Things to do in Tasmania for families

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Tasmania is a great place for a family holiday and we all know how much kids love animals, adventures and the great outdoors. Each day you'll wake to an outstanding natural environment with unique wildlife and ancient forests and coastlines. Read on to find out about ten of our favourite things to do in Tasmania for families.

Children play at Cradle Mountain on Tasmanian Holiday

How to get around in Tasmania for Families

The easiest way to reach Tasmania is by air, with direct flights to the state capital of Hobart from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Auckland New Zealand. The northern city of Launceston has direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We wouldnt necessarily recommnend the Spirit of Tasmania cruise ship from Melbourne to Devonport, it takes 9-11 hours so the kids might not be thrilled by that prospect! 

From either Hobart or Launceston we can help you plan a loop itinerary, or you can take your time  and do a one-way trip starting and ending at different ends of the island.   Driving in Tasmania is a relaxed way to travel - with most driving days limited to 2 to 3 hours between destinations which is perfect for families. 

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (Aboriginal meaning “native companion”) was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania's most popular wildlife park. At Bonorong you will see native animals which are extinct everywhere but Tasmania such as the famous Tassie Devil, Tasmanian Bettong, Eastern Quoll and Tasmanian Pademelon. You will also see favourites like wombats, koalas, kangaroos, possums, lizards, and native birds. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is only 30 minutes drive north of Hobart, so it makes for an easy day trip. Walk the loop track of the sanctuary at your own pace, or take one of the daily tours which is included in the admission price. Ask us about Bonorong’s behind-the-scenes experiences, including the animal encounters and night tours

Discover the "Wild Side" of Tasmania at Bonorong on our 14 Day Tasmania Family Adventure

Tasmanian Devil

Bicheno Penguin Tours

The Bicheno Penguin Tour takes you to see fairy penguins at dusk on Tasmania's East Coast. The nightly evening tours offer a rare and thrilling chance to visit a private rookery. You can watch the fairy penguins (the world’s smallest penguins) emerge from the ocean and head for their homes. The experienced guides will give you a comprehensive explanation of the penguins daily life and answer all your questions. Established by Bicheno locals to protect the penguin population, the tour lets you get close to the penguins without disturbing their nightly journey. 

Enjoy watching these adorable little penguins on our 8 Day Ultimate Tasmania Wildlife Family Holiday.

Things for Families to do in Tasmania

West Coast Wilderness Railway

The River and Rainforest half-day tour takes you from the shores of Macquarie Harbour into the ancient rainforest and mountains of Tasmania's rugged west coast. From Strahan's Regatta Point Station, soak up the stunning views of the harbour as you travel along the foreshore and enjoy tales of days gone by from your local guide. As you enter the rainforest, you'll follow the course of the King River to Teepookana. You'll visit some of the stations along the line, and have the chance to walk in the rainforest, and taste wild leatherwood honey, harvested from the wilderness. This service generally operates with a diesel locomotive but may occasionally run with a steam locomotive - you will feel like you’re on the Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter!

The young or just young at heart will enjoy this railway adventure on our 12 Day Family Friendly Tasmania Holiday.

West Coast Wilderness Railway

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula,

approximately 90 minutes drive from Hobart. The Port Arthur Historic Site is one of Australia's most significant heritage areas and the open air museum is officially Tasmania's top tourist attraction. Known for its harsh conditions, dark history and stark beauty, the impressive architecture, delightful gardens and chilling prison facilities survive today for you to explore. Take a lantern-lit ghost tour at night to discover the site's haunted side and hear stories of unexplained events and paranormal activity. As the lantern light guides you through the darkness, and strange stories unfold, you’ll discover Port Arthur’s secrets, and decide for yourself if the tales dating back to 1870 are true.

Scare yourselves silly on a ghost tour on our 8 Day Tasmania Winter Wonderland Self Drive Itinerary.

Tahune AirWalk

The Tahune AirWalk is an exhilarating nature-based family experience set in one of Tasmania's most world-renowned forests, the Tahune Forest Reserve, approximately 90 minutes drive south-west of Hobart. The AirWalk is a visually spectacular walkway that takes you on a journey through the tops of the trees in this stunning wet eucalypt forest. Extending for almost 600m (0.4 miles) through the forest, the Tahune AirWalk is elevated high above the ground, giving you a bird's-eye view of the beautiful tree species and forest life. The final cantilever section sits at a height of 50m (164 feet) above the Huon River, with beautiful views to the confluence of the Huon and Picton and beyond to the peaks of the World Heritage Area.

