There are so many wombats on Maria Island, "they're a tripping hazard", Georgia Currant jokes. The young guide has spent countless family holidays on the isle off the east coast of Tasmania, so she's got firsthand experience.
In keeping, she makes a point of introducing people to the particularly docile marsupials around the convict settlement of Darlington, as she leads them on the four-day Maria Island Walk.
As one foot is placed in front of another, she might also recount the ghost stories she'd dramatically tell her friends in the Maria Island penitentiary, making use of tuna cans and an ouija board to try and contact the spirits. Her playful laughter indicates a cheeky personality beneath the knowledge and insights into this special place.
Being outdoors is Georgia's happy place; she'd rather sleep under the stars on a beach than go bar-hopping, and her awareness of how precious the environment is, is acute. As the hike continues along remote beaches, she'll point out where to walk; a misstep could ruin a shorebird's delicate nest; a discarded apple core could sicken a native mammal unused to the parasites within it.
When you're out on Maria Island, what keeps it so engaging and exciting is it's just so different. From beaches to mountains, and every place you walk to unravels another layer of history, flora and fauna. It's this microcosm of Tasmania in one tiny space.
A walk with Georgia is also a journey to huge granite rock formations covered in orange lichens that once formed a natural land bridge to mainland Australia. Tasmanian Aboriginals walked across it before sea levels rose, resulting in them becoming the most isolated humans on the planet for the longest amount of time. Significant indigenous sites are teamed with interactions with Tasmanian devils – a key, disease-free sanctuary population used to preserve the state's iconic creatures.
The Maria Island Walk
Maria Island National Park lies just a few kilometres off Tasmania's east coast, easily accessible from Hobart. It's spectacular landscapes, combined with a rich concentration of wildlife, has contributed to its nickname as 'Tasmania's Noah's Ark'. It wasn't until Ian and Bronwyn Johnstone developed their dream to start The Maria Island Walk in 2002, that the island was showcased to a new band of travellers that valued natural wildlife encounters in remote and tranquil settings, combined with world-class hospitality.Learn More