren Geese, and even Tasmanian Devils that have been released there as part of conservation efforts.
Maria Island boasts a rich, ancient cultural heritage, with Tasmanian Aboriginal people visiting and living on the island as far back as 35,000 years ago. In the colonial era, it became a penal settlement for convicts, and many remnants of this period remain. Most visitors to the island begin their exploration with some time exploring the old Commissariat Store in Darlington, which houses displays and information about the island’s history.
Other Maria Island highlights include the Painted Cliffs, where wave action and water have left incredible natural patterns in the sandstone cliffs; the challenging Bishop and Clark walk, which is 5-hours return but rewards you with astonishing views; and Fossil Cliffs, where you can see the remains of clams, corals and scallops from 300 million years ago.
All Tasmanian National Parks require visitors to have a Parks Pass. Visit parks.tas.gov.au to purchase one in advance.