Located on the Derwent River in Tasmania, the state’s historic and scenic state capital, Hobart, is a perfect place to immerse the kids in culture, history and the great outdoors with a few surprises along the way.
Hobart is situated at the foothills of the Wellington Ranges, giving easy access to Mount Wellington for spectacular views of the city. You can drive to the top and mountain bike your way down the winding 21-kilometre trail to the bottom. Or perhaps you’d rather take a hike in Mt Field National Park or roar down the wild Huon River rapids on a jet boat.
Much of the city of Hobart was built in the 1800s, and besides the many stunning heritage buildings, you will find great galleries, fantastic cafes, superb markets and plenty of wilderness to explore.
Salamanca Place is one of Tasmania’s most visited attractions and you’ll find cool cafes and kid-friendly restaurants plus galleries and craft shops and a colourful Saturday market with great food and entertainment for the whole family.
The Museum of Old and New (MONA) is Hobart’s biggest drawcard. The unique gallery is packed with a private collection of quirky exhibits that will keep every member of the family entertained. There’s also the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and The Maritime Museum of Tasmania, dedicated to the history of Tasmania’s history at sea and ships. And keen cricketers will want to head to the Tasmanian Cricket Museum at Blundstone Arena.
You’ll find plenty to see and do see in Hobart for all ages. Here are ten of the best.
You’ll find more than 100 playgrounds and parks in greater Hobart, guaranteeing plenty of fun for little visitors. Fans of Thomas the Tank Engine will love train-themed Caldew Park, which is also popular for its pretty bush setting, shaded areas and fenced playground. While wee buccaneers will want to swashbuckle their way to Princes Park, a pirate-boat themed play area and sloping gardens at the top of the Salamanca strip.
Long Beach Playground is another firm favourite for the pre-school set with its rambling network of platforms, steps, slides and ramps on the Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is another great place to stretch little legs. There is plenty of grass to run about on, meandering pathways, grand arches, Japanese gardens, herb and vegetable gardens, and loads of activities and programmes for kids throughout the year.
Summer is the most popular time to visit Hobart, the capital of Australia’s most southern state. Noted as the second-driest capital city in Australia in terms of rainfall behind only Adelaide, temperatures hover around an average 21 degrees Celsius during December and January making it pleasant but not too hot for exploring. During this period, the city hosts many of its festivals and events such as the annual Taste Festival, so you make need to book accommodation in advance
Don’t overlook the other seasons. From autumn to spring you can find some great deals on accommodation and activities and there’s still plenty to attract families. No other state displays colours in autumn like Tasmania. Winter is cold and a little wet, however you get to play in the snow in some parts. And in Spring, gardens and parks blossom their welcome to the onset of the warmer weather.
There is plenty of good, quality food to be found in Hobart. Flanked by the Southern Ocean and fertile farming lands, cafes and restaurants offer fresh seasonal food in creative ways.
Hobart has become a mecca for many chefs with new and exciting restaurants and cafes popping up throughout the city. Along the waterfront, you’ll find the best and freshest seafood, while at any market you’ll find delicious produce from farmers and producers as well as talented chefs.
There are some great family friendly pubs too serving up extensive, healthy kids menus with a side of fun. The Carlyle Hotel is a particular favourite with its large indoor play area, and the Salty Dog at Kingston Beach has a great outdoor sandpit to keep the kids entertained. Another little secret is Pigeon Hole, a cosy brunch cafe in West Hobart favouring where the cook is the grower too, tantalising palates with a seasonal menu.
January – MONA FOMA
This summer festival celebrates music, art and food with a series of fabulous events.
February – Australian Wooden Boat Festival
Join in on the fun of a spectacular four-day family celebration of maritime culture.
AlCon – March
The Anime Island Convention is a popular celebration of pop culture.
June/July – Dark Mofo
Mona’s winter festival is billed as Tasmania's largest contemporary music festival but there is more than just music to enjoy.
June/July - Festival of Voices
This festival transforms Hobart into a singing city.
December – Taste of Tasmania
Held on Hobart’s waterfront, this family friendly festival celebrates Tasmania’s produce and local talent.
September – Royal Adelaide Show
Experience animals, rides, food and entertainment as the country comes to the city.
December - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Watch as the yachts come down the Derwent River for the finish of Australia’s premier sailing event and the Hobart Race Village, where there will be live music and food.
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