Below you’ll find a complete guide to the best things to do in Tasmania with kids. Included in the guide are the top places and activities in Tasmania for your itinerary.
Tasmania is fast becoming the must-see state in Australia. The popularity is due to the rise of the Aussie lappers who want to experience life on the road.
A Tasmania family holiday is easy to plan when you know the sights and activities you want to experience. Activities will be dependent on your timeframe and the ages of your children.
Tasmania is one of our favourite places to explore. Along with my contributions, I have asked some fellow travellers to share their recommendations.
The below list includes what to do in Tasmania for families. It details top places and additional sights and activities not to be missed. Continue reading to discover them all!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer for more information.
Post updated in January 2022
Featured Image: Cradle Mountain © Laura Helle
Table of Contents
Getting Around Tasmania
The best way to explore Tasmania is on a road trip, and the well-maintained roads around the state make travelling easy and enjoyable. For car hire, Inspire Family Travel recommends Bargain Car Rentals. They are an Australian-owned and operated company (founded in Hobart, Tasmania) with 14 locations and a wide range of vehicles.
Always book your car in advance as this is the best way to avoid disappointment, and it will save you time and money. Bargain Car Rentals has kindly offered you a discount code. Simply use the code FAMTRAVEL when you make a booking and this will save you 5% on their best rates.
Pro Tips: Check the limitations before hiring a car. For instance, can you drive on unsealed roads, in snowy areas, and are there any road travel restrictions?
Travelling Tasmania with Kids
Before I continue with naming the best family things to do in Tasmania, if I could offer a tip, it would be to take your time.
Create a Tasmania family holiday itinerary, add in some relaxation time, and enjoy the longer rest stops. Unless you have unlimited time, it is impossible to see Tasmania in one hit, so make the most of the places you are going to visit.
To help with your planning, don’t miss grabbing my FREE CHECKLIST BELOW with 30 hand-picked ideas to cross off your Tasmania bucket list.
Now let’s move on.
Top Things to Do in Tasmania with Kids
As far as capital cities go, Hobart is one of the most family-friendly. Where some cities are full of expensive attractions and geared towards adults, Hobart can still be enjoyed on a thrifty budget.
Choosing attractions in a city can be an overwhelming process. Luckily there are plenty of sights and kids activities in Hobart suitable for all ages.
The diversity of the city will take you to the summit of Mount Wellington. Have you wandering the markets in Salamanca Place, and admiring the majestic Botanical Gardens.
Hobart is at the top of this Tasmania holiday with kids list for good reason!
What to do in Hobart with kids
- Witness the stunning views atop of Mount Wellington
- Buy Tasmanian produce and products at Salamanca Markets
- Throw down a picnic rug at the Royal Botanical Gardens
- Stroll along the Hobart Waterfront
- Take a Battery Point historic walk
- Visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
- Enjoy a unique cultural experience at MONA
Related: What to see in Hobart with Kids
2. Port Arthur
A one-hour drive to the Tasman Peninsula is the Port Arthur historic site. Take a step back in time and wander the expansive grounds of the World Heritage-listed area. Even if you are not a history buff, you will leave with a newfound knowledge of the people connected to Port Arthur. Along with an appreciation for how well the story is shared.
Something surprising is despite the hardship and sadness created during the convict era Port Arthur also has an extreme sense of beauty. Heritage buildings and ruins are surrounded by landscaped grounds and gardens looking out onto the magnificent harbour.
You will need ample time to make your way around the Port Arthur site. Luckily the site entry ticket gives you two consecutive days to explore. Included with the tickets is a 40-minute guided walking tour. A 25-minute Harbour Cruise. Access to all the buildings and ruins, plus entry into the Port Arthur Gallery.
If you have the courage, return after dark for the Port Arthur ghost tour. With a 47-year history as a penal settlement and over 1000 deaths, you may find yourself witnessing paranormal activity.
