A few years ago, I decided to take my niece and nephew (ages five and eight) to Tasmania for the September school holidays. My plan was to pack up the car and ship over to Tassie with a rough itinerary. I had booked all the accommodation but I figured the rest would fall into place. My sister pointed out that whilst my intentions were good I would seriously pay for my naivety. As it turns out, Tassie with Kids made its way into my Top 5 All-Time Holidays [Note: it helps that Tasmania is also a premier wine producing region!]
Provided the sugar and sleep doses were balanced correctly, everything really did fall into place. Was it me, am I the perfect aunt and tour guide? Maybe, but more likely it’s because Tasmania is the perfect place to holiday with children. Yes, its natural beauty and abundance of wildlife is impressive, but it was the little things that really brought a smile to our faces. Like the short driving distances between sites, enough to quash the infuriating “Are we there yet?” question. And hands on activities like berry picking and hiking along the muddy paths of Cradle Mountain.
Tassie is a cinch to do with kids. It’s fun and rewarding, sometimes messy but educational too… and it hasn’t put me off taking the niece and nephew on another holiday! I departed from Melbourne (read my itinerary for some ideas for your Tassie family trip) but you can fly/drive from anywhere in Australia. Happy travels!
5 Day Tassie Itinerary
Day 2 – After arriving in Devonport we walk the Bluff and visit the Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre. We buy supplies for self-catering and reach Cradle Mountain by early afternoon. We do two short walks from the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre (my niece wanted to find some fairies along The Enchanted Stroll track) and learn all about the intriguing Tassie Devil at Devils@Cradle sanctuary. Stay: Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village
Day 3 – A highlight of the trip, our 8km walk in the National Park takes in views of Cradle Mountain, Crater lake, waterfalls and lots of wombat sightings!
Day 4 – We’re sad to leave the peaceful surround of Cradle Mountain. We drive to Tasmazia, the world’s largest maze complex, and then it’s onto the Mole Creek Karst National Park for a tour of the majestic Marakoopa Cave with its underground streams, glow worms and cathedral style accoustics. We’re in Launceston by dinnertime. Stay: The Sebel Launceston
Day 5 – We spend the morning exploring Launceston before driving to Beauty Point to visit Platypus House & Seahorse World. The charismatic echidnas that proved to be a big hit. We finish the day in Devonport before boarding the boat home.
[UPDATE] So much more…
Tasmania has so many amazing attractions that young inquisitive minds really go for. Here are a few of our favourites:
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) Hobart
Yes, absolutely MONA is for kids! It all starts on a ferry… with sheep sculptures the kids can sit on and a talking parrot. The first two installations you’ll see upon entering is hundreds of light bulbs that beat to your pulse and a trampoline that makes music while you bounce. Then there’s the pink fluffy hills to roll down, a table tennis table with grooves (impossible to play on!), the “fat car” and data visualisations that will have them mesmerised. Of course there’s some sexually explicit and other confronting stuff too. Just check the free printed guide which maps out the artworks suitable for kids under 15.
Mt Wellington Hobart
Bushwalking, bike riding, rock climbing… you know, all those active outdoorsy things but with the creature comforts of a city nearby. Check out the Wellington Park website.
Hastings Cave & Thermal Springs
Remember the mnemonic for stalactites and stalagmites? Well throw in some unusual helictites at Hastings Cave as well (it’s ok, we don’t know what they are either!) A 90 minute drive from Hobart, the kids will love touring this spacious cave – claustrophobics rejoice! – and splashing about in the thermal springs pool afterwards.
Hollybank Treetops Adventure
Fly over the forest! The kids will love the adrenalin rush of a high-wire canopy tour at Hollybank Treetops Adventure. Just 15 mins from Launceston, this treetop adventure will have the kids squealing with delight/fear as they zipline up to 400m between ‘cloud stations’ at a height of 30m above the forest floor. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult and weight restrictions apply.
Freycinet (inc Wineglass Bay)
The east coast of Tassie is absolutely stunning. Think sea kayaking, wildlife tours, beach camping (at The Friendly Beaches. Truly, that’s their name!), walks to suit all levels and the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
For a great deal on family-friendly accommodation in Tasmania, head over to Hotel.com.au.