The Maria Island Walk Wins Gold at the Australian Tourism Awards

The Maria Island Walk was judged the nation’s top Ecotourism operation at the 2019 Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra in March.

Owner Ian Johnstone said that it was an honour to have won the award, which came as our fifth time winning gold at a national level at these awards. The award follows a successful year for the walk, which also featured in Tourism Australia’s ‘Philausophy’ campaign and was named in Flight Centre’s ‘WOW List’ of their top 50 must-have global travel experiences for 2020.

The walk, which is in its 17th year of operation, is the ultimate in authentic, cultural, small group tourism and it is easy to understand why it is regarded amongst Australia’s top experiences.

We are honoured and want to say a big thank you for your continuous support.

To find out more about The Maria Island Walk, call us on 03 62342999 or book online.





The Maria Island Walk Featured in ‘8 of Tasmania’s Best Hikes’

Tasmania is the ultimate hiking playground. Australian Traveller have shared their list of 8 of Tasmania’s best hikes, and The Maria Island Walk features.

“If you appreciate tranquility, Maria Island ticks all the right boxes”

Australian Traveller say “Pristine Maria Island, located off Tasmania’s east coast, is a place of historic ruins, rugged cliffs and mountains, breathtaking bays and wide beaches. It’s also home to a plethora of wildlife including wombats, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, a number of unique birds and dolphins, whales and seals.

Hikers will spend their days walking this spectacular wilderness and their nights dining on three-course candlelit dinners accompanied by local wines and beer. There’s also an option to book a porter to transfer luggage between camps.”

You can read the rest of their article here.

To find out more about The Maria Island Walk, call us on 03 62342999 or book online.




Our Tasmanian Food Trail

Tasmania is synonymous with food. Renowned for its fresh seasonal produce, gourmet cuisine and fine wine, there is no better way to take in this delicious fare than a self-drive exploration of our island state, stopping to sample different areas’ offerings, discovering hidden gems and taking in our breath-taking landscapes along the way. Summer is the best time to feast on our seasonal produce, with different fruits coming into their own as the season progresses. December and early January is the best time of year for berries, with cherries ripening hot on their heels through January, apricots coming on towards the end of January and February, the grapes begin to be picked in March, and then the apple harvest starts in April and continues through May.

There are some hot-spots of gastronomic delight, and below is a ten-day itinerary to take in some of the best food the state has to offer.

Cheese and bread from the Bruny Island Cheese Co

A Ten Day Tasmanian Food Trail

Days 1-3: The Huon Valley and Bruny Island

Starting in Hobart, head south down to Huonville. With some lovely accommodation options, the Huon Valley is renowned for its apples. If in season, be sure to stop off and buy some fresh, crispy apples from one of the many roadside stalls. No visit down south would be complete without a visit to Willie Smith’s Cider Shed and Apple Museum, as well as the beautiful building that houses Frank’s Cider and Café. From Huonville, head south-east to Cygnet, stopping for a well-earned treat at the Red Velvet Lounge and to soak up the folksy vibes of this lovely little town. Continue on through the pretty villages of Woodbridge and Kettering and then board the short 20min ferry to Bruny Island. This lovely island is famous for its cheese, oysters and chocolates, as well as its spectacular beaches and epic coastlines. Be sure to stop off at the Bruny Island Cheese and Brewing Co, as well as pausing to sample some oysters. After an overnight stop on the island, head back to Hobart. No visit to Hobart would be complete with browsing through the bustling Salamanca Market, held every Saturday by the waterfront. Or, for a more authentic experience, visit the Farmers Market, held in the CBD every Sunday. There you will find local seasonal produce and the best gourmet products the state has to offer, all crowded together on one bustling street.

Days 4-6: The Derwent Valley

Follow the Derwent River West out of Hobart to New Norfolk, pausing to grab some fresh cherries from The Cherry Hut at Granton. New Norfolk is the guardian of one of Tasmania’s best gourmet secrets, the Agrarian Kitchen. Housed in beautifully restored historic buildings and boasting more raving reviews than many much more ostentatious establishments, the Agrarian Kitchen prides itself on ethical, locally sourced food prepared simply and presented beautifully. With warm friendly service and great wine, this is one stop not to be missed. Continuing up the picturesque river, stop off at the Westerway Raspberry Farm for some delicious Tasmanian ice-cream and fresh berries. There you can amble through the berry canes and pick as much as you can carry. There are fewer more pleasant ways to pass a sunny afternoon than in the raspberry and blackberry rows by the banks of the Tyenna River. After visiting Mt Field National Park, continue up to the historic town of Hamilton, where Jackson’s Emporium offers a delightful selection of curios and tasty food. Stop off at Two Metre Tall Brewery for an afternoon of pizza and beer.

Agrarian Kitchen and Eatery dining room

Days 7-8: Coal River Valley

This area, only half an hour from Hobart, boasts a plethora of wineries and the excellent eateries attached to them. Stay a night in historic Richmond and spend a few days driving leisurely from vineyard to vineyard. Some of the stand-outs are Frogmore Creek, Every Man and His Dog, and Puddleduck. Richmond also offers a market every Saturday which is well worth exploring, as well as having an array of cafes and an excellent bakery.

