Fossil Cliffs Maria Island
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Fossil Cliffs Maria Island

Bushwalk Details

Maria Island offers a range of excellent walks, from short easy through to more demanding and also luxury guided walks. The walk to Fossil Cliffs is fairly easy, with these cliffs considered one of the best examples of life 250 million years ago. The cliffs are so named because of the vast number of shellfish fossils embedded in the limestone cliffs. The walk is best a low tide when you can walk down to the shoreline to get a closer look at the fossils. The circuit passes some historic buildings in Darlington, so make sure you take time to wander around what remains of these old buildings. The walk to Fossil Cliffs offers some great views of Bishop and Clerk and the high sea cliffs on the east coast of Maria Island. Fossil Cliffs, like all walks on Maria Island, is reached byr ferry from the town of Triabunna (there are multiple daily services in summer, and fewer in winter). The walk to Fossil Cliffs is well signposted and starts from Darlington (where the island accommodation is) with the start of the walk clearly sign-posted. Maria Island was originally settled by whalers and sealers before becoming a penal colony in 1825. By 1832 the convict settlement was abandoned in favour of Port Arthur on the rugged Tasman Peninsula to the South East of Maria Island. After a second incarnation as a convict probation station between 1842-1850, Maria Island was taken over by a flamboyant Italian entrepreneur named Deigo Bernacchi who planted grapes, cultivated silkworms, and established a cement works. Regrettably, none of these ventures survived the Great Depression. Please note, National Park Fees apply to Maria Island. Bicycles can be ridden on this track but not on the fossil platform. itself.

​​A campground and basic bunkhouse-style​​​ accommodation​ are available at Darlington, which is accessed via a short walk from the ferry terminal. Free camping is available at Frenchs Farm and Encampment Cove​ for overnight walkers. Please note that Maria Island is a remote island experience, and there are no shops on the island meaning you need to carry enough food for your stay, a refillable water bottle, good walking shoes, warm and waterproof clothing including a beanie, sun protection including a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, personal first aid kit, mobile phone, and a backpack. Visitors to Maria Island generally purchase goods in either of the small towns of Orford or Triabunna before catching the ferry.

Features

  • Dogs Allowed

    No

  • Walk Length

    4-5 kilometres

  • Walk Duration

    2-3 hours

  • Walk Type

    Dirt, Grass

  • National Park

    Yes

  • Costs Apply?

    Yes

  • Suit Children

    Yes

  • Walk Difficulty

    Easy

  • Region of Tasmania

    East

  • Start Of Walk

    Maria Island

  • Walker Registration Required

    Yes

  • Mobile Phone Reception

    Yes

  • Loop

    Yes

  • Barbecue Facilities

    Yes

  • Sheter

    Yes

  • Fresh Water

    Yes

  • Camping Available

    Yes

  • Camping Comments

    There are great camping options at Maria Island including at Darlington near the Penetentiary, at Frenchs Farm and Encampment.

  • Camping Website

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