One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.
Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.
One such gem is Spring Beach.
Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.
Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.
When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping?! Thanks Glamping Hub!
Glamping in Spring Beach, Tasmania: Your Base For Discovering Maria Island
A Picturesque Cottage Rental
With room for 7 guests, the Spring Beach cottage is perfect for larger families, though with affordable rates, is also a great option for couples looking to take a romantic getaway.
Perched on top of a seaside cliff overlooking Spring Beach, I knew it was going to be difficult to pull me away from the gorgeous view to head out to Maria Island the next morning.
While we had chosen Spring Beach as a base for the Triabunna ferry service, it turned out to be a vacation destination in its own right; one of those local secrets where Tasmanian’s vacation to escape the tourism of other beaches.
After filling the fridge with groceries from the nearby IGA, it was time to take the short path leading from the backyard down the hill to the beach. If you’ve ever dreamed about a sunset beach walk, where you have the entire beach to yourself, this was it.
A Look Inside
A Fully Self Contained Cottage
The traditional beach shack exterior gives way to a recently renovated interior with three bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a beautiful modern bathroom. The additional half-bath with an extra toilet would definitely come in handy for larger families.
A laundry makes longer stays possible without having to overload your suitcase, and is a welcomed sight after sweating through your clothes while hiking around Maria Island.
There may not be very many nearby restaurants to choose from, but having a full kitchen with modern appliances means you can save money and cook meals on your own timeline. The local IGA offers up most groceries and is just a few minutes’ drive up the street in Orford.
You’ll find more than enough tableware to go around and all the essential kitchen utensils are provided.
The Bedrooms & Lounge
The bedrooms are crisp and present an uplifting beachy feel, with splashes of colourful art that adds to the cheer. The beach outside seems to beckon you through nearly every window, providing the relaxing sound of crashing waves as you hit the pillow each night.
The master bedroom offers up a queen-sized bed with some of the cottage’s most prized views of the ocean, while the other two bedrooms provide an additional queen-sized bed, a single bed, bunk beds, and a fold out bed.
Contrasting with the more contemporary renovations that have been done to the cottage is the more cabin-like feel of the cosy lounge room which features a wood fireplace. It’s the perfect place to sit down and read a selection from their library of novels, children’s books, and magazines.
A TV along with DVD player and numerous DVD selections provides additional entertainment that may come in handy on those shorter winter days.
The Master Bedroom
A Safe Haven From the Weather
You never know what kind of weather you’re going to get on Maria Island (or in Tasmania in general to be honest), and upon our return from Maria Island on the second night of our stay, the winds had picked up to gale force and heavy rain had moved in.
Tucked in the safety of our lovely heated cottage, we couldn’t help but feel sorry for those camping on Maria with no electricity. And, quite guiltily, perhaps a little smug that we’d found a more comfortable option.
We’ve long replaced our days of camping for glamping experiences (we book them through Glamping Hub); while we cherish the adventures we’ve had camping (including 8 years ago on Maria Island), glamping allows you to enjoy the magic of nature without having to forego modern conveniences.
Glamping accommodation could be anything from a luxury tent, to a yurt, or in this case, a cottage, though ultimately gives you access to incredible wilderness areas while still providing a level of comfort that allows you to tackle outdoor adventures each day feeling refreshed.
An Outdoor Oasis
The highlight of the cottage’s outdoor area is the expansive deck that provides ample seating via benches, chairs, picnic tables, and sun loungers. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding bushland as well as elevated vistas of the ocean below.
Across the Mercury Passage you can actually catch a glimpse of Maria Island. Sunlight floods the northeast facing deck early in the morning, making it a perfect spot to enjoy your first cup of coffee or tea to start the day.
The area provides an outdoor barbecue for grilling lunch or dinner, where you’re likely to always be kissed by a gentle breeze off the ocean.
An outdoor shower and tub makes it easy to rinse off after a walk on the beach or swim in the ocean, but you should probably do so while wearing your bathers since it’s in view of the path that leads to the beach which is frequently used by others in community.
We found that the foot traffic from this path ceases after the sun goes down, meaning you do have full privacy to enjoy a soak beneath the stars which seem extra vibrant due to the lack of light pollution.
