Planning a trip to Tasmania over the summer? Here’s 10 things you MUST do in and around Hobart.
While many of the thought-provoking exhibitions at the Museum of Old and New Art are geared towards adults, there’s plenty to keep young visitors entertained — from the labyrinthine-like House of Mirrors to the climbable bronze sculpture titled “Girls Rule”. For family-friendly stories, songs and commentaries on the artworks, be sure to check out the “O Minor” content on the mobile device you’re given on arrival.
2. Heritage Horse Drawn Carriage ride
If you’re worried about kids getting tired while exploring historic Battery Point and the Salamanca waterfront, jump aboard one of these horse-drawn carriages for a heritage tour like no other. You’ll feel like royalty as you roll through the paved streets led by a driver in 19th-century dress, with cosy blankets to keep you warm on those chilly Hobart days.
3. Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum
For a family expedition to Antarctica (without the expense or seasickness), you can take a peek inside one of the replica huts used by Douglas Mawson and his team on their expedition to the Great White Continent. It’s located just a stone’s throw from the wharf, where his SY Aurora set sail south, and will immerse you in the challenges of living and working in one of the windiest places on Earth.
4. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
This cool-climate garden is a deserved favourite amongst local families, with ever-changing floral displays and sprawling lawns where you can picnic in the sunshine. Not to miss is Australia’s only Subantarctic Plant House and “The Patch” veggie garden, which will be familiar to viewers of Gardening Australia as Tino’s stomping ground.
5. Salamanca Market
A Hobart institution, this lively market takes place every Saturday morning, backed by the sandstone warehouses of Salamanca. You can pick up everything from second-hand books to locally made wares and seasonal produce, then feast on cuisine from around the globe while listening to live music.
6. Coal River Farm
It’s not just the handmade chocolates (and watching the chocolatiers in action) that will appeal to kids at the Coal River Farm, but also the opportunity to interact with the resident goats and pick their own berries. This attractive property boasts spectacular views across the valley from its glass-fronted restaurant, which serves a seasonally changing menu and artisan cheese.
7. Mt Wellington Lookout
No trip to Hobart is complete without a jaunt up kunanyi/Mount Wellington, the often snow-capped peak that rises above the city. Energetic families can follow one of the hiking trails that lead from The Springs to the summit, or there’s a winding road that will take you directly to the lookout for panoramic views across southeastern Tasmania.
8. Cascades Female Factory
Already ticked Port Arthur off your list? This lesser-known convict site is hidden in the residential streets of South Hobart and details the lives and punishments of Tasmania’s female convicts. Guided tours led by costumed actors help to bring the past to life and there’s a dedicated kids activity book to make the history more accessible to young visitors.
9. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Come face-to-face with wombats, echidnas and (of course) Tasmanian devils at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, just 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Hobart. A highlight of the park is its free-roaming Forester kangaroos, which love being hand-fed the “roo food” that’s provided on entry.
Dedicated to all things poo-related, this quirky museum is a must for families visiting the historic village of Richmond, which is also home to the oldest bridge in Australia. It’s the only museum of its kind in the country and is surprisingly educational, with interactive displays that answer questions about poo you might never have thought to ask!