Get back to nature on the Tahune AirWalk on our 12 Day Family Friendly Tasmania Holiday.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Instead of exhibiting animals in traditional enclosures for the benefit of humans, an Unzoo invites us into natural habitats in which cages and barriers are removed or concealed and wild, as well as resident animals, are encouraged to interact with the environment. This is a unique opportunity for you to discover the wild animals and plants of Tasmania when you head into the forest with an expert guide. Come face to face with Tasmanian devils, hand feed wild rosellas and friendly kangaroos, join the birds of the bush and look for wild sea eagles at the waterfront lookout. The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is located 75 minutes drive from Hobart, or only 10 minutes drive from Port Arthur.

Hand feed native wallabies and kangaroos at the Unzoo on our 8 Day Ultimate Tasmania Wildlife Family Holiday


Cataract Gorge

Located just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Launceston, Cataract Gorge Reserve is where pristine wilderness brushes the urban city. There are walking and hiking paths, lookouts, gardens, a swimming pool, local wildlife, a suspension bridge and chair lift, as well as a restaurant and cafe – complete with resident peacocks. Take the 1km path along the cliff face and over Kings Bridge suspension bridge looking down at the South Esk River. If you and the kids are feeling energetic, you can even abseil down the gorge walls!

Join local climbing guides to learn how to abseil the Gorge on our 10 Day Must Do Tasmania Family Road Trip

Kayaking in Freycinet National Park

On this relaxed guided kayaking tour of the Freycinet coastline, you’ll glide beneath pink granite mountains, past pristine sandy beaches, and across waters so clear you feel you can touch the marine life below. Discover Freycinet’s abundant wildlife as you weave along the national park’s coast. While you paddle, your local guides will share facts and stories from the area. Refreshments are provided halfway through the tour - you'll pause at a secluded sandy beach for a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a tasty snack. Kayaks are double sea kayaks, making this a perfect family friendly tour, even for young children.

Enjoy discovering Freycinet from the sea on our 14 Day Tasmania Family Adventure.

Hollybank Wilderness Adventures

At Hollybank Wilderness Adventures visitors glide across the treetops in this unique forest canopy zipline tour, gaining a bird's eye view of Tasmania's beautiful forests. You will see the trees and forest ecology in a new light and learn about the vibrant Tasmanian forest ecosystem. Gliding along wires attached by harnesses, thrill-seekers are led by two knowledgeable and highly-trained guides through the treetops and above the Pipers River. Great fun for the whole family as young children from 3 years old can fly tandem with adults using double harnesses. Hollybank Wilderness Adventures is located 20 minutes drive north of Launceston.

Zip around amongst the trees on our 12 Day Family Friendly Tasmania Holiday.

Ziplining at Hollybank

Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park

Serious hiking families and those who enjoy an easy stroll will all find something to enjoy at the absolutely stunning Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. The gentle Dove Lake Circuit takes 2-3 hours with amazing mountain views. This is one of the premier walks in Tasmania, it winds its way around Dove Lake, traverses beneath Cradle Mountain, then returns through magnificent rainforest to the starting point. Pack a picnic and ensure the camera batteries are charged! For something a little easier, try the Enchanted Walk, a 20 minute circuit where you might even spot wombats or pademelons. A visit to the “devils’ playground” at Devils @ Cradle will give you an insight into the habits and challenges facing these curious little creatures. The night feeding tour gives you a chance to truly see them at their most playful.

Animal lovers of any age will enjoy the Joey Encounter tour at Devils @ Cradle on our 10 Day Must Do Tasmania Family Road Trip.

With all the fantastic family friendly attractions on offer, a holiday to Tasmania with your kids is guaranteed to be a great idea. Tasmania is compact and it’s so convenient to get around by car, so you can see how it would make the perfect family holiday regardless of whether you have one week or two.

Ready to find out more? Talk to one of our friendly Travel Specialists about your holiday plans. Here at First Light Travel HQ we have dreamt up the best Tasmania self-drive itineraries for families, to take the hassle out of planning your next trip. No matter the style of Tasmania self-drive holiday you are after, we can customise an itinerary that’s as unique as your family.


kelly Hughs
Submitted by
Kelly Hughes
: 21 Jul 2021 (Last updated: 29 Jul 2021)

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