Sailing the East Coast of Tasmania? Here are the three great spots to visit on your trip.
The traditional land of the Puthikwilayti people, Maria Island (named by Abel Tasman after the wife of Anthony van Diemen, governor-general of the Dutch East Indies) lies four kilometres off Tasmania’s east coast. It’s distinctive for its impressive spine, which includes the 620-metre-high twin peaks of Bishop and Clerk.
Maria Island became a convict settlement in 1825 and a number of buildings from that era remain today. From the 1800s it housed sealers and whalers, vineyards, cement works, a limestone quarry and farm stock. The island became a wildlife sanctuary in the 1970s.
During our visit we spotted wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, Cape Barren geese, wedge-tailed eagles, sea eagles and delightful swift parrots.
Sitting just 1.6 kilometres off the south coast of Freycinet Peninsula, Schouten is a small, rugged, heavily wooded island with the 400-metre Mount Storey at its heart.
Lady Eugenie pulls into Hen and Chicken Bay and, after a short dinghy ride, we’re deposited onshore. We spend an hour picking through shells, appreciating the urchins and anemones holding tight to watery crevices, and scrambling over the chunks of lichen-covered granite that overhang the gorgeous bay.
One of Tourism Tasmania’s most striking pin-ups, Freycinet Peninsula is about a three-hour drive from Hobart. However, we sail to its southernmost point, where there’s no road access. Over two days we walk through eucalypt forests and across the long stretch of Hazards Beach that runs down Freycinet’s western flank.
On our final day we stroll to Wineglass Bay, named not only for its shape but also for the red bloodstains of its whaling days. From the lookout the scope of our Sail Walk journey is laid out before us in watery blue. ￼