Tasmania is a great place to enjoy a family vacation with plenty of activities for kids to enjoy, even the hard-to-please teenagers in the family. Discover wilderness walks and Instagram-worthy waterfalls, unique wildlife, learn about Tasmania’s history, and enjoy some tasty treats along the way.
We’ve compiled 25 top things to do with the teenagers on your next visit to southern Tasmania.
1. Cuddle an animal at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Who doesn’t love getting up close with a cute fluffy animal! A visit to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a must for animal-loving family members. The sanctuary is home to a unique range of Tasmanian wildlife who are nurtured back to health in the park before returning to the wild. Join one of the tours throughout the day or a night tour and learn about Tasmania’s animals and what you can do to help conserve our wildlife.
2. Enjoy an ice cream treat
A visit to Hobart wouldn’t be complete without enjoying delicious hand-made ice cream and what better way to leverage the kids to behave than with some tasty ice cream cones. Head down to the Hobart waterfront and pick up a scoop (or two) of your favourite flavour from Mures or VDL Creamery before wandering around the boats with the kids and admiring the sculptures along the water’s edge. The flavours alone are enough to get anybody excited.
3. Discover Mona
Mona Museum is a great way to spend the day. There are plenty of interesting artworks that are sure to get the kids giggling or telling jokes. Above ground, drop into Dubsy’s for a burger and chips or find a place on the lawn with a glass of wine (adults) and enjoy some relaxing time in the sun. Top tip: There is often entertainment on the lawn including live music, so be sure to check the Mona website to see what times and artists will be performing before you visit.
4. Hit the beach
Southern Tasmania has some fantastic beaches to enjoy at any time of the year. Whether you are keen to keep things closer to Hobart city or venture further afield and discover a secluded beach, there are plenty of great beaches the whole family will enjoy. Pack an esky and a hat and enjoy a day in the sand. Discover your next beach day with our beaches of southern Tasmania guide.
5. Cruise the coast
Explore the incredible coastline of Tasmania and see if you can spot some local wildlife with a trip on Pennicott Journeys’ little yellow boat. Setting off from Hobart, Port Arthur or Bruny Island, the Pennicott experience is a fantastic way to explore the wild oceans and towering sea cliffs of southern Tasmania and is sure to impress all members of the family.
6. Indulge in street food
If you are visiting Hobart on a Friday evening, be sure to stop by Street Eats @ Franko for some tasty food, drinks and live music. With plenty of dinner options available, there is something for each member of the family no matter what food mood they are in. The vibe at the food market is great and is a great whole family outing.
7. Reach new heights
Breathe in the fresh mountain air without having to venture far from the city with an adventure on kunanyi/Mount Wellington. Wellington Park is home to a great range of walking and mountain biking trails that the whole family can enjoy. The Sphinx Rock walk is a gentle walk amongst the trees and offers panoramic views from the viewpoint, finish the walk with a hot chocolate or coffee at Lost Freight Cafe. Head up the mountain on the Explorer Bus for added convenience or join one of the local tour operators for an in-depth mountain experience.
8. Wander around the art
Sometimes the weather doesn’t play nicely with your holiday plans but that doesn’t mean sitting around without anything to do. Hobart is filled with great museums and art galleries and a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is a great way to spend a moody day. The diverse exhibitions offer something interesting and entertaining for each member of the family. Feed the hungry troops after wandering the exhibition spaces with some tasty treats from the TMAG Courtyard Café or pop over the road to Tom McHugos for a pub-style meal.
9. Food, glorious food
Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of Hobart’s many great restaurants and cafes. Becoming quite the foodie hub in Australia, Hobart restauranteurs pride themselves on delivering a menu of the freshest local produce. For a casual dinner, head down to the waterfront and pick up some fresh fish and chips off the floating fish punts or at one of the local seafood restaurants, for the sophisticated pallets mid-town has some great tapas style restaurants and for Asian flavours North Hobart has a great range of restaurants available. For more ideas on where to eat out, visit our Eat and Drink page.
10. Waterfall envy
Enjoy a little waterfall tranquility at Snug Falls. The popular Snug Falls Track (1 hr/2 km return) gradually descends through bushland to the fern-lined gully beneath the falls (dogs are allowed on-lead). There are some nice lookout points along the way and native orchards bloom in spring and summer. The gentle walk is a great way to get a little dose of nature before exploring more of the region.
11. Get off Island, go overseas
Jump on the Bruny Island Ferry and enjoy a few days on Bruny Island. This island south of Hobart has plenty to offer and is a sure way to keep the kids entertained. Visit the Bruny Island Neck and race up the stairs to the top of the lookout for Instagram worthy photos. Visit Bruny Island cheese for a delicious cheese platter that the family can share or order a few of their delicious wood-fired pizzas. While you are driving around Bruny, see if you can spot the unique white wallaby! For more Bruny ideas, visit our top 10 things to do on Bruny Island blog.
12. Get to know a convict
For a history and culture fix, the Port Arthur Historic Site is a great place to spend the day. Discover the historic buildings and ruins and learn the stories of the characters that passed through Port Arthur’s gates many years ago. For the brave kids in the family, book a ghost tour and experience the spooky sites after dark.
13. An apple a day!
When adventuring around the Huon Valley, be sure to stop at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and enjoy some lunch of locally sourced produce, especially the apple pie. Known for their delicious Tasmanian cider (parents might like to pick some up for later), Willie Smith’s also has a great on-site restaurant to enjoy. While you are there, take a tour around the apple museum and learn about the rise, fall and recovery of the once infamous ‘Apple Isle’ of Tasmania and the Huon Valley, which was at its heart.
