10 Great North West Tasmania Family Experiences
Tasmania's North West is home to the Spirit of Tasmania Bass Strait Ferry Devonport Terminal. Providing access to the whole North and Northwest of the State including the scenic back roads to Cradle Mountain, Devonport is Tasmania's third largest city and situated on the banks of the beautiful Mersey River. Even if you don't arrive in Tasmania by ferry, its worth adding some decent time to your itinerary to explore this region. From berry picking, farmers markets, cheeses, cruising, walks, beach combing, exploring and more, the North West is the perfect place to bring everyone together and set the tone for an amazing holiday!
Image Jump! By Stanley Tasmania| Image shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
In no particular order, here are our top 10 must see's:
1. FERN GLADE RESERVE
Fern Glade Reserve is a favourite place of ours for spotting wallabies and platypus. Its also one of Burnie's most valuable natural and recreational resources. A peaceful river valley on the edge of the city abundant in flora and fauna. Amazing bird and wildlife thrive along the river banks. Varieties of orchids and fungi flourish under the bush canopy. Also, the river is home to the giant freshwater lobster. We like to think of it as a prehistoric wonderland. Bring a toy dinosaur and it will feel right at home! Easy walk, but close to the bank in some places with no hand rails.
Images L-R: Walking through Dinosaur Forest, by Ruchi |Fern Glade, by Dave at Tasman bae Photography | Looking for Platypus, by E. Jones. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
2. A VISIT TO THE VILLAGE OF LOWER CRACKPOT
In a land not to far away from the hustle and bustle of Devonport is the Village of Lower Crackpot. Also known as Tasmazia, this unique place will delight all ages, fill your day with joy and laughter and can provide the whole family with the best feed of scones and jams getting around! Located at Promised Land, Tasmazia is open daily. Follow the Yellow Brick Road, get lost in the worlds largest botanical maze and enjoy the number of other challenging tracks throughout the Village. You’ll also fine the Taj Mahal and a few other famous buildings along the way! Entry is $25 but well worth it! Call in on your way to Cradle Mountain! ⠀
Images L-R: The Village, by R.Reid | Fun at Tasmazia's Crackpot Correction Centre, and getting lost in the maze, by J.Cox. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
3. DON RIVER RAILWAY
Ride the rails at the Don River Railway, Devonport. Enjoy a 30 minute train ride along the banks of the Don River. Many of the original carriages have been restored with a number of heritage steam and diesel locomotives on show for you all to enjoy. We love how the whole railway, its museum and the upkeep of the rolling stock is done by members and volunteers. They do it for their love of trains, with 100% of the proceeds going back into its continuous upkeep. How special is that! The railway station is open seven days a week, open from 9am to 4pm. Trains depart every hour from 10 am, with the last train at 3pm. The young train buffs will love it - we promise!
Images L-R: Riding with Dad, by E. Jones | Before the train ride, and on-route, by N. Brown | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
4. THE NUT, STANLEY
Rising 150 meters from the ground with a distinct flat top, the Nut is clearly visible from along the Circular ahead Area and North West Coast. From the top you can see Flinders Island on a clear day. Take the walk to the top (it is very steep but only 450 meters), or there is a chairlift to take you up and down. The circuit at the top is great, with loads of information and takes around an hour. You'll be surprised to know that the Nut is actually an old plug from a Volcano! One for the kids is to tell them there was once sheep kept on the top by the Van Diemen's Land Company. The kids had to climb the nut to bring them down! Highfield House nearby offers a glimpse into the history of the region, and some of the colonial families that shaped the area agriculturally, as well as having severe impacts on the Tasmanian Aboriginal population at the time. Stanley also has a couple of great beaches, cosy cafes, a sea aquarium and quaint little shops.
