Tasmania is an island state of Australia located about 240 kilometres from the mainland and is the 26th-largest island in the world. When you visit, there are plenty of activities and sights to see to pack your days. However, to ensure the best possible trip, you’ll want to make sure that you craft a great itinerary. Learn how to create an unforgettable experience in Tasmania with your family.
Getting to Tasmania
Getting to and around Tasmania is relatively easy. There are 5 airports you can land at, with Hobart Airport being the most used and the prime choice if you’re flying out of Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. If you’re planning to start your holiday in a different location such as Devonport or Burnie, there are airports there as well, with Melbourne offering direct flights. Additionally, you can opt to take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry that will land you in Devonport. The added benefit is that you’ll also be able to bring your own car, which can greatly help in getting around.
Family attractions to fill your Tasmania itinerary
When it comes to attractions in Tasmania, there are plenty of exciting, fun destinations to visit that are sure to appeal to every member of your family and their different age groups. Because there are tons of things to do when you visit, you’ll want to make sure that your itinerary is packed full of diverse locations you can visit to get the most out of your family holiday.
Walk the beaches at the Bay of Fires
Bay of Fires is a spot you’ll want to visit with plenty of fun, exciting things for the whole family to do. The white, calming beaches are great for having a stress-free relaxing time and can be a great spot for a picnic. If you’re interested in more adventure, in addition to being able to swim in the Tasman Sea, you can also climb Mount William. Once you reach the 216-metre peak, your family will be rewarded with excellent panoramic views. On the ocean side you can spot Flinders Island, and on the inland side you can witness beautiful green farmland. The whole area has a beautiful colour palette of giant, granite orange boulders and deep-blue ocean.
Visit King Island
King Island is located off the coast and, along with Flinders Island, is one of the 2 most populated islands in Tasmania. Here there are plenty of fun activities to engage in. In addition to being able to experience the beauty that the coastline has to offer, your family can enjoy golfing, surfing and visiting the King Island Historical Society Museum, where they can learn more about the island’s history including the many shipwrecks the island has seen. For eating, there’s the King Island Dairy Cheese Store that features a cheese platter, baked brie and a drinks menu. You can buy some excellent cheeses to take with you and visit the Boat House that is located on the edge of Currie Harbour. There you can have either a small snack or a full meal as you peer at the beautiful sights the island has to offer.
See the wildlife at Bruny Island
Bruny Island is another coastal location that’s sure to leave an impact. One of Tasmania’s southernmost islands, this location features various scenic sights. Eucalyptus forests, grand stretches of rocky coastline, beaches and plenty of wildlife like white wallabies are just some of the things you can expect to see. The island is actually 2 islands connected by a short isthmus of sand. Because it’s only a 20-minute drive from the mainland of Tasmania, it's perfect for a short visit, but it can easily be turned into a day trip as well. After you get done walking along the beaches and visiting the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, your family will be able to indulge in mouthwatering oysters and delectable cheeses.
Trek to Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain in Lake St Clair National Park is another nature-themed attraction that should be on your list for Tasmania family holidays. While the main interest point is Cradle Mountain itself, the entire national park is sure to spark your family’s interests and creativity as they get in touch with nature. The park is filled with luscious, ancient rainforests and alpine heaths, and the wildlife includes quolls, platypuses, echidnas, birds and the famous Tasmanian devil. The site is ideal for families interested in hiking, and while the hiking may require a day trip, there’s a boardwalk for much of the journey, making it easier on your feet. As you’re hiking, you’ll definitely want to snap as many pictures as you can.
Enjoy indoor and outdoor activities in Devonport
Devonport is a city on the north coast that offers plenty of fun indoor and outdoor activities for your family. The first spot to visit is the Bass Strait Maritime Centre, which catalogues various stories of the Bass Strait. Through a series of exhibitions and scavenger hunts, kids will be able to learn more about the history of the strait. You can continue your trek by visiting the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse and the Don River Railway, or check out the art at Devonport Regional Gallery. There’s also Coles Beach, where you can swim or take a hiking trail, and the Tasmanian Arboretum where you can spot a platypus while enjoying ice cream.
