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Maria's Island: From the author of the million copy bestseller, The Island

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It’s actually one of the reasons that makes Maria Island so fantastic to visit, as it’s peaceful for both animals and humans alike. Isla María Madre is the largest of the islands, with an area of 145.28km 2 (56.09sqmi). It houses the Islas Marías Federal Prison, which was established there in 1905. The next two largest islands are Isla María Magdalena (70.44km 2[27.20sqmi]) and, further south, Isla María Cleofas (19.82km[12.32mi]). They were named after three women called Mary in the Biblical New Testament: respectively, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and are referred to as the Tres Marias. A smaller island, San Juanito, with an area of 9.1km 2 (3.5sqmi) lies off the north coast of Isla María Madre. The 115.5-square-kilometer (44.6 sq mi) island is about 20 kilometers (12 mi) in length from north to south and, at its widest, is about 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) west to east. At its closest point, Point Lesueur, the island lies approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) off the east coast of Tasmania.

Maria Island | Tourist Attractions | Discover Tasmania Maria Island | Tourist Attractions | Discover Tasmania

With trails leading to points across the island, Maria Island makes for wonderful extended exploration. The Maria Island Walk and Tasmanian Hikes run multi-day walking tours, while the Wineglass Bay Sail Walk and East Coast Cruises also venture ashore for walks. Other activities Cycling The traditional name of Maria Island is Toarra-Marra-Monah, and the original custodians and protectors of this land are the Puthikwilayti Aboriginal people. The absorbing story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leprosy colony – is told to us by Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version of “The Island”.

Leaving the city early in the morning from your hotel, you will be transported in comfort by bus tp spend the day on Maria, with a delicious lunch and expert, professional guide to lead the way. You do need to bring your own camping and cooking gear as there is none available to rent on the island. Snorkelers and divers are able to find unique underwater life around Darlington Bay, the Painted Cliffs, and Fossil Bay.

Maria Island National Park - Discover Tasmania Maria Island National Park - Discover Tasmania

No one lives permanently on the island, but there are park rangers who stay temporarily here during their shifts.In 1825 fifty convicts were taken to Maria Island by English soldiers. They built a little settlement called Darlington, where they would be imprisoned and sentenced with hard labour in agriculture. The second convict era commenced in 1842. Under the probation system of the 1840s, convicts were withdrawn from private service and grouped together in government stations. Probation stations were established at Darlington and Point Lesueur (10 kilometres south-southwest of Darlington and also known as Long Point). Agricultural work was a key activity for convicts, particularly as there were in excess of 400 acres (1.6km 2) of crops to maintain. Officials and 600 male convicts in Darlington were housed in old and altered structures re-used from the first convict era, and new buildings were also erected. Overcrowding and ill-adapted buildings were constant problems. Maria Island is the magical mountainous UNESCO World Heritage Listed island located off the east coast of Tasmania in the Tasman Sea.

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