Related: What to Expect from a Day Trip to Port Arthur
Many small towns in Tasmania are perfect for visiting with kids. One of those is the town of Richmond – a popular day trip from Hobart, located only 20 minutes away. The nineteenth-century streets are filled with Georgian buildings that have been restored into cafes, restaurants, and galleries.
One of those shops and most well known in Richmond is Sweets and Treats “lolly shop.” Based on the old-fashioned style candy shops and milk bars, their selection of sweets is diverse. Chances are you will find your favourite treat from your youth in this store and the popular ones from today.
Once the sugar rush hits, take a wander around the historic town. The Richmond Bridge is a popular attraction in this town. Richmond Bridge lays claim to being the oldest existing stone arch bridge in Australia. Built by convict labourers, the Richmond Bridge was opened in 1825, and after nearly 200 years, it has required minimal maintenance.
The nearby Richmond Gaol shares fascinating and brutal stories of the men and women imprisoned over time. Visitors can enter the original gaol. Take a self-guided tour of the solitary cells, holding rooms, punishment cells, flogging yard, and cookhouse. Many original items, including whips, handcuffs, and even an original oven, remain on display.
4. Bruny Island
Bruny Island is one of the premier destinations in Tasmania. It is only 1 hour away from Hobart plus a short ferry ride, reaching Bruny Island is an adventure in itself. It is a pristine wilderness area that stretches into the Southern Ocean off the South Coast of Tasmania. Taking a trip to Bruny Island with kids is best-done as a camping trip staying at one of the three designated campsites near the beach.
Kids can have fun fishing, swimming, and catching the gentle waves that roll onto the Bruny Island beaches. For a bit more excitement, you can take a boat tour that crashes and bashes its way along the coastline spotting sea lions, seals, dolphins, and massive ancient rock formations. For many kids they have never seen a lighthouse in real life. Bruny Island has a working lighthouse that is only a short child-friendly walk from the car park.
On Bruny Island, there are many family-friendly walks that kids and parents will find easy to navigate. You will find the food on Bruny Island is one of the reasons people visit too. With some of the best fresh produce, seafood, and island made beverages; there is a place for everyone to stop and enjoy the food on offer. Bruny Island is a magnificent place to visit in Tasmania.
Contributed by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
More Sights and Activities around Hobart
- Witness the soaring sea cliffs at Tasman National Park
- Admire the cascading Russell Falls
- Visit Bonorong Wildlife Park
- Take a trip to the Salmon Ponds Heritage Hatchery and Gardens
- Enjoy the views at Tahune Adventures
- Explore the ancient Hastings Caves and unwind at Thermal Springs
What to do in Launceston with Kids
5. Cataract Gorge
One of the best places to visit in Tasmania is Cataract Gorge. An urban park only 1.5 kilometres from the city of Launceston. It is here that you’ll find fabulous walking tracks, landscaped gardens, exotic and native wildlife. Many lookout points offer incredible views over Cataract Gorge with one of those being the scenic chairlift.
“The Gorges” feature is the chairlift that was built in the 1970s. The chairlift spans some 457 metres giving visitors an elevated view of the natural basin. If heights aren’t your strong suit, take the pathway below the chairlift, which links each side of the basin.
On warm Tasmanian days, make use of the free public swimming pool surrounded by wide-open spaces. It is also the perfect grassy spot for a picnic.
It’s tempting to relax on the lawns or kick back in the café or restaurant, but don’t miss the recommended walks at Cataract Gorge. Searching for the best accessible trails? Wander across the Alexandra Suspension Bridge or follow Cataract Walk down along the South Esk River towards Kings Bridge.
Keep an eye out for peacocks and wallabies on the bush or garden walking trails. If you are lucky, you may also see a seal sunbaking on the rocks along Cataract Walk.
Related: Read here a detailed guide of what to see in Launceston with Kids
6. Beauty Point
Only a 40-minute drive and one of the best day trips from Launceston is to the riverside town of Beauty Point. Originally the town was established as the first deep-water port in the area. Now the port hosts a world-class marine research facility for tropical marine organisms.