14. Discover an underground wonderland
Discover dolomite caves, stalactites and stalagmites, and lots of other weird and wacky things with a tour of Hastings Caves. Explore the underground wonderland of Newdegate Cave, the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia, before heading above ground to the beautiful natural thermal pool which sits at a lovely 28-degrees year-round.
15. Go for a paddle
A great way to experience the Huon Valley is on the water and Esperance Adventures run scenic kayaking tours from a range of locations along the river. For a little fun, book the treasure hunt tour where the kids can paddle their own kayak to their own deserted island in Southport Bay and hunt for treasure.
16. Get some thrills!
Teens that like a little thrill-seeking will love Tahune Adventures in the far south. Their Hang Gliding adventure whisks you from the forest floor 400 metres across the Huon River, to a launching point 50 metres in the air! For a little slower pace, the family can wander amongst the tall trees and along the airwalk which sits 30 metres above the forest floor. Dogs are also welcome on some of the Tahune walking trails if you are travelling with your pooch.
An abseil down the highest commercial abseil in the world is one way to get a teenager’s attention. Out in the southwest wilderness, you will find the Gordon Dam. Built to generate hydroelectric power the dam wall also features a unique abseiling adventure by local operators Aardvark Adventures. The abseil is 140m down the face of the dam wall and is a great way to get the blood flowing, also great for bragging rights amongst friends.
17. Stroll the market
The famous Salamanca Market is a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. Wander the unique arts and crafts stalls or pick up some freshly made treats for breakfast. The stalls range from craft wares, food, leather goods, distilleries, and fresh goodies like veggies and locally grown flowers.
18. Be a zookeeper for a day
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a zookeeper? Wonder no longer because Zoodoo gives you the chance to give it a go! The Keeper for the Day program offers a unique experience to spend a day with one of Zoodoo’s qualified team members to experience the exciting life of a zookeeper. Offering a full day of entertainment (9 am – 4 pm) this program is a great way to keep the animal lovers of the family entertained.
When in Tasmania, you have to check-out a Tasmanian devil. A state icon, the devil is tricky to spot in the wild but Tasmania Devil Unzoo makes it easy for you to get up close with the cheeky devils. What is an unzoo? It is a place where visitors can learn about wild animals, plants and ecosystems through interaction and immersion in the natural habitats. You can also learn more about the state of the Tasmanian devil on your visit and what we can all do to help protect the species.
19. Hike the cliffs and capes
Enjoy a family day trip to the Tasman Peninsula and take in all its unique landscapes. Visit the Tessellated pavement, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen for some easily accessible and photo-worthy views. For a stroll along the cliffs be sure to take the Waterfall Bay trail (1-1.5 hours return) for some great scenery. For the more adventurous types, a hike to Cape Hauy is a great way to release some energy. Forewarning, there are over 3000 steps to overcome throughout the walk, but worth it for the views!
20. Unleash your inner racer
Get your competitive streak off and racing with Hyperdrive Kart Racing in Kingston. Race to whole family around the track and see who can make the podium for ultimate bragging rights for years to come. Hyperdrive is located in Kingston (15 minutes from Hobart’s CBD) and is available for all kids over 7+ years old or for the little ones, kids 4+ years can go around the track with an adult.
21. Sup!? No, not ‘what’s up’. Stand up paddle boarding!
Enjoy a day on the river with a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) adventure in New Norfolk. Derwent Valley SUP offers lessons along the serene calm waters of the upper Derwent. Paddle along and enjoy the glassy reflections on the water and see if you can spot a local platypus playing in the shallows. The SUP is particularly pretty in the Autumn time when the trees along the river banks shift from green to gold and red with the changing of the season.
22. Bounce the energy away
Enjoy some indoor fun at Bounce Hobart. Bounce is a large indoor trampoline park that offers an adrenaline rush for kids of any age. Trampolining doesn’t just involve bouncing up and down, there are walls to run up, dodgeball to play and basketball hoops to practice slam dunks. There is some serious fun to be had.
23. Enjoy some movie time
Sometimes in between busy days of adventuring you just need a day to relax and chill out. The State Cinema in North Hobart is a great place to do this. Showing a range of flicks from Hollywood blockbusters to indie movies or repeats of old classics. Pick up a glass of wine (for mum/dad), a soft drink and some snacks and enjoy a movie in the comfortable and spacious cinema. For a traditional cinema experience, Hobart also has two village cinemas playing the latest hits in the Hobart CBD and over the Tasman Bridge at Eastlands in Rosny.
24. Camp under the stars
For families that love to camp, why not do it at the southern-most place you can drive in Australia. Cockle Creek is a beautiful coastal region at the end of the road and features crystal clear beaches and a great campground. Hike the South Cape Bay track (15.4km, 4hours return) or simply lounge around at the beach, do some snorkeling or see if you can catch a fish for dinner.
25. Experience Mt Field
Mt Field National Park is a great day trip from Hobart. Home to some of Tasmania’s prettiest waterfalls, Mt Field has some excellent short walks that visitors of all ages can enjoy. The Russell Falls track offers a gentle stroll along a lush fern-lined creek to the picturesque three-tiered waterfall. For those keen to explore more, the Three Falls Circuit (2 hours, 6km) takes in Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls. After your walks, enjoy lunch or a snack in the Waterfalls Café & Gallery.
We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.
Header Image: Russell Falls @thewanderingsons