Reviews written by steve
All I can say about this place is you really need time to explore the island fully. I've just returned from my 3rd visit and finally got to tick off all the climbs and rides I didn't have time to do on the previous 2 trips. This time I spent 3 nights camping at both Darlington & Encampment Cove and with the bike explored just about every inch of Maria Is worth checking out. The details posted in the overview provide a really comprehensive review of how to go about tackling the island. If you can only go there for the day all I will say is YOU NEED A BIKE! The ferry drops you off around 10am and returns to get you around 4:30pm and even though it sounds like 6hrs is a long time to check out all the sites think again. Many of the great walks take time and are quite apart from one another so you'd be lucky to walk to say Bishop & Clerk and see the painted cliffs in that time. With a bike though you can often ride part or all of the way to many attractions so if you can ride a bike either take yours with you on the ferry or hire one but do yourself a favour and get riding!
It's a really unique place steeped in history that shouldn't be missed. From beautiful beaches with near clear water to 290 million yo fossil cliffs you can actually see and touch it's a destination that keep you coming back.
The review by Tassie Rambler is really well written and accurately covers it all, it's an up and back ride taking in some beautiful scenery along the way. What I will say about it though is that it's a seriously long uphill climb for those of us not supremely fit so be prepared to really sweat it out on the way up, particularly in Summer. I rode it in early Jan this year and even though it was raining after around 2kms it was time to lose the extra layers. Of course it's a completely different ride on the way back down, time to rug back up again and hang onto those brake levers especially in the wet where the road surface becomes very greasy. All up a great 2hr workout getting up to the end of the road and a fast decent but by no means a classic mtb ride. If you're visiting Mt Field NP and you have your bike then I recommend this ride. I wouldn't go there just to do the ride though.