The star attractions that live on this port are seahorses, Australian platypus and echidnas.
Seahorse World is dedicated to the conservation and breeding of seahorses as the population is severely impacted by wild harvesting. Visiting Seahorse World is a unique experience. Visitors are taken “behind the scenes” on a 45-minute guided tour and given a first-hand account of how a seahorse farm works. You will learn about the seahorse lifecycle and their behaviour.
Visitors also have an opportunity to get hands-on at the end of the tour with some of the marine life you can find in the Tasmanian waters.
Next door to Seahorse World is Platypus House offering visitors the chance to learn about the platypuses and echidnas on a guided tour. It is a rare occurrence to see both these mammals in the wild. For this reason, it makes Platypus house a fascinating attraction. It is also the only place in Tasmania where visitors can see these native Australian animals during the day in an indoor environment.
More Sights and Activities in and around Launceston
- Visit the Macaque Monkeys at City Park, Launceston
- Stroll around the Launceston heritage walks
- Have fun with adventures, attractions and rides at Penny Royal Launceston
- Visit the native and exotic animals at Tasmania Zoo
- Take a walk through the unique Tamar Valley Wetlands
- Zip through the trees at Hollybank Wilderness Adventures
- Take a Low Head Penguin Tour
- All aboard the Don River Railway for a 30 minutes trip on the historic Melrose Line
Things to do on the West Coast of Tasmania
The harbourside village of Strahan draws visitors with its history and natural beauty. Two of the major attractions in Strahan is via boat or train. Cruise along the Gordon River through World Heritage wilderness. On the tour learn about the Macquarie Harbour history and the convict’s past on Sarah Island.
The West Coast Wildnerness railway departs from Strahan on a half or full-day return trip. Hear fascinating stories from the guides about how the classic railway line was built. Enjoy the scenery from the comfort of an old steam train. There are a few stops along the way, allowing you to taste local produce and see interesting sights.
If you have set your sights on visiting Strahan, you can read all the top things to do in Strahan, including the two I have mentioned above.
Tasmania with Kids Freebie
Click the graphic below, and I’ll send you my FREE checklist with 30 hand-picked ideas you can use when planning your trip to Tasmania with kids.
Things to do on the East Coast of Tasmania
When planning your family holiday in Tasmania, you’ll want to find an excellent base for at least a couple of nights to allow for further exploring. We chose the beautiful coastal town of Bicheno. Not only is Bicheno a great location, but also because of the activities and sights the town offers.
During the day, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Take a dip in the calm waters of Waubs Bay or a picturesque stroll along the sandbar. Visit the Bicheno Blowhole and wait patiently for the tide to crash through the granite sea cave creating a geyser effect.
After the blowhole, take the walk to the top of Whalers Lookout for a fabulous view of Bicheno and the east coast.
At night get up close to the fairy penguins on a local tour. This tour is a highlight not only for adults but one of the best things for kids to do in Tasmania. Watch the fairy penguins arrive back to shore and scuttle up to their burrows. Make sure to book this tour in advance, so you don’t miss out!
You May Also Like A detailed review of the Fairy Penguin tour in Bicheno
9. Maria Island
Maria Island is just over an hour from Hobart. The ferry service runs from Triabunna. There are more regular ferry services in Summer, which is the best time to visit. Winter can be cool and windy.
One of the great things about the island is how undeveloped it is. So, be aware that you’ll have to take your food and drinks for the day. There are no playgrounds or cafes. You’ll be doing all your exploring on foot, so Maria Island is best suited to children who are up for some walking.
With that in mind, a trip to Maria Island is a wonderful adventure. The 40-minute ferry ride is a fun start. Besides its natural beauty, the island is known for its wildlife – in particular, the wombats. They’re everywhere, and they’re the cutest things ever. There are lots of kangaroos and wallabies to spot too.
