Maria Island, TasmaniaSunday, 27 January 2008
A stroll down the beach with good food and a glass of wine every night, what’s not to like? My 2008 travels (and walking) started with a bunch of friends on a small island off the coast of Tasmania, the not-quite-so-small island state of Australia. The Maria Island Walk is the newest of a number of Tasmanian ‘gourmet walks’, a couple of days not-too-hard walking ending up at somewhere nice to stay and with a couple of guides along to make sure you eat well at the fixed camps each night and at the final halt. Which in this case was the old house of island pioneer Diego Bernacchi.
descending from the top of ‘Bishop & Clerk’
Maria Island arrival
High points of the walk were the walk south to beautiful Haunted Bay with its huge kelp forests visible through the crystal clear water. And the steep climb to the dramatic rocky peaks known as Bishop and Clerk, right on the north-east edge of the island. The spectacular Painted Cliffs were also worth a visit and if the water was just a little warmer (bring wetsuit) the snorkelling would be excellent.
The Painted Cliffs
The island has had a chequered history, an aboriginal period, a convict spell, Signor Bernacchi’s attempt to produce wine and even a very unsuccessful attempt to produce cement. Now it’s a national park which attracts campers and mountain bikers as well as the walkers like our party.
wildlife crossing the path