A former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most significant heritage areas. Take a day trip, and uncover the many attractions available.
With a rich and dark history, Port Arthur was originally a penal settlement. Learn fascinating stories of convict history, as you interact with the Site through a variety of interpretive experiences: Port Arthur offers guided tours, a harbour cruise, museum displays, multimedia presentations, a convict study centre, and an audio installation at the Dockyard.
Top tip: Once darkness falls, a hidden side to Port Arthur emerges. Take a lantern-lit walking tour of the Historic Site, full of mystery and intrigue.
The ghost tour will send shivers down your spine, as you weave your way through the blackened ruins and heritage buildings. Rich storytelling will reveal first-hand accounts of free settlers, soldiers, and prisoners, that will remain with you long after the night ends.
With a 180 year history, Port Arthur is sure to make a memorable impression, and many visitors claim experiencing paranormal activity. Further touring information can be found here.
If staying overnight be sure to check in at Innkeepers Fox and Hounds Inn, Port Arthur
The sheltered grounds of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are home to historic plant collections, beautiful trees (some dating back from the nineteenth century) and a number of specialised gardens.
Allow your children to explore, and take in the rich scents and vibrant colours. The Gardens are home to glorious parklands, and constantly evolving collections, with many secrets to unlock.
Pack a picnic, sit on the lawns by the Japanese Garden and breathe in the smooth scent of cherry blossoms.
Water lilies bloom in summer, and make the perfect landscape to sit in peaceful contemplation.
Top tip: Ensure you visit the Lily Pond, one of the most recognisable and beloved areas of the Gardens. Take a stroll around the circumference of the pond, and keep your eye out for ducklings.
In addition to its beautiful parklands and collection of large trees, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is home to an ever-evolving and significant number of specialised collections and gardens.
Visit the organic vegetable patch, bursting with produce, and nurtured by local TV celebrity Tino Carnevale. Stop by the Conservatory, absolutely brimming with colourful flowers, and a popular venue for weddings.
Further information on the various attractions can be found here.
It’s never too early to teach your children the importance of conservation. Bonorong is a 24 hour Wildlife Rescue Service, nestled in the bushland of Brighton.
A Tasmanian gem, Bonorong nurtures wildlife that are extinct everywhere but their island refuge. These rare species include the Tasmanian devil, the Eastern quoll, the Tasmanian pademelon, and the Tasmanian bettong.
The Chinese President, on his whirlwind trip to Tasmania, was lucky enough to pay the Sanctuary a visit, and meet three baby Tasmanian devils. This visit proved that Tasmania is a unique holiday destination, and demonstrated the importance of Bonorong’s Tasmanian Devil breeding program, which is boosting the population levels of this endangered species.
Opening hours at the sanctuary are from 9am-5pm, with night tours also available. Receive a complimentary bag of kangaroo feed upon entry, and prepare to make friends with beautiful Tasmanian creatures.
There’s nothing quite like having a kangaroo snuffle into your hand, its whiskers tickling as it eagerly eats the pellets nestled in your palm.
The animals are very friendly at Bonorong; give them a gentle scratch behind their ears, and make a friend for life.
Top tip: Take a night tour, and experience hand-feeding gentle native animals, such as the tawny frogmouths, golden possums, and the shy Tasmanian bettong. As many of the wildlife are nocturnal, this allows for the ultimate viewing experience. Have a ‘tug of war’ with the playful Tasmanian devils, and learn how to feed them (mind your fingers!).
Find more information on the Bonorong night tours here.
Get outdoors this summer, and enjoy the natural beauty that is Risdon Brook Dam. Round up the kids, grab some bikes, and head for the popular walking track.
Gates are open from 7:30am-4:30pm, 365 days of the year, and there are plenty of family-friendly facilities available, including a bbq area.
The track around the dam is 4.4 kilometres in length, with beautiful views of Mount Wellington and Mount Direction from the eastern side of the reservoir.
As the gravel crunches under your shoes, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the beautiful bush which encompasses the perimiter of the reserve.
There are several benches dotted around the walking track, perfect for taking a rest. Stretch your legs, and keep an eye out for wildlife.
The perfect mix of nature and adventure, Hollybank treetop tours utilise a unique high-rise zipline ride, which takes place over magnificent old-growth forests.
Located just a short drive from Launceston, the tours run 7 days a week, with groups leaving at hourly intervals.
The adventure includes a multi-stage zipline ride through tree canopies, far above the forest floor. Take in the breathtaking landscape below, as you fly through the air.
Top tip: Tasmania’s unpredictable weather will only add to the experience. On rainy days, glide through a haze of mist, dew drops sparkling on the trees below.
For further information and bookings, click here.
If you’re travelling Tasmania, and are seeking accommodation, call our friendly staff at Innkeepers on 1300 130 269 for hotels, apartments, and motor inns; or check out our Accommodation Passes for more information.
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