East Coast Escape
This is one of Australia's most dramatic and beautiful coastal drives. With its spectacular national parks, wildlife and many maritime experiences, this route takes you through a temperate natural paradise.
Duration: 2-5 days
National Parks and reserves:
- Maria Island National Park
- Freycinet National Park
- Bay of Fires Conservation Area
- Douglas-Apsley National Park
Hobart – Orford
- Depart Hobart for Orford, first established as a mainland port for the convict settlement on Maria Island. Orford has several clean, picturesque beaches - including Raspins, Millingons, Spring and Rheban - with a popular campsite at Raspins Beach. Nearby is the well-regarded nine-hole Orford Golf Course and the Darlington Vineyard.
- Check into your accommodation in Orford.
- At Orford there are several walks including the Convict Trail along the Prosser River, the coastal walk along the cliff tops between East Shelly Beach and Spring Beach, and the scenic Thumbs Lookout in the nearby Wielangta Forest, with a spectacular view of the region.
- Continue on to the Visitor Centre in Triabunna to purchase a ticket for the 30-minute passenger ferry ride to Maria Island National Park where native animals roam free in this wildlife paradise.
- On Maria Island visit the remains of the Darlington convict settlement dating back to 1825 and wander among the ruins of the mess room, miller's cottage, barn, hop kiln, chapel, prison cells and religious instructor's house.
- While here, take a short walk to view the spectacular Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs.
- Return to mainland Tasmania by ferry.
- Overnight Orford or Triabunna.