Over the Anzac Day Weekend, while Mad Hatters and Jabberwocks took over the Aeoncademy Centre, a few members of our team managed to get away for a brief adventure.
Together, Mathew, Teffany, Ochre, Enki, and Andrew loaded up and took a cruise to Maria Island.
Maria island – originally pronounced ‘Mar-ree-ah’, but now pronounced ‘Ma-ry-ah’, was named for Maria Van Dieman in the 17th Century, and lays across the Mercury Passage from Triabuna, off the East Coast of Tasmania.
We set forth, early on Monday Morning, just as the centre doors opened, and stepped aboard the Spirit of Maria, a gorgeous boat built for the unique cruise that we then embarked upon.
First, we made our way across the straits, touched down on Maria Island and checked in with the conditions, then set out to Ille Des Phoques – the Island of Seals.
The seals, whom it should be mention reek, were used to our boat’s presence in their waters, and while they were not at all tame – they stayed a wary distance at all times – they were happy enough to explore what was going on, dancing and diving underneath us and watching us with curiosity.
While we were exploring the island by boat, we circled into some frankly fantastic caves. Students of the Young Mutant Chronicles are well aware of how bright and vibrant the ocean can be – but it was unreal to see these amazing colours in person.
Teffany says she’s inspired – and ready to bring these amazing colours back into an amazing Art Workshop.
Eventually, and regretfully, we left our friendly seals behind and made our way back to Maria Island, past more amazing caves, caverns, and the Fossil Cliffs…
…then on to Darlington – the only township on the island (population: 3 park rangers, 200 wombats) for a late lunch and a walk.
Maria island has a fascinating history, stretching from the Aboriginal Tyreddeme band of the Oyster Bay tribe, through the Convict Period of its history where the island became an Australian Alcatraz, to the roaring industry of entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi in wine, cement, and tourism.
Once on the island, exploring the remains of a collection of industries, and the magnificent natural beauty, we made our way around to a sandstone embankment called the Painted Cliffs.
This space needs a workshop of its own to unpack – amazing sandstone cliffs eroded in fascinating patterns, with beautiful sea life all around.
The landscapes there and back, as well as the wildlife, were just unreal. Words fail me, so pictures will need to suffice.
From there, it was a quick rush back to the boat, all aboard, and off to conclude a magnificent day.
Big thanks go out to East Coast Cruises for the wonderful tour.
Oh, and happy 50th birthday, Mathew!