12 Things To Do In Hobart With Kids
Located in southern Tasmania, the state capital of Hobart is a relatively young city with a lot of fun things to offer the whole family. Surrounded by some breathtaking natural scenery, Hobart is also a cultural hub for the region, with some of the best museums, best restaurants, and best things to do in all of Australia. And if you're looking for things to do in Hobart with kids, don't worry. This vibrant city has plenty of options for kids' activities, no matter what age your children are.
Of course, traveling with kids often means traveling with lots of baggage. That's where Bounce can help you out. Bounce offers luggage storage in Hobart with local businesses to give you a safe and convenient place to store your bags. Drop off your heavy luggage and get ready to explore the city, and it will be easy to keep the family entertained.
The best things to do in Hobart with kids
If you're looking for things to do in Hobart with kids that involve the great outdoors, you can't do much better than Mount Wellington. This mountain towers over the city centre and is one of the best places in Hobart to enjoy nature. At the summit, you'll find plenty of great hiking trails, and if you're on a budget, this is also one of the best free things to do in Hobart. Getting some miles covered on the many trails and enjoying the beautiful views of the city and the coastline from the top of the mountain will help tire the kids out so you can possibly even look forward to a peaceful night. Don't forget your camera, as some of the best photo opportunities in the city are at the top of this local mountain.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Located on Hobart's waterfront along the River Derwent, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are easily one of the best things to do in Hobart with kids. There are plenty of trails for short walks and acres of green space where kids can run about in the fresh air, and there are plenty of activities and programs throughout the year that will keep kids entertained while they learn more about the natural world. The Japanese gardens are especially lovely, and a guided tour will help you learn more about the plants in the garden while the kids get to burn off some energy in a beautiful environment.
The famous Salamanca Markets are one of the favorite attractions of visitors to Hobart, and a great family-friendly place to visit in the city. Located in Salamanca Place, this outdoor market is a fantastic place to explore the produce and food of Tasmania and enjoy the sights and smells of the city. Visit on a Saturday morning to see the market at its lively best, and you'll also find plenty of craft shops and restaurants in the area. With nearly 300 traders, this is one of Australia's biggest and most popular regular markets and an unmissable thing to do in Salamanca Place. The hard part will be not blowing your budget on all the things the kids will undoubtedly want to buy at the Salamanca markets.
Beautiful Bruny Island is a truly unforgettable place to visit while you're in Hobart, no matter what your age. Well worth the drive south from the city, the ferry ride to the island is enough to give kids and adults alike a thrill as you travel along the beautiful coastline of Tasmania. Once on the island, you can climb to the lookout between North and South Bruny for spectacular mountain views, but kids may be more interested in the island's famous white wallabies. The island is also packed with art studios and attractions like the Jurassic Garden and The Neck Game Reserve, where you can see resident penguins in their natural habitat. You could also hire a kayak and explore the stunning coastline of this laid-back island. In short, there's so much to do on Bruny Island that both you and the kids will be sad to leave. To maximize your time on the island, instead of taking a day trip, consider an overnight trip to experience everything there is to do on the island. There's plenty of family-friendly accommodation available, and the island has more than enough to keep you entertained.
Located a little out of Hobart itself, Tahune Adventures makes a great day trip to let the kids see more of the Tasmanian backcountry. This aerial adventure park has swaying suspension bridges and walkways that hang more than 50 m above the forest floor. There are also zip lines and a rafting adventure that will take you through the rapids of the Twin River. For active families, this is one of the best places near Hobart to visit, and if you want to stay longer, the park also offers overnight camping so that you can turn your day trip into a longer adventure. It's the perfect outdoor playground to let the kids get some exercise, and who knows? Maybe you'll find an activity to challenge yourself too.
Hobart's history is intimately connected with the sea. After all, the first colonists to settle the city arrived by ship, and for much of its early life, Hobart was a trading post and whaling station that made its living from the ocean right on the doorstep of the city. At the Maritime Museum, you can learn more about this rich history through the artifacts left behind.
