Best Things to do in Hobart with Kids
It’s so easy to get lost in Hobart Tasmania. Lost in its history and its architecture. Lost in its quietly buzzing city centre. Lost in its charm and its big heart.
Part of Hobart’s allure is that it doesn’t feel like a capital city. It’s small (population is a little over 200,000), relatively inexpensive, secluded and has a real chilled out coolness. It’s that part of Australia too many people forget about when they are looking to organise a family trip.
But don’t for a second think Hobart is boring, because it’s anything but. There is so much on in Hobart for kids and parents, it’s just a matter of deciding what you want to do.
Nestled among the foothills of Mount Wellington on the south-eastern corner of Tasmania, Hobart is often touted as one of the top spots to visit in the world. There are tops of mountains to hike to and bottoms of lakes to explore, laneways and shopping nooks to weave in and out of, historic guided walking tours in the city to take, and the harbour to relax at.
If you haven’t been there (why not?), get down to this amazing holiday spot quick sticks.
Below you’ll find our top things to do in Hobart with kids as well as heaps of other practical information to help you plan your trip including our top recommendations for the best family accommodation in Hobart, what the weather is like in Hobart, and even how to get from the airport.
Top things to do in Hobart with kids
Love a good hike? Tasmania has some of the best in Australia. Hit the summit of Mount Wellington (1270m) for spectacular, sweeping views over the city and harbour. Next, try Mt Nelson Signal Station, followed by lots of trails and tracks in between. Kids will be totally tuckered out at days end.
Take it a bit slower and stroll through Battery Point, a historic district with narrow laneways and colonial-era cottages including buildings dating back to the first European settlement in Hobart Town.
About 90 minutes south of Hobart is the Hastings Caves State Reserve. Thread your way through the darkened caves with a guide and find yourself at the thermal springs at the end – a steamy 28-degree natural water bath.
You can’t visit Hobart on the weekend without wandering through Salamanca Markets. Every Saturday, 300 stallholders converge on Salamanca Place to sell Tasmania’s finest local produce including wine, cheese, breads, and a great selection of locally made products including hand-worked glass and timbers, clothes, jewellery, artworks, and ceramics.
If you’re interested in art then MONA (Museum of Old and New Arts) is absolutely the best place to go. There’s plenty for the kids to see and do, but make sure you get a map so you don’t wander into some of the more controversial adult rooms.
While you’re in Hobart, visit Mawsons Hut Replica Museum; check out endangered specie, the Tasmanian Devil plus a host of other cool creatures at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary; walk over the forest (literally) on the suspended bridges at Tahune Air Walk; or feed the fish at the Salmon Ponds. If you’ve got time head off on a day trip to explore Australia’s convict past at Port Arthur; or enjoy the Derwent River on a traditional tall ship (check out Windeward Bound or the Lady Nelson).
Have you heard about the Southern Lights that can be seen not far from Hobart? Why travel all the way to the likes of Norway or Canada (for the Northern Lights) when there’s a slim chance you can witness Aurora Australis 40km outside of Hobart. It’s possible (not probable) you might see the Southern Lights all year round however your best chance is around March and September during the Equinox.
Family accommodation Hobart
If you’re looking for great family accommodation in Hobart then you’re in luck as the Tasmanians offer a great range of self-catering apartments, luxury hotels and budget accommodation for families. If you can we recommend you stay on or near the harbour or Salamanca so you can easily walk to many of the attractions and eateries. We also love anything looking over the water so you’ll have plenty to choose from either in the city or in the suburbs.
These are out top picks of family accommodation Hobart.
Apartments are one of our favourite places to stay when we travel as they allow you space to not be on top of each other, the ability to cook and wash some clothes (even though it’s the boring stuff). We love Salamanca InnandSullivans Cove Apartmentsin Hobart.
Going a bit smaller and cheaper is Quest Serviced Apartments Waterfront, which is still close to all the action and food, but better for a shorter stay with only a kitchenette and one room.
If you’re after something a little different and a bit more homely, then take a look at the beautiful Old Bishop’s Quarters Hobart.
Where to eat in Hobart
Discover a side of Tasmania where old-world charm and new-school cuisine meet straight up for a truly tasty time. Over the past few years, a swarm of foodies from the mainland have landed in Hobart to really get the restaurant scene roaring. Take a look at Zomato to see the best places to eat in Hobart.
Getting from the Hobart airport
Hobart International Airport is located in Cambridge, 17km northeast of Hobart. To get to your hotel or the city you can take the Redline Airport Shuttle, a taxi (about 20 minutes to the city) or you can hire a car and go wherever you’d like.
Public transport Hobart
Get your sneakers on, because there is plenty to see just by walking around. Buses are run by Metro around Hobart and of course, they hit all the top spots. One-way cash ticket prices vary (one zone: $3.30 up to all zones for $6.90). Buy a rechargeable Greencard in various locations or online for a 20% discount on regular fees.
Also keep an eye out for the free bikes around the city you can use.
Car Parking in Hobart
Street, off-street and multi-storey car parks are located at strategic points throughout the city. Check them out here so you know where to go.
Like the rest of Australia, January is the hottest month of the year – but unlikethe rest of Australia, it is pretty darn mild – about 20 degrees. July is the coldest time with single digit degrees. So, rug up big time in winter, and take a cardi and a few other layers in summer, because nights can still get pretty chilly.
Favourite Family Events Hobart
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, MONA FOMA, Festival of Voices, penguin breeding and whale watching.
Image courtesy of Tourism Australia