Friends of Maria Island

Register here for the working bee that brings ongoing praise from thousands of visitors to Maria Island. Many visitors comment on the well kept and painted convict buildings throughout Darlington. Join the Friends of Maria Island and the PWS on this satisfying, annual repaint of the convict buildings using the traditional lime-washing techniques that the convicts would have used. . . In this case we won’t be putting chains around your legs though!!

Where: At Darlington, Maria Island (staying in The Workshop Accommodation or in the Penitentiary rooms)

When: Monday August 20th to Friday August 24th, 2018

Why: To continue the ‘nearly’ annual Lime-washing (‘Lick o Lime’) of the old convict buildings around Darlington to keep them looking fresh and well maintained!

We missed the opportunity to run the Lime-washing working bee last year, so it has been two years since it was last done and the buildings will be all the brighter with a new Lick O Lime this year.

Using the traditional techniques (in the days well before Wattyl and Berger Paints) back when Darlington was a Convict Settlement and Probation Station. We will be painting our way around the brick and stone convict buildings of the former Convict settlement to ensure they are well maintained and looking great. This year we will focus on cyclical repaints of the external walls of the buildings.

We usually plan to work for about 6 to 7 hours a day with some flex time to enjoy the island. This activity requires the use of Lime-wash, which has some caustic qualities and thus care is required in its application and your personal safety is paramount. (ie. Don’t drink it or paint yourself with it!).

For those who haven’t lime-washed before, there will be comprehensive instruction and all the gear and PPE (personal protective equipment) you need. – plus some wonderful people to share time with.

Maria Island is a great place to be in August and I invite you to join us on this 5 day working bee (starting on Monday 20th August).

Register here

Getting to and from the Island:

If you haven’t been to Maria Island lately we now have a comfortable ferry trip from Triabunna to Darlington on the Osprey 5 (a 150 seat, 31 metre vessel) operated by Navigators, who also run the MONA and Port Arthur ferries.

We will book you in and cover your cost for access to and from the island.

Although participation is preferable for the whole week, I am happy if you can only make part of the week, but bear in mind there are only scheduled ferry trips on Monday, Wednesday & Friday (and weekends) during the winter months, so they are the days to come on or go off.

The plan at this stage will be to depart Triabunna on the ferry on the scheduled 10.30am ferry on Monday 20th Aug, but a shorter week option for those that are limited for time will be from Wednesday 22nd on the 10.30am ferry.

Then on Friday 24th Aug (or later if people wish to stay an extra day to look around a bit more, by arrangement) we will leave on the 3.30pm scheduled ferry from Maria back to Triabunna.


Accommodation will principally be in the Workshop Accommodation, dependent on numbers! Rooms will also be available in the Penitentiary Accommodation.

Pete Lingard or Chris West from Parks & Wildlife will give you a call or send an email to refine the details in the next few weeks!

There will be one or two shared meals provided by PWS during the week for all participants TBC, so an indication of any dietary requirements would be welcomed.