Nature & Outdoors
One of Tasmania’s greatest wildlife destinations. Maria Island is World Heritage listed. Spend the day on historic Maria Island via a 30 minute ferry ride. Check times and days on web through East Coast Cruises or Maria Island Ferry
TIP – check out the excellent short cruises to Seal Island and on to Maria Island. From the boat you are likely to see dolphins, seals and whales in season.
On the island you can walk the old township and visit the museum. Check out the Fossil Cliffs and look out for Wombats, Cape Barren geese, wallabies, a plethora of birds and, in recent years, a healthy population of Tasmanian Devils. There are also a number of walking tracks from the leisurely to the energetic.
TIP – Take your own food and drink.
As Orford has warmer weather than the rest of Tasmania it is one of Tasmania’s most popular coastal locations for locals with its pristine beaches. No less than 6 main beaches —including Raspins, Millingtons, Spring, Shelly, Stapleton and Rheban Beach to wander on, cliff top walks and wild flowers in spring and summer. The East Coast of Tasmania is noted for its untouched beaches to suit all beachgoers from surfers to families with young kids.
Walking & Hiking
There are a number of excellent walks in and around Orford.
1. Orford Old Convict Road – a 2 kilometre walk along the north side of the Prosser River to the site of Paradise Probation Station (destroyed by fire in 1856)
2. Raspins Beach to the Prosser River and Millingtons Point – a two hour thirty minute return walk graded ‘easy’. This beach walk passes the sensitive Shorebird breeding area at the mouth of the Prosser River and offers great views of Maria Island
3. Ten Minute Track to Orford Beach and Shelly Beach – a short stroll from Orford Sanda House B&B meanders from the B&B, through light bush to the Eastern end of Orford Beach.
4. Luther Point to the Orford Quarry and Spring Beach – this walk follows the coast line and is a cliff top walk graded ‘easy’. It is a 1 and 3/4 hour walk that takes in the old quarry and Spring Beach.
5. Spring Beach to Stapelton Beach – Graded ‘easy’ this is another cliff top walk with scenic views, a short walk along Rheban Rd and then a walking track to attractive Stapleton Beach.
6. Rheban Beach – this scenic beach provides a long stretch of easy walking in a quiet, unspoilt coastal area.
7. Triabunna Pelican Walk & beyond – The Pelican Walk is a short scenic path through an open grassed area along the foreshore of Vicary’s Inlet.
Maps and further information on these walks are available to Orford Sanda House guests
Fishing & Diving
Both novice and experienced divers will love Maria Island’s clear waters, featuring all the inhabitants of the Marine Reserve i.e. the wreck of the Troy D, limestone caves, large lobsters, sea dragons etc. Diving with the local seals is also possible. Underwater wilderness tours can be arranged with knowledgeable locals as well as half day and full day fishing charters: Island Scuba or East Coast Cruises 03 6257 1300.
Maria Coast Fishing Charters 0428 133 153
Golfing & Bowling
The Orford Golf Club is home to an excellent 9-hole golf course, which is quite challenging and has great views of Raspin’s Beach, the bay and Maria Island.
The Orford Bowls Club is a very friendly place, with new synthetic greens and within walking distance from Sanda House. It also does great Friday night meals but bookings are essential.
Orford has an abundance of birds, from tiny wrens to huge black cockatoos – too many to list here. Wallabies are often in the streets at night, bandicoots in the sand dunes, echidnas on the sides of the roads and the occasional wedge tailed eagle soaring overhead.
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park is also a 90 minute drive from Orford