The Cottage Grounds
The Local Beaches
Not only does the cottage provide quick and easy access to Spring Beach, but you can easily walk to Shelley Beach via a 2 kilometer coastal walk that has been constructed around a historic sandstone quarry.
Fun fact: Sandstone sourced from this quarry was used in the construction of Melbourne’s Law Courts! A few minutes’ drive to the north, you can access both Raspins and Millingtons Beach Conservation Areas that wrap around Prosser Bay.
There are plenty of bushwalks available through the surrounding schlerophyll forests like those found in Three Thumbs State Reserve and Cape Bernier Nature Reserve. Don’t miss the drive up to Thumbs Lookout for the chance to see all the way to Great Oyster Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.
Keep an eye out for local wildlife such as pademelons, echidnas, endangered swift parrots, wedge-tailed eagles, and sea eagles while you’re spending time in the area.
How to Get to Maria Island
The cottage’s proximity to Triabunna makes visiting Maria Island a breeze, and for us, this is what our visit was all about.
Five sailings take place every day from September to April, and being 15 minutes away makes it easy to catch the first ferry out to the island at 9AM and return on the 5PM ferry to make the most of your time on Maria.
Many of the walks on Maria are a considerable distance, so it’s best to allow for more time than you think you may need. From May-August, there are fewer sailings which run from 10:30AM-3:30PM. Free parking is available at the Triabunna ferry terminal.
Return fares on the ferry are $45, and you need to purchase a Tasmanian National Parks pass when you book online if you don’t already have one. Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled ferry to check in and keep your luggage to a minimum.
Bags in excess of 15kg will not only make hiking more strenuous but will also incur additional fees. Bike rental is available on the island, or you can bring your own for $10. Note that only park ranger vehicles are allowed on the island, so you must reach all sites by foot or two wheels.
Why Visit Maria Island
Maria Island is, quite simply, an escape from civilization.
With sweeping bays, isolated beaches, rugged cliffs, mountain ranges, and historic ruins, it is an unspoiled gem – a haven for nature lovers, bushwalkers, adventure seekers, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.
With 14 convict buildings, and ruins unchanged since the convict era, the island is now too, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Convict Site. Fascinating history comes together with spectacular natural beauty on this incredibly remote wildlife sanctuary and National Park.
You won’t find any shops on the island, so will want to bring plenty of water, food, and anything else you might need with you. Stop into the visitors centre to get a map of the hikes, see a large 3D model of the island, and read about the island’s history and wildlife you may spot.
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Wildlife Refuge & World Heritage Site
Kangaroos, wombats, and pademelons are extremely common on Maria Island, and you may be lucky enough to spot one of the Tasmanian devils that have been recently been introduced.
When it comes to birds, you have the chance of seeing eleven of the state’s twelve endemic species such as the forty-spotted pardalote, Tasmanian native hen, and green rosella. A large area around the island makes up part of a Marine Nature Reserve that is home to dolphins and whales.
Relive the history of the island as you walk in the footsteps of early indigenous tribes, as well as roaming around the remnants of the Darlington Probation Station that was set up for a short time in the 1800s. Maria would later house early European whalers and seal hunters, and giant whale bones still lay on the shoreline as a visual reminder of those days.
Attempts were originally made to turn the island into a large settlement, and the population did reach roughly 500 at one stage during the 1800’s. A winery and even a hotel were built on the island at one point, but all that remains now are the ruins which you can readily explore.
The island now sits as a protected National Park, where rare and endangered wildlife have found safe refuge. Climb to the island’s tallest point by hiking up Mt. Maria or take the much more relaxing seaside walk to the famous Painted Cliffs.
Our Wildlife Shots
Accommodation For Visiting Maria Island
While you can bunk up in the very rustic old penitentiary building at Darlington, I say why be forced to live like an early convict if you haven’t committed a crime!
I’m happy to enjoy my wine, while soaking in the comfort of a warm bathtub beneath the stars, as my husband grills up steak and prawns for dinner, all thanks to our Picturesque Cottage Rental via Glamping Hub.
Whether you’re looking to explore more of Tasmania or want to see parts of the country outside the major cities, consider looking into other adventurous, yet luxurious glamping experiences that can be found across Australia.
Visiting Tasmania? Click to check rates and availability on this gorgeous cottage in Spring Beach.
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