MHF Women's Tassie Challenge

Experience World Heritage listed Maria Island and climb Cradle Mountain in support of brain cancer research

Challenge Highlights

  • Join friends and family and raise much needed funds for the Mark Hughes Foundation and their vital work in brain cancer research
  • Summit Mount Bishop and Clerk and enjoy other walks on Maria Island
  • Summit of Mount Maria (711m), the highest point on Maria Island
  • Embrace the opportunity to summit Cradle Mountain
  • Experience a diverse range of walks
  • Enjoy close encounters with native wildlife on Maria Island (known as 'Noah's Arc')
  • Be invigorated and inspired by breathtaking sea views and fresh mountain air
  • Relax each evening in unique accommodation surrounded by wilderness
  • Fully supported; you need only carry a daypack


On this exclusive women's adventure with the Mark Hughes Foundation you will travel from sea to summit taking in the walks and peaks on Maria Island, situated off Tasmania's East Coast, before transferring to the high country and Cradle Mountain National Park. On Maria Island you will spend three full days exploring and taking on the peaks of Mount Bishop and Mount Clerk, as well as the islands highest peak, Mount Maria (711m). We then head inland to the high country and the iconic Cradle Mountain National Park where we'll tackle the summit of Cradle Mountain (weather permitting). The 360-degree panoramic views of Tasmania's highest mountains and surrounding wilderness area from the summit of Cradle Mountain is simply unbeatable. With healthy meals, comfortable accommodation, 24 hour emergency backup, and professional guides provided, this trip is not to be missed. We hope you can join us!

Challenge Grade

This adventure involves trekking for up to 5 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. On an introductory to moderate graded trip there are some walks that are graded introductory and others that are graded moderate. The walks on Maria Island are more on the moderate side, however there are easier options each day depending on the group.

Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended to ensure you are feeling fit and strong enough to gain maximum enjoyment from this trip. We also recommend training on uneven and rocky trails, in preparation for the mountain walks on both Maria Island and Cradle Mountain.


After all the fundraising and preparation, the wait is finally over! Make your way to the airport for your flight to Launceston. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Penny Royal Hotel where your guides will provide a pre-departure briefing. Accommodation is on a twin share basis with breakfast. Later this evening enjoy dinner at the Kings Bridge Restaurant.

Meals:  D

After breakfast (which will be delivered in a hamper to your room the night before) you will be collected from the hotel at 7am to commence our journey east (approx 2 hour drive) to Triabunna and the Maria Island ferry terminal. We take a 30 minute ferry trip across Mercury Passage, docking at Darlington on Maria Island. Maria Island is one of Tasmania’s least visited yet most wonderful locations – you will be completely captivated from the moment you step ashore. The island has a rich history from Aboriginal habitation, to a convict penal station, farming, and the National Park it is today. Over the next two days we will walk to the famous Fossil Cliffs and Painted Cliffs, and explore the ruins left from the island’s busy past. With the assistance of our guides, we pitch our tents at a sheltered, grassy campsite behind the sand dunes of Darlington Bay and enjoy our first night under the stars. Walking distance: 4-8km | Walking time: 2-4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Our goal today is to summit Mount Maria at 711m, the highest point on the island. Mount Maria is a dolerite outcrop with sweeping views south of the isthmus and out towards the Tasman Peninsula. The track begins south of Darlington near the mouth of Counsel Creek and meanders through open woodlands ascending quite gently at first, and ends with half an hour of scrambling over rocky debris and large boulders to reach the summit where the views are breathtaking. Alternate Option: Walk to Frenches Farm and the Isthmus - minimal elevation change. Overnight camping on Maria Island. Walking distance: 16km | Walking time: 8 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast we head off to the summit of Bishop and Clerk (620m). Listen to the call of native birds as we climb steadily up through eucalypt forest, then out into scrub battered low by the elements. The view from this peak is incomparable as you gaze across the expanse of the island and out over the Tasman Sea. Return to our camp for our final night on Maria Island. Walking distance: 12-15km | Walking time: 6-8 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after dismantling our tents, we farewell the magical Maria Island and board the ferry back to mainland Tasmania. Rejoining our vehicle, we travel west towards the high country and Cradle Mountain National Park. En route we'll take a tour of the incredible caves of the Mole Creek Karst National Park. Your guides will provide a delicious picnic lunch in the National Park, a great chance for you to kick back and take in the scenery and fresh air. From here we drive up into the high country to Cradle Mountain National Park. On arrival we settle in to our accommodation at Waldheim Cabins, nestled at the edge of the rainforest and surrounded by wombats and wallabies. Overnight: Waldheim chalets - Bunk style - Shared Facilities Drive Time: 5hr | Ferry time 30 min

