Standing at 711m, Mount Maria is the highest point on Maria Island and offers extensive views along Tasmania’s east coast. Leaving Darlington, this 5-6 hour, 16km walk follows the well-established Inland Track for half the distance before scrambling through steep eucalypt forest and exposed rock screes to the summit. From the summit, panoramic views stretch south beyond the Tasman Peninsula and north past Freycinet.
The trail includes short detours to visit the Painted Cliffs and the Oast House ruins. Hikers may also wish to mountain bike the Inland Track portion of the walk.
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|Located off Tasmania’s east coast, Maria Island can only be reached via ferry from Triabunna. For information on travel times and fares please go to https://encountermaria.com.au/Take the Tasman Highway (A3) from Hobart through Sorell (Left hand turn in Sorell township). Continue 83km northeast to Triabunna. Just as you reach the township turn right onto Vicary Street and continue for 500m before turning right onto Charles Street. The Maria Island ferry and carpark are located 200m directly ahead on the esplanade.The Mount Maria track leaves from Darlington, just beyond the ferry terminal.
The following trail information is directed at hikers. However, half of the trail is suited for mountain biking, which is equally recommended. Additionally, Mount Maria can also be accessed from the island’s south if returning to Darlington from French’s Farm area.
The Mount Maria track begins on the outskirts of Darlington Township on Maria Island. Leaving Darlington, follow the row of Cypress trees up the hill and head south along the Coast Road. You will likely pass a wisdom of wombats as you crest the first hill and descend towards Hopground Beach.
Halfway along the beach, the trail forks, and the left-hand track heads towards Mt Maria via the Inland Track. Before continuing, the brief 100m return sidetrack to Painted Cliffs via the right-hand side is worth checking out, especially at low tide.
For the next 2.5km, the wide Inland Track passes through open woodlands and gradually climbs. Counsel Creek is crossed twice in short succession, and the trail begins to climb more steeply, eventually meeting the Mount Maria track junction.
Once at the Mount Maria junction, the trail climbs south-east through eucalyptus forest. White peppermint gums, mountain berries and banksias skirt the steepening track for the next few kilometres. Eventually, the upper sections of Four Mile Creek are crossed, and water may be available here (we walked this in late April, and there was plenty available).
Soon after passing Four Mile Creek, the track opens up onto dolerite rock screes and boulder fields. Unlike the organised rock scree on the nearby Bishop and Clerk track, rock placement here is still wild and tricky to navigate. Intermittent yellow arrows mark the trail from here.
After passing an inital scree section, the trail reenters the forest briefly, passing through some of the oldest areas of Callitris rhomboidea (Oyster Bay Pine) found in Tasmania. Boulder hopping then continues for the final section of the walk. Care should be taken here, especially in poor weather, as climbing will require 3 points of contact at times.
Finally, the trig station and the summit of Mount Maria are reached. From the summit, panoramic views stretch south beyond the Tasman Peninsula and north past Freycinet. Nearly all of Maria Island is also clearly on offer, from the skinny white sands of McRaes Isthmus to the Darlington township and the northern peaks of Bishop and Clerk.
The trail is retraced to return to Darlington, except for taking slight detour past the Oast House ruins once nearing the Coast Road again. The convict-built Oast House, built in 1844-1845, was a hop kiln used for drying hops.
Map for illustrative purposes only. Base map supplied by Land Information System Tasmania
Hazards and Warnings
As with any mountain summit in Tasmania, appropriate clothing should be worn. Careful footing is needed when traversing the rock screes.