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6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Monterey County...
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59 posts
9 reviews
6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Hello.. We are a family of 4 with 2 kids age 6 and 9,and have 6 days in Tasmania. It would be the last of our 3 week vacation in Aus before we fly back home to US. We would be coming from Cairns to Hobart and flying out of Launceston, and plan to rent a car in Hobart. After reading all the suggestions in this helpful forum, I have come up with the itinerary below would need some advice and tweaking from the experts..

--- 6 days-----

Day 1 Friday: Arrival. Do MONA. night at Hobart.

Day 2: Saturday: do the Salamanca Market. Then head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for rest of the day. (30 minutes away). Night at Hobart.

Day 3: Drive to Port Arthur (85 km drive from Hobart). Visit Historic site. Drive to Bicheno for the evening Penguin tour.

Day 4:Bicheno, Coles Bay, Drive to Wineglass Bay in Freycinet NP. Stay in Bicheno.

Day 5: Drive to Launceston via Bay of Fires and Cataract Gorge. City Park to see Monkeys if time and energy permits

Day6: day trip(2.5 hours from Launceston) to Cradle MOuntain via Mole Creek. Visit Devils@cradle to see Tasmanian devil(might skip it as we are going to Bonorong). At Mole Creek tour caves and/or the Trowunna Wildlife Park--to see Tasmanian devils.

Day 7: Fly back to US via Melbourne.

We are all into wildlife(minus hubby) and would prefer to see the animals in wild instead of zoo.

Q1 .If we need to incorporate short hikes, where in the above itinerary would you recommend?

Q2.Day 3: We are open to skipping Port Arthur if all looks very rushed. Suggestions? We prefer driving instead of daily packing and unpacking for change hotels. So would not prefer to stay in Port Arthur. Either back to Hobart or off to Bicheno.

Q3: Day 3 and 4: Should we stay in Bicheno or Swansea?

Q4. Should we make time for Platypus House/Seahorse world ? We would be visiting aquariums/Zoo in Sydney as we are there for a week. Would these animals be covered there?

As a side note, we are used to very long drives. So that is not an issue.

Thanks in advance

10 replies to this topic
South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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30,954 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

When are you doing this?

There are short walks you can do at Freycinet and at Cradle Mountain National Parks. Port Arthur involves quite a bit of walking around a huge site.

Note that the monkeys get put to bed at 16 30pm each day at Launceston City Park.

You should not skip Port Arthur. You might not get all the way up the east coast to Bicheno, but Swansea is an option.

You definitely won't see platypus at an aquarium in Sydney. Seahorse World is Australia's biggest seahorse breeding facility.

Monterey County...
Level Contributor
59 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Thanks! We are planning for October of this year. So we would definitely squeeze in a trip for Platypus.

How many hours on an average it take at Port Arthur?

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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30,954 posts
77 reviews
3. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

You should allow about 3 to 4 hours at Port Arthur. It could easily fill a whole day if you opt to do the extra things like the cruise to the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer - which I recommend.

Hobart, Australia
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45 reviews
4. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Day 1 and 2: You should find MONA, Salamanca Market and Bonorong Wildlife Park excellent.

Day 3, Hobart Port Arthur to Bicheno, may be a bit too much driving. Most roads here are two lane (as in 1 lane each direction) with only the occasional passing lanes. It’s easy to get stuck behind a slow moving truck or car. Approx 1.5 hrs drive from Hobart to Sorrell – where you turn southeast – and on to Pt Arthur. The return drive is 1 hr back to Sorrell and a further 2 hrs to Bicheno.

If you end up keeping the Port Arthur leg, a stop and look at the Tasselated Pavement fractured saltwater pools at the shore (near Eaglehawk Neck), is interesting. See https:/…eaglehawk-neck-tessellated-pavement

Launceston (Day 5): Cataract Gorge is a beautiful park, with options for short walks, including two walking paths along each side of low Esk River cliffs, from King’s Bridge to the Gorge (about 1 hour each way). Peacocks and wallabies about, and a chairlift option at the end to cross from one to other side if you choose (or pedestrian bridge), and cafes on either side. https:/…

Enjoy.

