Blogs from Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Maria Island June 9th 2016

A very dear friend of mine, God rest his soul, used to maintain that you should always choose the second cheapest wine. The cheapest on the menu would almost certainly be something pretty foul, as any complaint could be rebuffed by simply pointing to the price. From there on up, though, you may as well save your pennies; most folk aren’t exactly connoisseurs and struggle to tell the difference between a decent basic tipple and one ten times the price, so best just plump for the next cab off the rank. My own new policy for holidays is a similar idea in reverse; you should always pick the second best attractions. The real headline acts become victims of their own success, rapidly succumbing to the three ‘O’s; overbooking, overcrowding and overpricing, leaving them mostly overrated. Almost ... read more
Butterfly on Banksia, Mt Rowland
Painted Cliffs, Maria Island
Artwork on MONA ferry.

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Maria Island March 5th 2015

Thursday 5th March 2015 Having an alarm wake you up before 0600 is not the best thing anytime but especially when you are on holidays. Today we were visiting Maria Island and the ferry left Triabunna, about 1.5 hours away, at 0900. A quick breakfast, pack, and we were off. Rags was reluctant to drive anywhere near the speed limit of 100kph, the roadside being littered with the carcasses of pademelons, which are small wallabies, hit by other vehicles. We were driving our host’s BMW and would hate to return it damaged! First stop was Swansea, 58kms from Coles Bay, to stop at the bakery to buy lunch, as there are no shops on the island. We also bought a fig loaf as we did on the way to Coles Bay, this we would share with ... read more
Whale bones
The Fossil Cliffs

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Maria Island November 28th 2007

My last place to visit in Tasmania was Maria Island, about an hour north of Hobart. It was named by good old Abel Tasman in 1642 after Maria van Diemen, wife of the Governor of Batavia (that's Java to us modern folk). Van Diemen himself had already had the whole rest of Tasmania named after him, as Van Diemen's Land. A few hundred years of Australian accents have changed the pronunciation though, so now the island is called Ma-rye-a Island rather than Ma-ree-a Island. Like the rest of Australia, Maria Island started out being used as a convict settlement but it was so easy to escape from that it was abandoned as such after only seven years! More recently it has become sort of a lifeboat for threatened Tasmanian wildlife, with several species being introduced here ... read more
fan-tailed cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
black currawong (Strepera fuliginosa), one of Tasmania's endemic birds
and another one, the Tasmanian native hen (Gallinula mortierii). Sneaky sneaky

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Maria Island January 28th 2004

My next destination was to be the uninhabited island of Maria, just off the East Coast of Tasmania. After an overnight stop in Triabunna, eating home-baked biscuits in front of a log fire in the hostel, I took the ferry to the island. Maria once held a number of convicts, and the accomodation available on the island was a tent or the old penetentiary. The choice was easy to make. The room in the penetentiary was around 3 by 4 metres and held six bunks,although in the days of the convicts there would have been around fifty men sleeping in hammocks strung across the room. Far from the luxury of the hostels I had been staying in, the penetentiary only had a table, complete with beer bottle and candle for light, and an old wood stove ... read more
Localised Gloominess
The Painted Cliffs

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