Circumnavigation of Maria Island

Approaching Mt Maria

The rocks at this point were still red granite. We could see a number of caves ahead and we paddled towards them. Small rocky islands dotted the coast.

Ian Taft

Ian was impressed with this trip. He had done some white water paddling but was trying out sea kayaking. He had certainly picked good weather for his first major trip with the club.

Laurie in close

Laurie stayed as close as possible to the rocky shore looking for any signs of caves. On a day like today there was no danger from swells and rebound waves. From the close proximity of the rocks you get a completely different perspective from that of a bushwalker.

Laurie and sea cave

The sea caves in granite tend to be smaller and wider than thosein other rock types. This one looked promising and we checked it out after the usual observation period.

Looking out of the sea cave

Inside the cave there was plenty of space for quite a few kayaks, even room to turn around. The heavy sounds of the sea were magnified in the confines of the cave. We paused for a while in the cave, looking out into the Tasman Sea.

Laurie leaving the sea cave

We had experienced a few interesting times in caves. Laurie had been rammed into one cave by an unusually big wave. Grant Hyland had been suddenly lifted meters into the air by a wave inside a cave. When the wave subsided, his paddle jammed across the cave above his head. He came out with a nice bend in the shaft.

Blowhole, Maria Island

A little further along the coast we heard and felt the roar of water spewing out of a crevice. We waited a few minutes for the build up of hydraulic pressure under water in the cave. Finally this pressure forced out a large geyser of water into the air.

 Nera Beaching Bay

We were now about half way along the northern part of the island, directly below Mount Maria. We were cruising along at our usual speed of about 3knts or 7km/hour.

Limestone cliffs, Mount Maria

There was an abrupt change in the rock type. Granite gave way to limestone. This rock had attracted various mining interests in the 1880's. A cement factory was built in 1889 by Diego Bernacchi.

Close up of cliffs

The cliffs in this area contain millions of fossils and attract many tourists to the Maria Island National Park. These small stalctites are caused by water seeping down the cliff face.

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