Wildlife encounters, outdoor expeditions and interactive cultural experiences provide entertaining and educational activities for all ages. Bring the whole family along and spark their curiosity and creativity with some distinctly Tasmanian things to see and do.
Meet some Tasmanian wildlife
Get to know Tasmania’s unique wildlife at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, just 30min north of Hobart’s CBD. A little business with a big heart, Bonorong is home to many animals – including Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas, birds, quolls and free-roaming Forester kangaroos who love a good scratch and hand-feed.
Heading east, pay a visit to East Coast Natureworld just north of Bicheno. Head along to a Tasmanian devil feeding presentation (happening daily) and choose from various wildlife encounters among 50 acres of native coastal bushland and lagoons, perfect for wandering.
If mysterious marine creatures pique your interest, seahorses provide a unique spectacle at Seahorse World in the beautiful Tamar Valley. The facility gives 45min tours, which include a chance to see thousands of seahorses in all stages of life, plus platypuses and echidnas.
The largest collection of Tasmanian wildlife in Australia is at Wings Wildlife Park, a multi-award-winning, family-owned business less than an hour away from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal in Devonport.
Living history and heritage
Step into history at Brickendon Historic Farm and Convict Village, one of Tasmania’s five UNESCO World Heritage-listed convict sites. Here, you have a rare chance to glimpse a modern interpretation of the early convict history of northern Tasmania.
Down in Hobart, the merchant Captain Andrew Haig’s house, ‘Narryna’, built 1835-40, is open to the public. Located at the gateway to Battery Point, Narryna’s architecture, interiors, collection and garden offer a rich experience of early colonial life in Tasmania.
Around 90min out of Hobart is World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site – one of Australia’s most evocative convict sites. With more than 30 historic buildings and ruins to explore, Port Arthur delivers a profound insight into the hardships of the past.
In the north east, experience living Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and heritage on the four-day wukalina Walk through the larapuna / Bay of Fires area. In Hobart, Palawa Kipli runs kipli takara cultural walking tours, featuring traditional bush tucker prepped into finger-food or a sit-down lunch.
Tasmania’s two major art, culture and natural history museums – the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) in Hobart and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston – run child-centred learning programs, alongside permanent and touring exhibitions.
Also in the capital, Theatre Royal Hobart has been home to contemporary theatre in Tasmania for more than 185 years. As Australia’s oldest working theatre, the 700-seat heritage establishment provides audiences a curated annual season of contemporary performances and events.
The rustic farm setting at Guide Falls Farm is a prime opportunity to get a complete paddock-to-plate experience – and give the kids an insight into agriculture and how farms work. Check out the on-site shops and restaurants and take a tour of the farm. There’s even a children’s playground.
An even broader learning experience can be had at Ulverstone’s major new north-west cultural precinct, Hive Tasmania. Travel through space and time at the Ulverstone Planetarium, get lost in the wonders of art and history, and engage with science – all in the same location.
Cataract Gorge Reserve is a fascinating natural formation just minutes from central Launceston on the South Esk River. While there, you’ll discover walking tracks, a swimming pool, the world’s longest single-span chairlift as well as peacocks and native wildlife.
A mountain bike park in a unique rainforest environment, the Maydena Bike Park is located in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. There are more than 75 individual trails for all abilities, including beginner and family-friendly rides, wilderness trails and epic pro trails.
For something the whole family can enjoy, Pedal Buggies Tasmania in the seaside town of Ulverstone offers single, double or family buggies to hire – plus wheelchair trailers for those unable to ride a normal bicycle. Travel along cycle paths, through scenic parks and alongside the Leven River.
Hop on an eco-cruise from Coles Bay to Wineglass Bay with Wineglass Bay Cruises and experience the majestic Freycinet Peninsula from the water. Along with the captivating scenery, this cruise will come across abundant wildlife and offers a rare, intimate perspective of one of Tasmania’s most extraordinary places.
At the more quirky end of the spectrum, Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot is one of the world’s largest maze complexes with eight mazes, including four mature botanical labyrinths, planted in viburnum and Chinese honeysuckle. Amaze Richmond offers further maze-based distractions, with plenty of good things to eat.
In Launceston, Penny Royal Adventures offers boat rides, cliff jumps and zip-line rides. Not far away, Treetops Adventure Hollybank delivers further zip-line action, while Grindelwald Swiss Village in the Tamar Valley has mini-golf, boat hire, canoeing and the world’s longest-bouncing pillow. Or take a ride on the Gorge Scenic Chairlift, high above Cataract Gorge. Is this the longest chairlift in the Southern Hemisphere? Discuss, as you soar above the South Esk River.