There’s nothing quite like adventuring, and in my books any type of travel with young children is akin to cross continent exploration…. Captain James Cook can surely sympathise to the endless exciting (and traumatic) experiences that await.
But with all of its stresses, mishaps, tears, failed plans and bad airport coffees, I will always say YES to running off with my little family on an adventure…. luckily for our bank balance and everyone’s sanity, my husband balances me out with some nice practical ‘no’s’ a lot of the time.
Before last Christmas we escaped to the beauty that is Tasmania for our first proper holiday as a family of four. For those with little ones considering a trip there I can wholeheartedly recommend it! The Travel Gods have seemingly created Tasmania with exploring young families in mind… there are farms, mountains, wilderness, beaches, peaceful cities and history lessons to boot. I’ve compiled our trip below as a useful guide to help anyone thinking of a venture to the Apple Isle with young’uns.
Sorry but I can’t give reviews for all accommodation available across the state 🙂 … but I can 100% vouch for the two places that we did stay. We decided on five days in the central midlands in Bothwell and five days just outside Hobart. Both were found through Air BnB which is perfect for hunting down something with two or more bedrooms that won’t cost a thousand camels.
- Ratho Farm, Bothwell | approx $250 p/night for a family of four/2 bedroom apartment. A working farm with stunningly converted convict outbuildings. Amazing hosts who are obviously (and contagiously) passionate about the farm and it’s history. The girls were delighted searching for platypus in the river, watching the daily cattle drives, bottle feeding lambs and wandering the beautiful grounds in the looooong summer evenings.
- Kunanyi House, Fern Tree | approx $330 p/night for a family of four/4 bedroom house. This was incredibly/eeringly like stepping back in time! An absolute architectural seventies gem nestled in misty, lush Mt Wellington (Kunanyi). The steps and reflection pools aren’t too kid friendly but we knew this and are so glad we still went! A very tranquil base for exploring Hobart and Mt Wellington. Can imagine it would be a touch chilly in Winter though.
We had two ‘categories’ of holiday we were after….. outdoors (mini hikes, forest walks, nice trees… you get the gist) and touristy (basically anything not in the outdoors category). Obviously anything outdoorsy had to be accomplishable with the two little ones and we soon discovered that a 30 minute hike generally extended into a long winded 2 hour amble with Miss Evie stopping every 5 metres to look at leaves, bugs or some supposedly fascinating dirt. We purchased the National Parks Holiday 8 weeks pass (per vehicle for $60) online but can be bought at any of the park visitor centres as well.
- Lake St Clair – The three hour round trip to the Lake had the potential to be excruciating, but with some clever coordination with nap times we were able to enjoy the incredible scenery in relative bliss 🙂 . And the stunning lake was well worth it!! We took in one of the shortest available walks from the visitor centre and returned along the lake shore stopping for our packed picnic along the way! Barely saw another person along the beach! The ice cream from the centre was quickly devoured but painfully overpriced.
- Mt Field/ Russell Falls – Another stunning walk and to a beautiful waterfall! The light rain we had going on just added to the whole ‘fairy rainforest’ feel happening there! Super easy walk and another good ol visitor centre to stop for food (actually massive and cheap meals), souvenirs and breastfeeding out of the freezing drizzle.
- Tahune Airwalk & Eagle Glide – This was my top pick! Elevated platforms approximately 20-30 metres above the forest floor and with a 50 metre high peak above the stunning river!!! An easy walk and no photos or videos will ever do it justice. Well worth the looooong drive to get there. And the Eagle Glide was a fun addition… a hang-gliding zip line across the river which my husband and I took turns on and Evie still talks about when ‘mummy and daddy went flying’.
- Hastings Caves – The thermal pools were a little disappointing but had beautiful BBQ and picnic facilities and the tour of the caves was really amazing! Also a bit of a drive but a lot of things outside of Hobart do seem to be…. again it’s all about timing it with naps.. and being flexible to stop off somewhere (or turn around) if it just isn’t happening that day!
- Richmond – A beautiful quaint town with the classic ‘main street’ and Australia’s oldest bridge… actually really pretty with plenty of ducks (and freakishly bold Geese) to feed nearby on the banks. Visit the convict gaol/jail for a history lesson (or linger in the pretty courtyard like me if the confined spaces give you the heebie jeebies) and explore the multitude of pretty shops for handmade goodies and treats.
- Botanical Gardens – We stopped in here on our last day before heading off to the airport and at 9am seemingly had the entire Gardens to ourselves aside from a parade of teeny tiny ducklings with their mama. Gorgeous spot, would be perfect for a picnic and only gold coin donation entry.
- Salamanca Markets – A true Tasmanian institution and ‘must-do’ when visiting! Rain hail or shine and I think we had all three when we were there! But nothing quite beats amazing coffee and fresh Ollibollen when sheltering from icy rain…. and then ‘hot from the oven’ Scallop Pizza in the sunshine 30 minutes later.
- Mt Wellington – Another amazing highlight was the girl’s first time in the snow! Not something you’d usually expect in Australia in summer….. but Mt Wellington seems to run it’s own seasons. The views from the summit of the city and the bays are incredible and the windy drive up the mountain is beautiful in its self. We visited the summit twice (mainly because the freezing snow of the first trip kept it pretty short) but honestly could have gone back again.
After 10 days we were pretty exhausted but so so happy with all the adventuring!! Already looking at returning in a few years…. which gives us a bit of time to get Evie (and Lola) used to walking a bit further than 100 metres!
Do you have any highlights from your travels in Tasmania? Or are you looking at a trip there and would like some more ideas?? I can highly recommend it and personally can’t wait to go back.