An island off an island off an island, Tasmania’s Maria Island is both remote and accessible; a rare and untrammeled chunk of land where ‘nothing’ really is something. After a year of pandemic-induced lockdowns and anxiety, Oliver Pelling hops on the ferry in search of a remedy.

Of all the places I’ve been, Maria Island is an anomaly. It’s an anomaly because there’s nothing here, which is either the best or the worst thing in the world, depending on how you feel about nothing.

As it happens, I feel good about nothing. Very good.

Nothing is subjective, after all. While there’s no permanent population on this 115-square-kilometer island, no shops, no restaurants, no souvenirs and just a single toilet block, all of this nothing means Mother Nature can go about her business unhindered. And business is booming.