Maria Island, where the former Darlington penal settlement was established (the prisoners were later moved to Port Arthur) is now a popular national park. Amongst the island’s many attractions are the spectacular Painted Cliffs – truly one of nature’s marvels.
The walk to the cliffs starts at the visitor centre at Darlington. It is recommended that you check the tides before setting off on your walk. It is best to time your visit to low tide for safety reasons and to allow for access to the rocky platform at the base of the cliffs, the best position to view them from.
The 4.6km (one way) walk takes approximately 2-hrs. There is a loop detour that can be taken to Oast House to view the remains of hop kilns that were built there in the early 1800’s. The remnants of the penal colony are also of interest to many visitors.
The Painted Cliffs walk is rated Level 2, and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Those walking the track should have sound shoes or boots, sun protection and clothes suited to the weather.
Park fees DO APPLY, as do your ferry passage and camping fee if staying overnight.
No pets or firearms are permitted, however, bicycles may be ridden on formed road sections but not on the tracks.
Basic camping accommodation, picnic facilities, gas BBQ’s and toilets are available at the visitor centre. Note there are no shops on the island. If camping, bedding, food and cooking stove must be carried.
There is a ferry service to the island running from the township of Triabunna which is off the Tasman Highway (A3).