LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > MARIA ISLAND NATIONAL PARK AND THE EAST – TASMANIA > Painted Cliffs (Maria Island National Park)
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Maria Island National Park off Tasmania’s East Coast is a remarkable little natural treasure. Although it has a convict history, it is now an abundant wildlife refuge for many animals such as wombats, forester kangaroos and endangered Tasmanian devils. Maria Island’s marine reserve is also rich with life, including mature southern rock lobsters, weedy sea dragons and banded morwong, a fish that can live to be over 100 years old. The ferry to Maria Island departs from Triabunna, and larger marine life such as dolphins, humpback whales and southern right whales are sometimes seen on the short journey across.
Maria Island is perhaps best known for its aptly named ‘Painted Cliffs’, a series of intricately weathered, beautifully patterned, multi-coloured sandstone cliffs. Fossil Cliffs are another impressive geological feature that are packed with the fossilised remains of sea life. A day walk to Maria Island’s ‘Bishop and Clerk’ cliffs provide fantastic views in every direction, including straight down to the ocean, some 620m (2034′) below. A longer day walk to Mt. Maria brings you to a stunning view of Maria Island’s white sand isthmus between the north and south island.
This photograph of the Painted Cliffs captures the elaborate weathering patterns of the sandstone. I had been hoping for a golden side light from the setting sun, but a cloud came and eclipsed it. The result was a subdued pink and purple sunset, which ended up nicely complementing the yellow ochre of the Painted Cliffs.