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Mike Davis of East Coast Cruises, has decided to run his ferry service for free for the three month winter period to help encourage tourists to rug up and make the most of this breath-taking scenic wonderland.
Although he won't make any money from the venture his love of the island means he wants to ensure tourists know about this rugged mountainous paradise where they can experience history, nature and scenic beauty.
The free trips are available for adults and children plus you can also take your own bike over or hire one when you are there. The entire island is a national park and is only about 20 km in length from north to south and, at its widest, 13 km east to west.
The island is a favourite venue for camping as well as home to the award-winning Maria Island Walk. Most of the island's walks include sites of historic interest.
Two popular coastal walks are to the Painted Cliffs ( sandstone with beautiful patterns formed through staining by iron oxide) and the Fossil Cliffs which are limestone cliffs embedded with ancient fossils. There are also a number of longer day walks ranging from four to seven hours return.
There is a World Heritage-listed convict site Darlington, which many claim has a better preserved convict heritage than Port Arthur. You can even sleep in the cells. There are ten rooms with vinyl mattresses and bunk beds. Furniture may be basic but there are wood heaters. Winter discounts apply.
Nine of the rooms sleep six people each and the tenth sleeps 14. There is no electricity but toilets, hot showers and barbecues are nearby. Bookings at the Triabunna Visitor Information Centre (03) 62574772.
Talks about a Robinson Crusoe style island. There are no permanent inhabitants except for a few park rangers. Therefore when you go to the island you must be self-sufficient.
Another interesting facet of the island are the Tasmanian devils. Most people will have heard of the severe strife these little devils have been in over the last few years with disease disseminating their population
Last November 14 disease-free devils were moved to Maria Island to ensure the survival of the species and they are thriving.
There are also fascinating places such as Haunted Bay named after the odd squawking in the evening of the many fairy penguins that live there.
The island is also an important vantage point for bird watchers and considered the best place in Tasmania for observing forest birds. It has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it supports significant numbers of endangered Swift Parrots and Forty-spotted Pardalotes and Pacific Gulls.