Days 9-10: The East Coast

A delightful combination of spectacular scenery and excellent wineries await the gastronomic adventurer along the East Coast. Passing first Maria Island, where visitors can enjoy the four day guided Maria Island Walk which showcases much of the state’s produce as well as local wines, continue north towards Freycinet. Some of the showcase vineyards along the way include Gala Estate, Milton (which produces some lovely dessert wines), and Devil’s Corner. Kate’s Berry Farm just before Swansea offers delicious food and sweet treats. Stop off at Freycinet National Park for some glorious scenery and several restaurants in Coles Bay. For a real treat, stay a night or two at Saffire Freycinet, one of Australia’s premier luxury experiences, and dive headfirst into the best Tasmania has to offer. Leaving Freycinet behind, continue North towards St Helens. Ironhouse Brewery, just before St Helens, is a must stop.

Tapas and wine at the Milton Vineyard

This itinerary is just a taster of the culinary delights Tasmania has to offer. With more and more restaurants, cafes, distilleries and farm-gate ventures starting up every year, it is hard to imagine a better place to embark on a gastronomic adventure against the backdrop of pristine wilderness and fertile farmland.

If you’re looking for an experience where everything is taken care of for you, including all of the transportation and accommodation, take a four day guided Maria Island Walk. Our guides prepare restaurant quality meals using local produce and each evening serve a 3 course, candlelit dinner under the stars complimented by award winning Tasmanian wines. Contact 03 6234 2999 for more information or book online.



Matching Tassie’s best tipples to food


There’s never been a better time to drink in Tasmania, with a diverse range of our southern vineyards picking up a swag of State, national and international awards.

Such diversity provides a great opportunity for wine lovers to stray off their beaten path to try new flavours – but if you’re used to staying with the same brands and types it can be daunting to try something different.

Fred Peacock is the founder of, and viticulturalist at, Bream Creek Vineyard, which supplies several of the Maria Island Walk’s wines. We talked to Fred to get some tips for how to make the best choice when pairing wine with food.



What makes Tasmanian wines so special?


Because they’re made in a cooler climate, Tassie wines have a high natural acidity in the grapes, which means they taste quite fresh. That vibrancy helps cut through richer foods quite easily, so you can pair, say a riesling with something quite rich – the cleansing acidity helps to refresh the palate each time.

According to Fred, a Tasmanian wine-industry pioneer, fifteen years ago Australia was best known for its big heavy reds – high alcohol, rich, almost “porty” styles. But in the last few years the industry has changed – and many growers have moved away from that into picking the grapes younger, which makes the wine fresher.



Power and the glory


As a general rule of thumb, think of the punch that the food flavour packs, and then match that intensity with your wine. Pair powerful foods like beef and strong cheese with full-bodied drops – “hard cheeses and particularly blue cheese with a bit of funk and age need the tannins from a cabernet to cut through the richness,” says Fred. Otherwise opt for a sweeter riesling or schönburger to contrast with the saltiness.

Lighter foods, on the other hand, need a more delicate wine – “something that’s dancing on its tiptoes, not plodding along.”

Match soft cheese with a richer pinot gris, to go with the delicacy of the flavour. For pasta dishes, consider the sauce: chardonnay matches well with creamy meals, while pinot grigio pairs perfectly with any style of seafood.


She’ll be white.


Tasmania has a wide variety of both reds and whites, but if you’re unsure, go pale. You can match a wider range of foods to white – from aperitif quaffing all the way through to a bigger chardonnay with pork or chicken, for example. Says Fred: “White retains its natural freshness from that acidity in the grapes, and offsets even quite rich food.”


When in doubt, drink pinot


Pinot noir is a versatile red wine – it works well with duck and lighter meats. If you want to be controversial, it even works with salmon in the lighter style pinots.

“When you have a really big heavy wine, [drink] one glass and you’re just about done,” says Fred. “A younger wine and you can go a second glass. A good pinot is very versatile, and food matching’s a much bigger thing in recent years, with tasting menus and regular opportunities at many wine shops to try before you buy. Take advantage, and take notes.”



When all else fails …


Don’t panic. For every rule there’s an exception – a flinty pinot that matches lamb’s pastural richness, or an unoaked chardonnay that brings the delicate flavours of sashimi to the fore. Really, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your favourite drop. “At the end of the day, if you like what you’re drinking, drink what you like,” advises Fred. “There’s not much point matching it with food if you’re not enjoying the wine’s flavour.”

On the Maria Island Walk, guests have the chance to sample a selection of award-winning Tasmanian wines that have been thoughtfully paired with their food.

They sip their way from Gala Estate and Milton near the iconic Freycinet Peninsula, through the hills behind stunning Marion Bay, where the Bream Creek and Cape Bernier labels are found, and to 42° South, from the Frogmore Creek winery in the Coal River Valley, just outside Hobart.

And what should you sip with your after-meal chocolate? A warm Pinot Noir does the perfect job.



Get someone else to choose…


A fully catered Tasmanian holiday – such as the Maria Island Walk’s four-day walk – is the perfect way to experiment. When Maria Island Walks founder Ian Johnstone came to decide on drinks for his guests, he chose to focus on the best wines from vineyards in the same region as Maria Island – south-east Tasmania.

Built on a foundation of beautiful fresh Tasmanian produce, the Maria Island Walk’s menu has been carefully curated and matched with fine wines.