Probably the most impressive is the May Queen, a restored merchant vessel moored on Constitution Dock. The ship was built in 1867 and still looks much as she did back when she traveled the waters around Tasmania on trading journeys. On Saturday mornings and Thursday afternoons, you can climb aboard the ship and get a visceral experience of what life was like for her crew that will teach kids far more about the past than any history lesson.
Located just outside downtown Hobart, Battery Point is home to some of Hobart's best waterfront parks. Explore the Sculpture Trail to enjoy some modern art along with the beautiful surroundings, or duck in and out of the quaint shops and cottages you'll find in this historic area. Plus, younger kids will love Princes Park, where you can enjoy a pirate-themed play area that will make them feel like raiders on the high seas. Either way, you can stretch your legs and get some fresh air along the Derwent River, and you could also pack a picnic lunch and have a very pleasant afternoon enjoying the more natural side of the city.
Museum of Old and New Art
Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art is a truly unique place in the city. This museum holds the private art collection of local resident David Walsh, and the art gallery contains more than a few surprises, making it a great rainy day activity.
The adventure begins when you board the boat at Brooke Street Pier. Animal sculptures line the deck, and kids can ride on them while the boat travels north to the museum itself. Once inside, kids will get a kick out of the art installation of The Cloaca Professional, better known as the poo machine. Kids may not understand the meanings behind all the unusual art installations in this museum - in fact, chances are no one does. But they will get to see an art gallery that's very far removed from the stuffy image these kinds of institutions normally have.
Hastings Cave and Thermal pool
Located outside the city of Hobart, Hastings Cave and neighboring Newdegate Cave make up a World Heritage Area. Tours of the caves will take you deep underground to marvel at the stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and other underground formations. The passages in the cave are quite large, but there are some steps to climb at the beginning and end of the tour. You can also take a swim in the thermal pool, which maintains a constant temperature of 20°C or 82°F all year. There are change facilities at the pool, so don't forget to bring your swimsuit and enjoy this natural wonder. It's a great way to get out of the city and see more of the natural wonders to make Tasmania so special.
Richmond Gaol and Hobart Penitentiary
Australia's history is intimately connected with crime and punishment since the country was founded as a British penal colony for the transportation of prisoners. You can learn more about the chilling stories of the prisoners who became some of Hobart's first residents at Richmond Gaol and Hobart Penitentiary. Both of these 19th-century institutions were once prisons but have now become museums that explain the fascinating history of legal punishment in Tasmania.
And if that's not spooky enough, you can also take a ghost tour of Battery Point to learn about the most blood-chilling stories from Hobart's past. While the tours may be a little scary for younger children, older kids will definitely get a kick out of learning more about the dark side of life. Plus, they'll be learning more about Australian history in the most interesting way possible.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Australia is famous for its wildlife and as unique as the Australian ecosystem is, Tasmania has its own wildlife separate from the mainland. At Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, you can meet friendly animals native to the island. This is not a zoo but is a rescue and rehabilitation center for native wildlife, and you can learn more about this essential work from the sanctuary workers as they introduce you to the animals in their care. You can even meet a true icon of the island by helping to feed a Tasmanian devil, giving your kids an experience they won't soon forget.
This Georgian village within the city offers plenty of family-friendly activities. Anchored by the convict-built Richmond Bridge, the neighborhood is home to the Richmond Maze and the Pooseum, the only museum in the world dedicated to animal droppings. For something a little more appetizing, check out Richmond Sweets and Treats to see a mouthwatering selection of candy you'll just have to try for yourself.
What are the best family activities in Hobart?
Hobart has enough family-friendly attractions that you won't have to look very far to find something both you and the kids will enjoy. When it comes to choosing the best, it's going to depend on your children's preferences, ages, and lots of other factors. However, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is usually a safe bet. Artistically-minded kids will get a kick out of the Museum of Old and New Art, and the Tahune AirWalk is perfect for more active families.
Ultimately, whatever you choose to do in Hobart with kids, you're bound to have a great time enjoying this underrated Australian city. Still a little off the map for most tourists, Hobart offers the perfect combination of plenty of things to do without the tourist crowds you'll find in other locations. And as always, you'll have a much easier time exploring the city if you drop off your things at a Bounce luggage storage in Hobart. The lighter you travel, the more fun you'll be able to have in the Tasmanian capital.