Your go-to guide to Hobart’s best places to eat, sleep and top things to do with kids.
Where to eat in Hobart with kids
The best place for fish and chips in Hobart is on the waterfront. Get your order away at Mures Lower Deck for fish fingers (made from sustainable Australian line-caught blue-eye trevalla) and crumbed blue grenadier with chips before going for a wander around Constitution Dock or Victoria Dock to see if you can spot Sammy the seal, who makes regular cameos here. There is also an ice creamery located on the Lower Deck where you can choose between 32 flavours and a range of toppings.
Address: Victoria Dock, Hobart TAS, Australia, 7000
Flammkuchen translates to ‘flamecakes’ and brings us to Salamanca Market, which is loud with traders touting everything from fresh fish to flowers. Follow your nose to the Flamecake stall which specialises in wood-fired pizzas with a German twist such as Gratinee (dry-cured bacon with gruyère cheese, onions and sauerkraut) and Nordic (with hot-smoked wild-caught salmon, gruyère cheese and onions) or Italian-style topped with Tasmanian salami or ham and pineapple for kids.
Address: Salamanca Pl, Hobart TAS 7000
Reward the kids with croissants after they make the climb from Kelly’s Steps in Salamanca Place to Jackman & McRoss, the popular bakery café that has become a central part of life for the community of Battery Point. Stand outside the corner cafe on a sunny winter’s day and you will likely see kunanyi/Mt Wellington blanketed in snow. Arrive early and you will also find a counter that groans under the weight of baked goods such as sourdough, lamb pies and passionfruit meringues.
Address: 57-45 Kelly St, Battery Point TAS 7004
Empty the contents of your suitcase into the coin-operated machines at this Salamanca Square bastion and then sit out the cycle in style in the turquoise-painted café on the other side of the glass. We’ll come clean with you: the Machine Laundry Café has been a hot place to hang out since it opened in 1997. Order the Old New Egg Dish for yourself and hotcakes for the kids. Spill some hot sauce on your collar? No problem. Pop next door and do another load.
Address: 12 Salamanca Square, Battery Point TAS 7004
You could probably swing a few cats, and still find room for a pony in this sprawling 200-seater eatery named in honour of Hyacinth Bucket, of the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances. “My sister? She’s the one with the Mercedes, swimming pool and room for a pony…” said Hyacinth in a scene from the series. Wear your best pair of clodhoppers and colonise a spot in the garden with the extended family to enjoy wood-fired meatballs, karaage fried chicken, house nachos and a pizza – vegetarian, of course – named after legendary local environmental activist Bob Brown.
Address: 338 Elizabeth St, North Hobart TAS 7000
It’s easy to forget the idea for Born in Brunswick began in Melbourne – where owners Con and Sarah Vailas were living at the time – as this neighbourhood cafe has been keeping the flame burning for North Hobart since it opened in 2016. Everything about the Scandi-chic space, from the locally hand-crafted Tassie oak furniture to the produce sourced from Rocky Top farm and Top Fish, doffs its cap to the island state. Converge in the courtyard for potato and thyme hash and octopus scrambled eggs.
Address: 410 Elizabeth St, North Hobart TAS 7000
Ginger Brown continues to stand strong on Macquarie Street in South Hobart thanks to its homey vibe and mean breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes (which feature on an all-day menu). The cosy space is a community fave full of Art Deco mirrors, retro chairs and loud locals who are drawn by ridiculously good options such as the pork belly bowls and toasted paninis. Order crumpets with salted caramel, whipped date butter, banana and dark chocolate for the kiddlie-winks.
Address: 464 Macquarie St, South Hobart TAS 7004
Navigate your way around the higgle-piggle of Salamanca Market to find Suzie Luck’s, located in The Mercury building overlooking Salamanca Square. Curious kids will love the restaurant’s quirky design, which includes a spicy colour palette, oversized poster of a hen, and wall display featuring seven fortune cat figurines. There’s even a little round window that looks into the fish tank of The Salmon Shop next door. Children with expanded culinary repertoires will love the eggplant tempura, DIY roast duck roll-ups and massaman curry.
Address: 2 Salamanca Square Battery Point, Hobart TAS 7000
Grab a table near to the mural of the Son of Zeus and Queen of Crete so you can distract your kids with a lesson on ancient Greek mythology. If your history lesson fails to inspire, don’t start smashing plates; it’s not that kind of place. While there’s plenty to distract in the decor, the food here is the main event. And generosity is part of the equation. Order a mixed grill for the adults, and biftekia (beef patties) and soutzoukakia (Greek meatballs) from the kids’ menu, which also flies the Hellenic flag.