Experience seahorses at Seahorse World
Seahorse World is located at Beauty Point, which is about a 45-minute drive from Devonport. While your family may have seen seahorses in aquariums in the past, Seahorse World is unique. When you opt for an educational tour, you will be guided through 3 unique stops: The Cave of the Seahorse, the working Seahorse Farm and the Wonders of the Southern Ocean Aquarium. This enchanting experience ends with being able to hold a live seahorse in your hands and is a great treat for younger kids. As an added bonus, children 3 and under will be able to enter the attraction for free. While seahorses are the big selling point, your family will also be able to see sea dragons and other marine life.
See kangaroos, wombats and koalas at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is another animal-themed attraction and is a couple of hours from Beauty Point. The sanctuary takes care of a wide host of animals including many that are endangered. Some animals you can expect to see in addition to kangaroos, wombats and koalas include various cockatoos, Tasmanian devils, echidnas, super gliders and quolls. Because it’s not a zoo, your interactions with the animals will be much more personal, and when you buy a day pass, you’ll be gifted a free bag of kangaroo feed and access to the sanctuary’s tours. Your little ones will love to feed the kangaroos and other animals for 2 and a half hours. The sanctuary also offers night tours, and if you’re in the Hobart area, it can even provide transportation.
Check out numerous attractions in Hobart
Hobart is another city you’ll want to visit on your family holiday that's packed with many things to do. From visiting various museums to trekking to Mount Wellington, filling your stomach with delicious food at the Salamanca Market, riding the Mona Ferry and breathing fresh air at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, you can easily make Hobart a trip in itself. If your family members are older, appreciate history and don’t frighten easily, you can visit Hobart Convict Penitentiary. On this 1- to 2-hour tour, you’ll hear tales of crime and punishment as you make your way through courts and tunnels to the chapel, cells and gallows of this internationally known penitentiary. To spice things up even more, the National Trust also offers ghost tours.
Discover history at Port Arthur
Port Arthur is filled with unsettling but fascinating history. This World Heritage site is the best-preserved convict site in Australia, and there’s plenty of history to learn when you visit. There are a couple of tours for you and your family to enjoy that include the Commandant's Tour and the Escape From Port Arthur Tour. On the Commandant's Tour, you’ll step back in time to the 1800s and check out the site’s most notable buildings, including the Separate Prison, the Penitentiary and the Convict Church. As you’re walking, your tour guide will tell you fascinating stories of the people who used to live and work here. The Escape From Port Arthur Tour is an interactive experience that involves hearing from staff members portraying the brave men and women who escaped from Port Arthur.
Relax at the Floating Sauna Lake Derby
The Floating Sauna Lake Derby is perfect for a moment of relaxation. Located in the North East of Tasmania, the floating sauna was originally established as a way to give mountain bikers a respite from their travels, but it is now an iconic activity. Floating upon a cold but refreshing freshwater lake, the floating sauna brings Nordic spa culture to Australia, and while diving into a cold lake after being reinvigorated by the soothing powers of a sauna might sound a bit too much, for many it’s an excellent way to relax and renew themselves. Additionally, there’s plenty of mountain biking trails to venture on for more adventurous family members.
Accommodation for a family holiday in Tasmania
As you’re visiting Tasmania, you’ll want to make sure you have a nice place to sleep between the numerous entries on your itinerary. With this in mind, it’s vital that you find the right accommodation for you and your family. Whether you want to splurge on luxurious locations, are looking for something more budget-friendly or want an equal balance, Tasmania offers plenty of spaces for accommodation.
Tasmania family beachfront accommodation
Beachfront holiday rentals are an excellent choice when you find yourself near the coastline. In addition to having an incredible, breathtaking view that you can take in while you’re relaxing for a day or 2, you’ll find plenty of houses and retreats that you can rent. Especially if you have a larger family, being able to stay somewhere with multiple bedrooms, a full working kitchen and amenities like WiFi and sometimes even a pool will offer a large degree of comfort.
Tasmania family cottages and cabins
Cottages and cabin rentals are another excellent choice and offer many of the same amenities that a typical house would, but with a more rustic atmosphere. Your family members will love to have plenty of outside space, and your kids will be able to play for hours on end. With many located near a lake and plenty of trees, cottages or cabins will provide a calming atmosphere and can be great for a weekend of relaxing from your travels.