Maria Island: Down Under Journey

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While autumn falls in the States, watch spring bloom in Maria Island National Park. Yes, this drop of earth off the east coast of Tasmania is a bit far out, but you'll feel like a castaway winning the island lottery. The Maria Island Walk, an eco-friendly, four-day journey, takes you where tourists rarely venture. Spend two to eight hours a day strolling white-sand beaches that feel untouched -- save for the Aboriginies who made footprints here thousands of years ago -- and explore blue gum forests and the sea cliffs of Half Moon Bay. When you scale the top of 2,300-foot-high Mt. Maria, look for humpback whales hugging the shoreline.

The island still feels so fresh because it was an isolated penal colony before being turned into a wildlife sanctuary. The second-rarest species of goose in the world, the Cape Barren, was close to extinction before landing on Maria. You'll witness Forester kangaroos lounging in the sun and catch glimpses of the rare and endangered 40-spotted pardalote in flight. Your reward for a day in the bush: stylish, private wilderness standing camps with polished, hard floors and silk sleeping-bag liners. You'll dine on local gourmet cuisine that includes fresh smoked salmon, Camebert cheese and homemade pumpkin bread. Complement it all with Tasmanian Home Hill Vineyard chardonnay and a little candlelight.

Plan Your Trip

  • Book a four-day journey across Tasmania's national park from October through April, $1799 per person.

  • Travel with no more than eight other guests and at least two guides -- and encounter a plethora of wild animals.

  • Learn more at mariaislandwalk.com.au.