Top 10 Tassie Experiences for Camping Families
This article has been written and provided by Trekking Downunder.
We are a young family of 5 currently overlanding around Australia full-time. Our experience includes Outback remote travel, road/homeschooling, blogs, budgets, reviews, radio and digital magazines. We hit the road in early 2018 and have never looked back! We share our knowledge of travelling with kids and hope to inspire other's to take the plunge and live a more meaningful and intentional life! -Ryan and Amy
1. Best Sunset Camp - Trial and Granville Harbour
There are many ways and locations to enjoy a great sunset but we must say the best are in the west. And in particular on the beaches of the mid-West Coast. The sun dipping below to endless ocean is just a spectacular sight and then add a little of the Tassie cloud cover and you have yourself the picture-perfect sunset. We found Trial Harbour and Granville Harbour to give us the most spectacular views but our majestic evening came after a brief shower at Granville Harbour 4WD only free camp. A picture tells a 1000 words.
2. Best Sunrise Camp - Waterhouse
Just like the sunsets best over in the west, the to sunrises are in the East. With so many amazing beachside camps and coastlines, you have a great selection to pick from. Ours would definitely be the sunrise from Causerina free camp in Waterhouse Reserve in the North East. With the nice secluded campsites and direct access to the beach from a short path at your front door, it's an easy sunrise to enjoy with the kids. With its fabulous mix of rock, sand and ocean reflections- you are treated to the crispest deep ‘warm’ colours of the sunrise.
3. Best Free Camp - Moina, Cradle Valley
For us, we like to find the quiet camps and more often than not they will be off the beaten track too. They don’t need to have reception- we love an opportunity to disconnect from the world. They don’t need any bells, whistles or facilities- we tow our little self contained home on wheels. Our favourite camps are the ones with a special incidental highlight too and for us, this camp was Lake Gardenier, Moina.
It was quiet and tranquil, we saw a baby echidna, watched the platypuses swimming in the creek every morning and felt so safe, we even left the van here to do our day trip to Cradle Mountain and more. Large green open areas for the kids to ride around the camp and no time restrictions- we loved soaking in the country-style feel.
4. Best Attraction - Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary
For us, a top attraction will be one that the entire family enjoys. It is something that is fun but educational and will leave a lasting impression on everyone. Conservation education and rehabilitation, this is what the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Mole Creek is all about. With a diverse range of species and habitats to explore it’s a great family day out.
We spent about 3hours here not because the sanctuary is ginormous, but because it's very interactive with tours, talks and feeding demonstrations. We took ourselves around the park first, seeing some of the rare species like the injured albino magpie in for rehabilitation and fed the free roaming wildlife. The Highlight of the day was being able to pat a wombat, a quill and a Tasmanian devil during the keeper talks.
5. Best Historical Site - Port Arthur
Every State and Territory is full of amazing places designed to preserve and share important historical periods in time. So in saying this, the most incredible piece of preserved history that we discovered in Tasmania was 100% Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula.
With a rich cultural heritage, the Port Arthur Historic Site is the best open-air classroom we could have imagined. With the ability to explore the grounds, walk through the ruins and take the guided tours over 2 consecutive days, you can really take your time reliving the stories, taking in the history and get a true feeling of the harsh nature of the 1830’s convict settlement.
6. Best Free Experience - Launceston Museum
The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or QVMAG was the most surprising accidental find we made whilst exploring Launceston and surrounds. A good friend from back home had mentioned an awesome free museum in the area of Inveresk and whilst we were out exploring we thought we would try and find it. Well, we did and we were so incredibly surprised at how much this amazing museum had to offer.
There are two locations, the main museum and an art gallery, we only explored the main museum but there is a free shuttle to take you in between. The QVMAG houses a large variety of exhibitions ranging from kids science to Tasmanian history, to zoology. There is a planetarium and a railway dedicated section, along with colonial and contemporary art/ craft and design exhibits.
There was so much to keep both us and the kids entertained for 2hours, and we felt we could have stayed longer if it wasn’t closing time. A donation is welcomed to help keep the museum running- in lieu of a donation, we purchased some gifts from the museum shop instead (with all monies going to the museum also).
7. Best Eat Out Meal - Pyengana Dairy
Well, there is nothing better than great food mixed with some fun. We must admit the most enjoyable meal we had out in Tasmania was definitely at the Pyengana Dairy. The food here is absolutely delicious, with rather generous servings and we totally recommend hanging out for some cheese tasting too. The dairy is a great little place to take the kids to learn about alternative farming, cheese production and innovation. A cool unique drawcard to this dairy- the cows each wear a special collar to move about the farm- you’ll just have here to visit to find out more.
8. Best 4WD Track - Sandy Cape, West Coast
Without a doubt, the top 4WD adventure we had was the incredible West Coast’s Sandy Cape Track, a gorgeous scenic drive along the beach and up through the bushlands to the Sandy Cape Lighthouse. There is just something so spectacular about driving along with a variety of coastal terrains and bushland in your 4WD, and even better when you are the only ones out there making all fresh tracks. The drive can be split up overnight/s with designated camping areas or completed in one day.
Whichever way you choose to do it, the only charge is the one permit cost and it lasts 30days. We couldn’t possibly talk this location up enough, but of all experiences, this is one confident keen remote 4WD travellers will not want to miss.
9. Best Waterfall - St Columba Falls
Tasmania sure is home to some of the most beautiful falls we have ever encountered, but there are some that stand out more than others. For us, our top pick was St Columba Falls at Pyengana. As one of Tasmania’s highest multi-tiered waterfalls, St Columba is unique and truly captivating. The best part about these falls is that it’s an easy 25minute round trip walk to the falls and back. We did many long walks into falls and this one was great- with tree canopy coverage throughout the walk, reasonably easy tracks and a great level platform at the end, you arrive at the falls full of appreciation and awe.
10. Best Walk/ Hike - Dove Lake Cradle Mountain
With youngish kids, walks and hikes can sometimes prove to be a challenge, so we always way out the pros and cons before undertaking them. We must say as nervous as we were about beginning the 6km walk around Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park with a very ominous looking sky, we were also excited. Because as we found out, you truly are taken aback by the breathtaking beauty and views no matter the season or the weather.
Our middle son, who is not at all an avid walker even put in a good stride and we made the complete loop in about 2-2.5 hours stopping in the middle for lunch. It truly is a must do when visiting Tasmania and the best part, if your lucky enough you just might happen to bump into a random wombat walking the paths with you.
I hope we have inspired you to add some of these to your must do/ see and stay lists. Tasmania may look small on the map of Australia, but do not be deceived- it is absolutely jam-packed full of some the most incredible places and experiences.