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The Maria Island Walk named as a founding member of the Australian Wildlife Collection

March 10, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Tasmania’s multi-award winning Maria Island Walk, a four-day guided hike through national park landscape, pristine beaches and a heritage-listed convict settlement, has been named as one of the founding members of the recently launched Australian Wildlife Collection from Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia has chosen 12 exceptional wildlife encounters and brought them together under one umbrella, known as the Australian Wildlife Collection. All of the 12 experiences have one thing in common – a commitment to conservation. The Australian Wildlife Collection will be promoted internationally alongside its other ‘best of’ experiences, including Great Walks of Australia and Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia.

With its collection of rare and unusual species, it’s not surprising that Maria Island, a short boat ride off Tasmania’s east coast, is described as the state’s Noah’s Ark – a perfect fit for the new Australian Wildlife Collection. Maria Island is now an island sanctuary and one of the best places in Australia to see wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren geese, kangaroos and wallabies. The bird life is also an attraction with 125 species including all of Tasmania’s endemics such as the endangered Forty-spotted pardalote and Swift parrot.

Maria Island is also home to a Tasmanian Devil insurance populations, where in 2013 a group of 28 ‘healthy devils’ were released on to the island as an ‘island insurance’ breeding program safeguard from the facial tumour disease currently affecting 90% of the Tasmanian devil population. The program has been such a success that devils are now being reintroduced to disease-free areas in Tasmania.

The boat trip to Maria Island is a fantastic opportunity to see dolphins, whales and Australian fur seals, and the fascinating wildlife on the island is interpreted by the experienced guides during the Maria Island Walk.

The Maria Island Walk is a fully guided three-night, four-day journey which winds through beaches, rainforest and mountains, taking in the dramatic sea cliffs of Fossil Bay, the peaks of Mt Maria or Bishop and Clerk and the largest stand of giant Tasmanian blue gums. It was first launched in 2003 by Ian and Bronwyn Johnstone and their team of guides. The walk has gone on to win state and national awards virtually every year since, helping to cement Tasmania’s reputation as the ‘walking state destination’ and Maria Island as a must-see destination for amazing wildlife.

Maria Island Walk founder and owner Ian Johnstone said “Being a founding member of Tourism Australia’s new Australian Wildlife Collection is a perfect partnership for the Maria Island Walk.  We are delighted the Maria Island Walk will be promoted to national and international guests alongside other highly regarded wildlife encounters in Australia.”

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