[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.96) – Maria island (Australia) : Wildlife sanctuary and bizarre natural landscape


(Worldkings.org) Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary and off-shore retreat with historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic cliffs, and plenty of stories to tell.

Whilst there is a lot to do on-island, some visitors choose not to do too much. More relaxing activities include taking in the amazing scenery, wandering around Darlington learning more about the island’s history, and wildlife watching in between. The Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs – both easier short walks from Darlington.

A former limestone quarry at the Fossil Cliffs provides a fascinating close-up look at the many ancient creatures immortalized as fossils in the rocks.

The brightly coloured sandstone rocks at Painted Cliffs are probably the most photographed thing on Maria Island. The sandstone cliffs have traces of red iron oxide in them, which creates beautiful patterns. Then the ocean waves have carved the rocks into wonderful swirls and curves.

Most of the animals that you’ll see on the island – ringtail possums, pademelons, wombats, potoroos, snakes, lizards and frogs – are long-term, natural residents. Other species like the Forester kangaroo, Cape Barren goose and Tasmanian devil, have been introduced to the island.

Ringtail possum



Cape Barren goose

Tasmanian devil

Maria Island is also one of Tasmania's great bird watching hot spots. Eleven of the state's twelve endemic species can be seen here, including the endangered forty-spotted pardalote and the rare and unique Cape Barren goose.

The original inhabitants of Maria Island were the Puthikwilayti people – aboriginal people, and members of the Oyster Bay tribe. For more than 40,000 years the Puthikwilayti people were custodians of the land and surrounding waters. European explorers first caught sight of the island in 1642, but didn’t come ashore until 1789. John Henry Cox and Lieutenant George Mortimer (English explorers) were the first Europeans to step foot on the island and document the presence of Aborigines.

According to encountermaria.com.au and discovertasmania.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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