Cape Barren Geese pair grazing in tandem on Maria Island National Park.

© Mark ODwyer/Shutterstock

Wildlife Watching

The East Coast

Lucky twitchers might spot the endangered forty-spotted pardalote on Maria, or perhaps the aptly named swift parrot. You’ll certainly see Cape Barren geese waddling around (and depositing their dietary byproducts on) the lawns at Darlington. Meandering wombats and grazing wallabies are also a common sight. Keep an eye out for echidnas and nocturnal Tasmanian devils on forest tracks.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The East Coast attractions

1. Darlington

0.18 MILES

The township of Darlington (officially the World Heritage–listed Darlington Probation Station) is where you’ll start your time on the island. Close to the…

2. Commissariat Store

0.24 MILES

Built in 1825, the stately Commissariat Store now houses the national park visitor centre.

3. Painted Cliffs

1.41 MILES

From Darlington it’s a one-hour return walk to the Painted Cliffs, at the southern end of Hopground Beach. From the beach you can clamber along the…

4. Maria Island National Park

3.93 MILES

With its chequered history, car-free Maria Island has some interesting World Heritage–listed convict and industrial ruins among exquisite natural features…

5. Darlington Vineyard


In the Orford back-blocks up the hill opposite the service station, Darlington Vineyard is the most southerly of the east-coast wineries, producing…

6. Spiky Bridge

27.23 MILES

About 7km south of Swansea is the rather amazing Spiky Bridge, built by convicts in the early 1840s using thousands of local fieldstones (yes, they're…

7. Nonesuch Distillery

27.61 MILES

About 11km south of Sorell at Forcett, Nonesuch is yet another of Tasmania's new breed of hooch-makers, bottling up dry gin, sloe gin and sloe malt whisky…

8. Sorell Fruit Farm

28.72 MILES

Pick your own fruit (including strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, apples and loganberries) at this intensively planted 5-hectare farm…