Darlington Probation Station

The Maria Island convict station on Tasmania’s east coast operated between 1825 and 1832 to punish secondary offenders and runaways. In 1842 it reopened as Darlington Probation Station where ‘progressive’ ideas on the management and treatment of convicts were implemented. Until 1850, newly arrived prisoners were classified according to their crimes and conduct, and worked in the clothing, shoe making and carpentry workshops. 

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Darlington Probation Station

A second period of convict settlement at Maria Island began in 1842. Under the probation system of the 1840s, convicts were withdrawn from private service and congregated in government stations. Probation stations were established at Darlington (1842-1850) and Point Lesueur (1845-1850). The agricultural work required to maintain over 400 acres of crops, largely kept the men busy.

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Convict Buildings

Darlington is the most representative and intact example of a probation station in Australia. Its 14 convict buildings and ruins are preserved in a layout that reflects the key features of the probation system in Van Diemen’s Land. The site has remained relatively unchanged since the convict era. The majority of the buildings are old colonial Georgian style and are simple and functional, with plain whitewashed brick walls and very little decoration.


Commissariat Store

The two-storey Commissariat Store is located close to the jetty, where the transfer of provisions from the boats could be undertaken with ease. The archaeological remains of the Hospital, Surgeon’s Quarters and Religious Instructor’s Quarters, lie behind the Commissariat Store.


Darlington Probation Station

Address: Maria Island, Tasmania 7190

Telephone: 1300 827 727