How to Entertain Kids in Hobart Without Opening Your Wallet

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Sep 21, 2017

by ANNE FULLERTON, Writer

These family-friendly activities won’t break the bank and make for a great day out in the Tasmanian capital.

Cycle and get cultured

Hobart’s free bike-borrowing service, ARTBIKES, makes it easy to see the city’s cultural offerings. Helmets, bike locks and a tour map are all provided so your crew can make getting from Point A to Point B an adventure. Bikes are available five days a week from Rosny Barn at Rosny Farm. 

Visit MONA

So it’s not entirely gratis – the grown-ups still have to pay – but anyone under 18 walks into MONA for free. Unlike some stuffier galleries, there’s plenty for kids to enjoy. Cloaca Professional, aka “the poop machine”, is always a winning exhibit.

Relax among the greenery

The almost-200-year-old Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Queens Domain features 14 hectares of landscaping and beautifully curated plants, including a Japanese Garden, a cactus collection, a pond with ducks and plenty of meandering paths to explore.

Go to market

Salamanca Market is an outdoor street market held every Saturday between 8.30am and 3pm. More than 300 stalls selling jewellery, ceramics, food and drinks set up shop along the waterfront. Watch boats bobbing on the water, hear some live music and let the kids run wild on the grass.

Find a fuzzy friend

The Teddy Bear Shop truly does have every bear that ever there was. For 37 years, it’s prided itself on sourcing rare, exclusive and artist-designed plush toys and the resulting collection is impressive. Remember: the visit is free but the bears are not.

Climb to the top of a mountain

At 1270 metres tall, Mount Wellington offers beautiful views of the city, Bruny Island, the D’Entrecasteux Channel and more. You can drive to the summit but if you’re feeling active, there are walking trails of varying intensity levels throughout the park.

Boogie at Salamanca Art Centre

You won’t find The Wiggles performing but children are welcome at the family-friendly Rektango, a free music event that takes place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm every Friday in the Salamanca Art Centre courtyard. Music ranges from swing to samba so make sure to don your dancing shoes. 

Hit the beach

Though Hobart isn’t known as a beach destination, there are plenty of places to feel the sand between your toes as the weather warms up. Seven Mile Beach and Bellerive Beach are both picture-perfect on a fine day.

Watch the birds

The Waterworks Reserve is around five kilometres from the city centre and attracts large flocks of rosellas, cockatoos and other Tassie birds. Walking tracks, picnic tables and playgrounds make it ideal for an afternoon barbecue with the family.

SEE ALSO: The Market-lover’s Guide to Hobart