The Maria Island Walk Tasmanian Experience

Join us for three unforgettable days on Maria Island.

We have developed an exclusive experience for Tasmanians while they can’t travel further afield. Explore the northern end of Maria Island with our experienced local guides for an opportunity to climb spectacular peaks, encounter an abundance of wildlife and experience some of the highlights of the island in comfort. You’ll stay in Bernacchi House, a beautifully restored heritage home in the convict settlement of Darlington which is exclusively used by guests of The Maria Island Walk. At the end of the day, relax in front of the wood fire with a glass of Tasmanian wine and let your guide prepare you a sumptuous three course meal showcasing local Tasmanian produce.

Take the opportunity to enjoy Maria Island in style for the heavily discounted locals price of $999 per person. This offer is exclusively available for the local Tasmanian market for a limited time. While the borders are closed, why not take advantage and explore your own backyard?

Includes:

  • Two friendly, knowledgable and passionate guides
  • Two nights comfortable, twin-share accommodation at the beautifully restored Bernacchi House in Darlington
  • All meals and drinks, including restaurant quality meals prepared with gourmet Tasmanian produce and matched with fine Tasmanian wines and local beers
  • Ferry crossing from Triabunna to Maria Island
  • Use of gear including day packs and waterproof jackets
  • National Parks entry fees
  • A maximum of eight guests per group to ensure personalised and safe service

For more information, please see our information sheet, contact us at 03 6234 2999 or email us at bookings@mariaislandwalk.com.au.

You can also check availability and book online.

For the full The Maria Island Walk experience, our four day walk is also open for booking from October to April. Please visit our website for more information.

 

Our Top Hiking Essentials

There is nothing quite as healthy for both body and mind as going for a long hike. But to get the most out of the experience and not be distracted by discomfort or worry, it pays to follow the Scout’s motto and be prepared! The first thing to consider is the weather, and if you are hiking in a place like Tasmania, that can be a massive variable. Have a good look at the forecast for the area you plan to explore and the duration of your trip, and then pack accordingly- always being ready for conditions to be a bit worse than predicted. But hiking isn’t just about survival, it’s also about enjoyment, and below you will find a few items that may not be considered essential survival equipment but are things we reach for every trip.

Footwear

Consider the terrain you will be walking through and personal preferences. A good pair of lightweight waterproof hiking boots are a great all-rounder you can take almost anywhere, but sometimes trail runners can be a great choice too. Consider your socks as well; a set of merino or merino blend socks will go a long way in reducing your risk of developing blisters. If heading out on a multi-day hike, having a lightweight pair of sandals or sneakers to slip your feet into at the end of the day is always pleasant.

Hiking boots

Clothing

Natural layers are the best option. In cold wintery conditions, having a merino thermal layer against your skin goes a long way in raising your comfort level and hence morale. A long-sleeved shirt for sunny conditions can also be essential. Personally, we love a silk shirt in summer. A sunhat and comfy beanie for chilly conditions are also a must. When hiking in Tasmania, particularly in the colder months or in the mountains, having a synthetic pile jacket that will retain its thermal qualities when wet is a great idea – one usually gets most chilled when sitting around camp or stopping for snacks, and being able to throw a thick warm jacket on makes a big difference.

Rain Protection

It rains a lot in some parts of Tasmania. This means it is essential to be ready for wet conditions. Not only do you need to be able to keep yourself dry, you also need to be able to keep all your gear dry, including valuable and vulnerable electronics! Invest in a good quality Gore-Tex or similar rain jacket and lightweight overpants. If venturing into the mountains, considering also taking waterproof gloves or mittens. Have both a cover for you backpack and have everything inside it in lightweight dry bags. Make sure you can waterproof your camera, phone, and any other electronics you might have. Camping stores stock an array of creative options to achieve this.

Entertainment

There can be a lot of down time when hiking, particularly in bad weather on multi-day hikes. Come prepared for this and you’ll never be bored outdoors again! Books can be heavy but e-readers aren’t, and you can stock up on titles before heading out. We always take earphones and have some great music as well as some podcasts and audio books saved on our phones for engaging content on track. A pack of cards (and the rules of a few fun games!) can provide hours of entertainment with a small group.