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we are spoilt for choice with a plethora of awe-inspiring walks. If weather permits the main objective for the day is to summit Tasmania’s most well known and loved landmark – Cradle Mountain. Make no mistake, the hike up Cradle Mountain is not for the faint hearted, this is one tough hike! The iconic day walk takes you to the top of the island's sixth highest peak, providing magnificent views of glaciated landscape and the mass of surrounding mountains. The last section of climb to the peak is rock-scrambling over dolerite boulders, using hands and feet. This is a very time consuming and energy zapping section to navigate through but those who make it to the summit will be flooded with a feeling of elation upon reaching the peak of Cradle Mountain and looking out on one of the best views in Tasmania. Alternatively we can explore the ancient rainforests and stunning views of Marion’s Lookout, Dove Lake Canyon or Hanson’s Peak, amongst many others. After our day of exploring we make our way back to our accommodation to enjoy a well-earned dinner. Overnight: Waldheim chalets - Bunk style - Shared Facilities Walking time: up to 10 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we enjoy another sumptuous breakfast before heading out into the National Park once more. Our previous day's achievements will dictate how we spend this last morning. With so many trails to walk in the area we are spoilt for choice! Opt for a relaxing walk to see a giant King Billy pine and spectacular cool temperate rainforest or head out for another challenging walk to the summit of Hanson's Peak - your guides will tailor this morning's activities to suit the groups needs and you will leave Cradle Mountain National Park feeling as though you have really accomplished and experienced as much as possible! After our final lunch together we transfer back to Launceston (arrive around 4pm) for overnight at the Verge Hotel where we'll celebrate the end of an incredible week. Walking time: up to 6 hours Driving time: 2.5 hours

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, check out of the hotel by 10am. Day at leisure in Launceston until your afternoon flight home.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • Return flights to Launceston (arranged by The Travelspace)
  • 2 nights multi share accommodation at Waldheim Cabins, 3 nights camping on Maria Island, 2 night in twin share hotel accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, snacks and hot drinks
  • Return ferry to Maria Island
  • Professional guide/s
  • Entrance to Mole Creek Caves
  • Transport by private minibus
  • Fully supported itinerary; you need only carry a daypack
  • All camping gear (expect pillows), including tents, cooking equipment, sleeping bags & liners
  • Linen & Towels (only at Waldheim and in Launceston)
  • National Park fees
  • Emergency communications & group first aid kit
  • Huma Fundraising Guidebook, training manual and gear list

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature: hire gear, alcoholic beverages, car parking etc
  • Travel insurance
  • Face masks and hand sanitiser

What You Carry

  • This accommodated trip offers a combination of short, moderate and long day’s walks that will require you to carry a small back pack only. The pack should be 30-40 litres in capacity and should weigh approximately 7-8kg once packed for the day. It will need to contain the following items:
  • -Water carrying capacity 2-3 Litre
  • -Water proof jacket
  • -Water proof overpants
  • -Base layer thermal clothing
  • -Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses and hat
  • -Trail snacks provided by your guide
  • -Small portion of the group lunch if required
  • -Other personal gear, such as camera

Fundraising Impact

The Mark Hughes Foundation currently fund 4 brain cancer co-ordinators both in the Hunter and Regional NSW.  The ongoing cost to continue to fund these positions is in excess of One Million Dollars over three years. Two of these positions are up for renewal and the cost of this to MHF is $200, 000 for one year. We hope the 2023 Tassie Challenge can raise funds to help secure these positions into the future.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Fundraising Target:USD$3620 
Single Supplement (Launceston only):USD$160 


Cradle Mountain Walks | Hike Cradle Mountain National Park | Tasmanian Expeditions

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 18 Mar 202324 Mar 2023
Duration:7 Days
Activities:Day Walking
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:MHF
Registration Fee:USD$140
Travel Cost:USD$0
Fundraising Target:USD$3620