California
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10,974 posts
73 reviews
5. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

>>>Cataract Gorge is a beautiful park, with options for short walks, including two walking paths along each side of low Esk River cliffs, from King’s Bridge to the Gorge<<<

There is a huge difference between the two tracks. The Zig Zag track is very strenuous. The Cataract Walk is asphalted and more leisurely. If you head beyond the suspension bridge there is the less-traveled Duckreach track. You can take it all the way up to the power station, or turn around at Sentinal Lookout.

Monterey County...
Level Contributor
59 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Getting back to finalising the trip. After all the suggestions, this is what I have come up with below. I have questions on Day 1 and Day 6.

Day 1 Friday: Land at 2pm. Not sure if there is enough time to check out of airport, and take ferry for MONA . what else can we do if MONA is not feasible? Night at Hobart.

Day 2: Saturday: do the Salamanca Market. Then head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for rest of the day. (30 minutes away). Night at Hobart.

Day 3: Drive to Port Arthur (85 km drive from Hobart). Visit Historic site. Still contemplating between just doing the 25 min harbor cruise or the one to Isle of the Dead (worried if kids will get bored on the 3 hours cruise).

Then Drive up until Swansea(do you recommend any other place to break the journey to Bicheno?)

Day 4:Drive to Bicheno, Coles Bay, Drive to Wineglass Bay in Freycinet NP. Stay in Bicheno. Do the Penguin tour.

Day 5: Drive to Cradle Mountain via Mole creek. If time permits, Mole Creek caves and/or the Trowunna Wildlife Park--to see Tasmanian devils. Stay overnight at Cradle Mountain.

Day 6: Drive from Cradle mountain to Platypus house(2 hours) OR Table Cape Tulip Farm(1:40 min). Then head over to Cataract Gorge. Stay in Launceston.

Day 7: Do the Cataract Gorge if unable to do on day 6. Head over to ariport for flight at 6 pm.

The tulips will be in season, so I was hoping to cover it on Day 6. But will we able to see Platypus/Echidna at Bonorong wildlife or elsewhere?

Edited: 18 August 2018, 04:43
rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
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25,040 posts
70 reviews
7. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Boronong (unless there have been big changes since we were there) has heaps of Tassie devils, some wombats and koalas, and kangaroos that hop around the place untrammelled. You can get food to give them. No platypus.

Do stop at Narrow Neck on the way to Port Arthur to see th Tessellated Pavement. It’s really neat.

If you go to Beauty Point to Platypus House do go next door to Seahorse World. It’s fascinating and you can actually touch some in a special touch pool. They don’t feel like you’d expect 🙂

The caves at Mole Creek are pretty cool.

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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30,954 posts
77 reviews
8. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

I don't think you've got time to get tyo MONA on day 1. Go to Mount Wellington instead.

Look at the night feeding tour at Bonorong. If that appeals - it's excellent - then go to MONA after Salamnca Market and then do Bonorong that night.

The drive from Port Arthur to Bicheno is about 2.5 hours. That's half of what it will take to get from Bicheno to Cradle Mountain in one hit. So I'd stay at Port Arthur overnight after a long day on the Tasman Peninsula.

You'll see devils at Bonorong. They have one echidna - Randall, who is missing a leg and cannot be released into the wild. Platypus house has a similarly docile echidna. Devils also at Devils@Cradle where they have a night tour.

I'd make the effort to see the tulips and then go to Platypus House and Seahorse World. It doesn't matter if you get to Cataract Gorge late. It's always open and the wallabies come out at dusk.

For platypus in the wild, consider Warrawee Reserve at Latrobe. You could fit that between Table Cape and Platypus House, but it would definitely push Cataract Gorge to the next day.

Monterey County...
Level Contributor
59 posts
9 reviews
9. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.Google maps show Bicheno to Cradle Mountain, 3:45 hour journey. But from Luigi's comment above, I understand it is 5 hours? Is google maps showing a way with unpaved roads that I should avoid?

Sydney, Australia
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2,399 posts
17 reviews
10. Re: 6 days in Tasmania with kids. Help with Itinerary

It's a narrow winding road, so takes a while. We're not talking highways here. I did it in the rain and it was quite tiring.

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