Do you long for a break and a chance to live a simple life? Why not come to a place where time is measured in morning walks and afternoon swims, picnics on the beach and a slow pub dinner by a roaring open fire. Here is a place where time is full of simple pleasures. Melting ice cream licked from sticky fingers and skin with sea salt mingle with the joys of exploring a coastline alive with history, nature and a beautiful winery or two. Leave behind the hustle, the traffic and deadlines. Turn off your phone and let your mind expand as you drive through forests and past deep, quiet rivers until in a little over an hour from Hobart, you will arrive at beautiful Spring Bay.
Set in its protected heart is the historic township of Triabunna, which is framed on its eastern horizon by the stunning silhouette of Maria Island. Settle in and wander along the Marina where hard working fishing boats and the Island ferry jostle with pleasure crafts just back from chasing game fish in the rich waters. Grab a coffee, a feed of fish and chips or sip a beer and let the colours of the sunset reflected in the still waters of Spring Bay wash over you.
A day on Maria Island is a must. You can choose luxury and head out with your own guide, a gourmet lunch of local wines, cheeses and seafood, or simply catch the ferry with a picnic and a thermos of tea. There are no shops trying to sell you stuff once you get there. Instead you’ll explore an island fringed with white sand beaches, crowned with mountain peaks, dotted with historic ruins and where the only crowds are the kangaroos and wombats. There’re rich layers of history from Aboriginal culture through to downright bizarre schemes to exploit the island’s natural resources.
No one comes back from the island without leaving a little piece of themselves, but what Maria gives in return is an immersion in wonder.
When you get back to the ‘Bunna’ settle in for a quiet ale with the locals at the Spring Bay Hotel. Feel like eating in? Simply cross the road to the local butcher, it’s just like the one where your grandmother used to shop. Choose from roo and cheese sausages, a ‘Bunna’ burger or the best pork steaks in Tassie. The ‘Bunna’ has everything you need. The IGA is on one corner, the milk bar on the other and of course there’s a laundromat, chemist, op shop, post office and pub.
Spring Bay is not just Maria Island and Triabunna. There are cellar doors to whittle away an afternoon tasting famous East Coast wines. Or an award-winning distillery where you can stop for a dram of whiskey or a cheeky gin and tonic. Feeling active? Take your binos and spot a Sea Eagle when you walk the stunning cliff top track linking the Prosser River mouth to the beautiful beaches of Orford.
Whether you’re exploring alone, or with a family, or have escaped the mundane for a romantic getaway, after spending 3 days in Spring Bay you’ll want to call it home.
Hero image: Exploring Spring Beach - Lisa Kuilenberg