Delicious Food

Take lots of snacks you know you’ll enjoy! Make sure you bring enough food for your hike. Nobody wants to carry unnecessary weight in their bag, but being hungry is far more miserable! Snacking often also keeps your energy levels up and makes your trip more enjoyable. Muesli bars, nuts and fruit are great snacking options… and it always pays off to have a stash of chocolate!

Other Essentials

Don’t forget to bring appropriate maps of the area you are exploring, plus a headtorch, first aid supplies and a pocket knife.

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, why not book onto a guided hike where the planning is taken care of and most of your gear is supplied? Heading out on a multi-day guided walk such as The Maria Island Walk can give you a taste of what is involved and lets you work out your own system and discover what works for you. We will also provide a gear list so that you know exactly what you need to bring. For more information, call 03 6234 2999 or email bookings@mariaislandwalk.com.au. Alternatively, book online.

 

8 Things to do in Tasmania

Tasmania is a small island, but it is incredibly varied. Every year more and more exciting options open up for the traveller, and it is possible to return again and again and keep on discovering new hidden corners of the state. Below are some of our favourites.

1.Go on a self-guided driving tour.

Bring your car over from the mainland or hire one down here for the ultimate freedom to explore. Head up the East Coast for a week to experience beautiful white beaches and hidden coves, as well as some of the best vineyards in the State. Or why not pack up the car and head for the wild West Coast with its dense forests, plunging valleys and quartzite mountains? Here is wilderness and remoteness on a scale seldom experienced.

2. Go on an adventure cruise.

Get up close and personal with seal colonies and some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world on a cruise around Bruny Island or the Tasman Peninsula. Great for the whole family, this will be a day trip you will never forget. If you find yourself on the West Coast, and visit to Strahan wouldn’t be complete without heading up the Gordon River for a day to experience the still, dark waters of Macquarie Harbour and learn about the Huon Pine story and the fascinating convict history of Tasmania

3. Visit a distillery or vineyard.

With literally hundreds to choose from and situated in every corner of the State, some of our favourites include Springvale Estate on the East Coast which also has a great restaurant, Shene Distillery outside Hobart, Willies Smith’s Apple Shed in the Huon Valley, and Every Man and His Dog in the Coal Valley.

MONA Museum Hobart

Image: www.hobartandbeyond.com.au

4. Head out to MONA.

Can you really say you have visited Hobart if you haven’t been out to this world-famous museum? Splash out and get tickets for the Posh Pit on the ferry from Hobart, set aside a whole day, and get lost in the whole bizarre experience. With the exhibits changing regularly and a huge maze of a complex to get lost in, it is easy to return to MONA again and again and still discover more oddities.

5. Embrace the foodie scene.

Why not get the most out of Tasmania’s excellent fresh produce and world class food with a dining experience? The Agrarian Kitchen not only serves amazing food, but you can also take a cooking course on their beautiful paddock-to-plate small farm located in the stunning Derwent Valley just half an hour from Hobart. With an ethos of simplicity and sustainability, the menu reflects seasonal changes and local produce.

The Maria Island Walk Wilderness Camps

6. Go on a multi-day guided hike.

To get the most out of Tasmania’s wilderness, you really need to immerse yourself in it for days at a time. And what better way to do this than by going “glamping?” With all the luxuries of good food, fine wine, and experienced guides to provide insight and take care of logistics, glamping is still a simple immersion in landscape that allows you to slow down and experience the place you are in without the distractions on civilisation. The Maria Island Walk offers that perfect mix of simplicity and comfort.

7. Stay at a boutique hotel.

Why not treat yourself to something special and spend a few days at a place like Saffire, located at the edge of the stunning Freycinet National Park, or Pumphouse Point, situated on the remote and breath-taking Lake St Clare? Surrounded by the landscapes and wilderness Tasmania is famous for, with world-class service and welcoming hospitality, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Tasmanian devil at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Image: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

8. Visit a wildlife sanctuary.

The best way to get up close and personal with some of Tasmania’s unique animals whilst also contributing to conservation efforts is to visit a wildlife sanctuary such as Bonorong, located just outside Hobart. Here you will learn about the island’s unique fauna and the threats they face, as well as being able to see such iconic species such as the Tasmanian Devil and the Spotted Tail Quoll.

For more information about a four day guided walk, contact The Maria Island Walk on 03 6234 2999 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.