The Fossil and Painted Cliffs, each a 45-minute walk from the ferry wharf but in opposite directions, are also great sights. The kids won’t believe how many fossils there are! For lunch, the beach near the wharf is a great spot to relax, play, or give your feet a rest.
Contributed by Natalie & Steve from Curious Campers
10. Freycinet National Park
Stunning sandy beaches, turquoise water, and pink granite peaks. Breathtaking views are what you’ll find in Freycinet National Park. Home to some of the best walks, including those for all abilities. Its beauty equally matches Freycinet National Park’s dramatic landscape.
One of the must-see places in the national park with children is Cape Tourville. Suitable for strollers and wheelchairs the walk offers incredible views toward Wineglass Bay. If you are travelling with children that may not be able to walk the iconic Wineglass Bay circuit, this is a perfect alternative.
For a swim or snorkel in quiet crystal-clear waters, visit the picturesque Honeymoon Bay. One of the most famous locations in Freycinet National Park with giant boulders sheltering swimmers from the swell of the ocean.
Read More: Things to do and Essential Guide for an East Coast Tasmania Road Trip
Things to do in the North West of Tasmania
11. Cradle Mountain
If you want to experience the rugged and untamed beauty of Tasmania, then one of the must-see places in Tasmania is Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain is renowned for its pristine beauty, natural diversity, and abundance of wildlife.
The reason why many people travel to Cradle Mountain with kids is to visit the area that has some of the most beautiful walks in Tasmania.
There are many walking tracks in the Cradle Mountain area that are suitable for children. Formed wooden walkways have been created to offer access to some of the dense regions of the national park. The tracks starting from Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge lead through temperate rainforests full of ancient trees and diverse vegetation.
If you asked me to describe them in one word, it would be: magical.
At the foot of Cradle Mountain is the majestic Dove Lake, one of the most popular walks on the west coast of Tasmania. The six-kilometre track is not one I would recommend tackling with young children, due to the distance and some steps along the path.
Tip: If you are travelling with young children to Dove Lake, you don’t have to miss out! Take the short walk anti-clockwise around the lake to the famous Boatshed, or venture clockwise to Glacier Rock for a bird’s eye view of the area.
Stanley is a small picturesque seaside town on a narrow piece of land that sticks out into the waters of Bass Strait. It is a town rich with local history and culture and stunning landscapes, beaches, and natural beauty.
The most noticeable feature on the landscape is Munatrik or the Nut, an ancient volcanic plug standing 143m high with a flat plateau at the top. A must-do in Stanley is visiting the Nut’s summit, reached by walking up a steep trail or taking the chair lift. At the top, walk the loop trail to lookouts on all sides of the plateau.
Stanley has many other family-friendly attractions. The beaches and seaside parks are fantastic for swimming, fishing, and picnicking. See the small colony of adorable little penguins when they return to their burrows at sunset. Take a stroll along Church Street, at the base of the Nut, with its beautifully maintained historical buildings, boutique stores, cafes, and the Stanley Discovery Museum.
If you’re looking for adventure and have a 4WD, check out the East Inlet on to Sawyers Bay at Gulliver’s Rest. At low tide, you can enjoy four-wheel driving on the sand flats while in the shallows, enjoy a swim, or try your luck fishing.
The best time to visit is the summer months when the weather is warmer, and it rains less. On the North-West Coast of Tasmania, Stanley is a 1-hour drive from Devonport and 45 minutes from the Tarkine Drive.
Contributed by Emma from Our Wayfaring Life
More Places to Visit in Tasmania
I hope the above list helps with building your Tasmania family holiday itinerary. If you have more time you can find more suggestions below of other things to do in Tasmania with kids.
- Go waterfall chasing with at least 10 easy and idyllic waterfalls to visit
- Swim in the Bay of Fires Conservation Area
- See the unique and quirky world of Tasmazia in the north-west
- Immerse yourself in purple at Bridestowe Lavender Estate
- Visit The Wall in the Wilderness sculpture near Lake St Clair
Do you have any unanswered questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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