Images L-R: Heading back down, and on top of the world, by Happiness is Homeschool | Lunch at the playground, by Giles Go Miles . |Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
5. DISMAL SWAMP / TARKINE FOREST ADVENTURES
Eyes water, cheeks wobble and butterflies churn in the stomachs of only the bravest of children; who dare to slide with great speed to the bottom of the deep, dark, swamp. This is no ordinary swamp. Deep within it’s dismal surrounds, you’ll find a dairy cow, a giants door and tiny mud mounds; home to an ancient species with sharp claws. Tracks maze trough a black wooded forest where the sun rarely reaches the ground. In here, the trees have eyes. If you dare to go, if you’re brave enough to venture into the worlds only natural Blackwood sinkhole; you better be prepared for the ride. Tarkine Forest Adventures is home to the largest sink-hole in the Southern Hemisphere; formed over thousands of years by dissolving dolomite, the sinkhole is 40 metres deep and home to some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna. You can view the forest from a walkway suspended over the treetops, stroll along to discover the untouched, ancient environment, or experience the exhilarating 110-metre slide to the swamp floor! ⠀
Images L-R: The Slide, and riding town, by Happiness is Homeschool |Through the forest, by K. Imer. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
6. FOSSIL BLUFF
An amazing place to take the kids to show them a little bit of our geological heritage. Fossil Bluff boats magnificent sandstone cliffs that are over 275 million years old and are full of fossils. It’s the discovery site of Australia’s oldest fossil marsupial uncovered in the mid 19th century estimated to be approximately 25 million years old. A walk along the bottom of the cliffs will provide plenty of finds, from shells to rock etchings, to odd formations on the rock bed below your feet. It really is worth the visit. See how many different fossils you can find!
Images L-R: Walking along the base of the cliffs, fossils and Table Cape in the distance, all by J.Cox. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
7. TABLE CAPE
A drive along the coast from Fossil Bluff will take you to Table Cape. With amazing views and rich agricultural land, its no surprise that the are is home to the largest tulip fields in the Southern Hemisphere that you can actually wander in. Table Cape is a12 million year-old extinct volcanic vent dominating the coastline close to the town of Wynyard. Its 180m cliffs drop away into Bass Strait. There is a great viewing platform where on a clear day you can see George Town's Low Head and mountain ranges over 175 kilometres away. A great place to view the area is from the top of the Table Cape Lighthouse. Take a short stroll along the cliff-top walking track to the lighthouse; the only operating lighthouse open for tours in mainland Tasmania. Inside you'll climb four levels up a beautiful spiral stair case, with a guide sharing tales of yesteryear and pointing out what you can see from the balcony at the top. During late September through to mid October the Tulip farm explodes with color - a great time to plan a visit!
Images L-R: Table Cape Tulip Farm, by Happiness is Homeschool | Top of the Lighthouse, by Louise | Table Cape Lighthouse, by Pete Harmsen From Tourism Tasmania. | Images (excpet Toursim Tasmania) shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
8. WATCH PENGUINS AT LILLICO BEACH
From the Lillico Beach Conservation Area's viewing platform you can watch the birds return to their burrows each evening after a day of fishing in the open ocean. Run by dedicated volunteers, the little penguins come ashore at dusk headed for their burrows. A great experience for all, and located at Lillico, just west of Devonport. Local volunteers and Parks and Wildlife rangers are on-site during the breeding season (September to May) and summer months (mid-December to mid-February).
Images L-R: A Little Penguin near the platform, by Remote Angles. | Learning all things Penguins, by 2wilbs |Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) by, Tourism Tasmania & Chris Bell | Images (except Tourism Tasmania), shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
9. DIP FALLS RESERVE
Located in the Dip River Forest Reserve, is Dip Falls. Often forgotten about, this adventure has many highlights: the waterfall is one of the prettiest in the State, and within a 5 minute walk is the Big Tree, its circumference at its base is nearly 17 metres! There are two main areas to see Dip Falls, both providing great views of its two-tiered structure and unique rock formations. The first platform at the top of the falls, and very recently, the stairs to the base of the falls was upgraded making the decline and climb up, much easier! In the 1920s a saw mill operated here, a short gravel path leads to some old relics.
Images L-R: The new stairs and viewing platform at the bottom of Dip Falls, by J.Cox. | Dip Falls, by Happiness is Homeschool. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
10. BOAT HARBOUR
This area is magical. One of the most pristine beaches of the north west, a beautiful cafe and restaurant and pure, inviting waters. You can easily spend a day here on the beach alone. It makes best as a stop over spot on your way to Stanley or to the far North West. The beach is were you want to go. The main town is up on the hill, but the beach community has the best view! There is a playground in the sand, a local fish a chip shop/restaurant and the beach offers a safe swimming environment for younger kids. Rock pools and vast coast line make for a few hours of exploring and discover, or book to stay in one of the beach houses or caravan park. A must stop if heading in that direction.
Images L-R: Fun in the Sun, by Amity and Earth. | Aeiral View, by G. McArthur | Beach Love, by A.Cooper. | Images shared with Tassie4Kids on our Instagram Page
Whats is your favorite place to go with family? Have a top list of destinations? Share them with us! Tag #tassie4kids.
Thanks again to all of our wonderful families that share their amazing journeys with us!