Maria Island and a Tassie Christmas in Launceston
We arrived in Triabunna for a two night stay in a caravan park. We had booked a tour of Maria Island which is accessible by passenger ferry.
Maria Island is a mountainous island off the east coast of Tasmania. The entire island is a national park. Maria Island The island is about 20 km in length from north to south and, at its widest, is about 13 km west to east. The island was named in 1642 by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman after Maria van Diemen, wife of Anthony van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in Batavia.
We took the ferry and tour of the island. Our ferry dropped off other passengers at Darlington, the settlement on the island, and then took us around the northern and eastern shores of Maria Island to see the Fossil Cliffs and then on to Riedele Bay to drop anchor for lunch on board our boat.
We stopped to have a close look at some sea caves along the eastern shore.
Here are some pictures of our lunch stop on the eastern side of the island. After lunch we headed back to Darlington to have a walk around the old convict settlement.
For two periods during the first half of the 19th century, Maria Island hosted convict settlements. The island's first convict era was between 1825 and 1832 and its second - the probation station era - between 1842 and 1851. Among those held during the second era was the Irish nationalist leader William Smith O'Brien, exiled for his part in the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. His cottage still exists in the nearby former penal colony Port Arthur to where he was deported after his time on Maria Island. He was later transferred to New Norfolk on the Derwent River.
Three structures from the first convict era remain in the Darlington area: the Commissariat Store built in 1825 and presently used as the park's reception and visitor centre; the convict penitentiary, completed in 1828 and now used to accommodate visitors rather than detain them; and the convict-built dam on Bernacchis Creek, which still provides Darlington's water.
On our return to Triabunna we stopped at the Painted Cliffs on the western shore of Maria Island.
On Sunday we drove to Orford just a few kilometres south of Triabunna and stopped at some of the stunning beaches along the way. The most beautiful so far was Rheban Beach about 12km south of Orford with about half the distance on narrow gravel road.
We moved back to Campania but not before stopping off at Buckland, a tiny community, just outside the Buckland Military Training Area. The pub at Buckland allows camping behind the pub if you give a gold coin donation at the bar to the RFDS.
We spent a few hours at Richmond before arriving at our camp spot at Campania for the next two nights. We had a nice day wine tasting at Frogmore Winery, cherry buying at a roadside stall, visiting Wicked Cheese and then having a roast lamb dinner with two other couples staying at Campania. We were all from Queensland (actually, at this time of year, I think every fourth person must be a Queenslander.)
Our next destination was Hobart to leave the Quantum at the Treasure Island Caravan Park ($5 per night for storage) for the next 9 days while we travel back to @aunceston to have Christmas with my brother Paul. We plan to be back in Hobart for 8 days for the Taste Festival and the coming in of the yachts from the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
On our way back to Launceston we called into the historic village of Ross for lunch.