Maria Island Field Trip

All day trip: morning, afternoon tea and lunch

Embark on a ferry journey to Maria Island, where a world of exploration awaits. Discover the island’s rich history, ongoing projects, and potential future initiatives that shape its management.

During this engaging experience, participants will delve into:

  • What makes Maria Island special - it's history and conservation values.
  • The work of volunteers and the important role they play in partnering with PWS to identify, monitor and address conservation threats to the biodiversity and conservation values of Maria Island.
  • How Wildcare Tasmania works to support and enable volunteer groups around the state, including those who work on Tasmania’s offshore islands.
  • The work of the Friends of Maria - both the impact of this work in protecting the biodiversity of Maria Island and the long-term commitment and consistent effort that has gone into achieving it.

Throughout the field trip journey, participants will be immersed in a sense of possibility and agency - optimism at what can be achieved and opportunities to get involved, volunteer, and support this work (and the work of Wildcare).

Read more in this article about the work of the Friends of Maria Island, written by Anne Booth in 2021.

This Field Trip is sponsored by:

Your Hosts

Kim Willing - Wildcare Tasmania

As Wildcare Tasmania’s Volunteer Services Manager, Kim Willing supports Wildcare group leaders and volunteers to work together to deliver on-ground conservation outcomes - building and sustaining a community of members and partners through enjoyable and collaborative relationships.

Kim is one of the original Landcare Officers, working with graziers in Western Queensland before moving to Tasmania to take up the role of Landcare Officer with the Local Govt. Association of Tasmania. She then coordinated the development of the cooperatively managed ‘Tasmanian Trail’ before spending 8 years as the Coastcare Facilitator for Southern Tasmania.

Kim has been with Wildcare Tas. in a part-time role since 2017 and also runs Groundwell, her own business of over 20 years as a facilitation consultant.

Anne + Peter Booth - Friends of Maria Island

Discovering Sea Spurge on Maria Is. in 2003 at Riedle Bay, we began a twice-yearly clearance which continues today.

In 2005 Ranger Richard Koch initiated a volunteer program to control Montpellier Broom, (Skipping Ridge/Bernacchis Valley) and established a mapping grid. He also tagged the S. heath site near Haunted Bay.

FoMI became a Wildcare group in 2007 to target these species; Wildcare has given ongoing support throughout. 

Primary control was completed in 2014 with monitoring occurring on a 2 to 3 year rotation. The aim is to prevent seed drop. Animal browsing of maturing plants is important; a psyllid (biological control) also has some effect. Seed bank life can be 16 years; sites are becoming weed-free and the proliferation of native species and ground litter has suppressed germination. In many areas, we are well on the way to eradication.

The inaccessibility of the Spanish heath near Haunted Bay made it unsuitable for commercial control. Volunteers, in two camping trips to Haunted Bay in 2008-9 (boat access), completed primary control, thanks to outstanding assistance from Parks in transport, logistics and direct support. Subsequent biennial checks have found little regrowth; burgeoning native species now make the site unrecognizable; it is now effectively clear. A smaller infestation, found in 2009 near Robey’s farmhouse, is monitored annually.

With up to five working bees a year this has been a major preoccupation for the last 18 years

We now find it very rewarding to reflect on our achievements.

Katherine Hitchcock - Parks and Wildlife

Parks and Reserves Manager (usually Ranger in Charge Triabunna-Maria Field Centre), Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. 

Katherine manages Tasmania’s Parks and Reserves estate to ensure they are sustainably managed for the community to enjoy today and for generations to come. To actively engage with volunteers and community to gain an appreciation of the parks and reserves on their doorstep and develop a sense of wonder in their value and what they protect to inspire engagement and participation.

Cat Davidson - Birding and Ecology Guide

Cat is a birding, wildlife and botany guide with Inala Nature Tours in Tasmania and currently leads ecology tours around Tasmania and Australia.

As part of the field trip to Maria Island, Cat will assist with informing the group about the wonderful Tasmania birds that call Maria home, including eleven of the twelve endemics. She will assist you with learning their calls and identifying their diagnostic features. She will illuminate some of their fascinating behaviours and inform you about the challenges that face them and their habitats.


Important Information

This field trip involves walking and therefore requires participants to come prepared:

What to wear
- sturdy walking shoes
- comfortable trekking clothes (long sleeves, trousers)

What to bring
- comfortable backpack to carry water, lunch & personal belongings.
- water bottle
- raincoat
- sunhat
- medications (asthma puffer /EpiPen)
- small mat to sit on at lunchtime (optional)

- Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are included in the field trip.

Your time on the island
- Field Trip participants are required to stay together as a group and follow the Hosts and Landcare staff instructions.

Toilet stops
- There is a toilet at the wharf where the ferry arrives at Maria Island and one at Darlington Precinct. Please make use of these toilets before we head off on the trek. Bush wees are ok.

- Public Toilet Map 

Read all about tickets, program, field trips, sponsorship and more here:

October 15, 2023 at 9:00am - 4:30pm
Maria Island
wukaluwikiwayna/Maria Island, TAS 7190
Google map and directions
Landcare Tasmania · · 03 624038 7117
$90.00 AUD · Purchase tickets