Address: 103 Murray St, Hobart TAS 7000
No, this cute and homey café in Salamanca Square was not named in honour of Nick Cummins, the professional rugby union player best known as the ‘honey badger’. Rather, it pays homage to the infamous animal from South Africa which reportedly has a ferocious appetite. Honey Badger Dessert Café helps parents handle their hangry children with a combination of patience, panache, pancakes and panookies (a gooey cookie concoction in a pan).
Address: 7 Salamanca Square, Battery Point TAS 7004
Where to stay in Hobart with kids
This bright, new architectural property is located near the city’s historic waterfront and boasts a gym, heated pool and on-site restaurant. The two-bedroom king and twin rooms are kitted out with designer furniture and come complete with a full kitchen, washer/ dryer, balcony and space aplenty for a family of four.
The Swiss-born brand’s first Australian property has deluxe and interconnecting rooms for families (floors 4–18) with a sleek, modern design and impressive views. In addition to eatery Tesoro Modern Italian downstairs, the food offering includes The Chocolate Hour, a tasting experience of sweet treats.
Crowne Plaza Hobart’s central location in the CBD appeals, as do the interconnecting rooms available in all different configurations, from standard rooms to light-filled corner rooms to junior suites. If you are in residence on a Sunday, treat the family to high tea with hand-made delicacies whipped up by the hotel’s own pastry chef.
Close to Hobart’s buzzing waterfront precinct and an easy walk to the CBD, the modern and light-filled one- and two-bedroom dual-key apartments here have kitchenettes, living areas including stylish modern furnishings and tables and chairs for dining in, Foxtel and free wi-fi. Families will love the convenience of Café Collins downstairs.
This 1874 sandstone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, so the kids will love it on sight. Parents will also appreciate the location on the doorstep of Salamanca Place, the designated family suites with a separate bedroom, the free wi-fi and little touches like Nespresso machines and Apelles Apothecary products.
The one-bedroom king and twin apartments at RACV Hobart are equipped with kitchenettes and separate lounge areas, while little ones are specifically catered to with cots and rollaway beds, a babysitting service, and kids’ menus in the restaurant. There’s also free wi-fi and Foxtel.
Situated in the heart of Salamanca Place, this boutique apartment hotel offers stylish interconnecting rooms, with cots and infant beds available. The premium apartments have kitchenettes, washing machines, free wi-fi and Smart TVs. Salamanca Wharf Café is downstairs.
What to do in Hobart with kids
Festivals & Events
If your idea of a good time involves banging pots and pans and singing to apple trees, then read on. These peculiar customs are part of the age-old wassailing ritual, which involves scaring evil spirits from orchards to guarantee bumper crops. Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival takes place at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed 20 minutes out of Hobart and is all about celebrating Tassie’s apple-picking history. Expect all this plus pagan costumes, storytelling, music, toffee apples (for them) and spiced cider (for you).
This new long-term exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery, a Hobart must-visit, has been developed for both tiddlers aged up to seven and their parents. The free mapiya lumi | around here exhibition is designed with a child’s perspective in mind while on a journey around the state’s wildest places.
27 September – 9 October
This beautifully crafted and fun production is all about adventure, laughs and contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal culture courtesy of palawa playwright Nathan Maynard and Terrapin, a local theatre company pushing the boundaries of contemporary puppetry. An epic quest of bravery and friendship revolves around two kids, Wurangkili and Timita, embarking on a journey across the island of lutruwita (Tasmania) in search of the ‘oldest of old Elders’.
This year’s Hobart Writers Festival is geared around being joyful in our stories after such testing times. Expect events at Victorian-era Hadley’s Orient Hotel and free children’s activities including author readings, poetry and music on nearby Parliament Lawns in partnership with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Dates for the diary:
- 16–22 June Dark Mofo, various venues
- 11–12 August Zooom By Patch Theatre, Theatre Royal
- 20–23 October Royal Hobart Show, Hobart Showground
- Plan ahead The biennial Australian Antarctic Festival next takes place 24–28 August 2022, with Australia’s new icebreaker the Nuyina on display with other Antarctic ships and 15,000 schoolchildren from all over the world participating.
Day trips from Hobart
Can’t go on a long-haul trip to Old Blighty? No matter as the landscape around New Norfolk, just over half an hour’s drive from Hobart could feasibly pass for the countryside of England. Situated as if in a painting on the banks of the River Derwent, there is plenty to see and do in the area. Kayaking the dark waters of the river is one idea or for pursuits more languid in nature, browse the antiques shops in town – special mention needs to go to The Drill Hall Emporium and Flywheel – before heading to The Kiosk at The Agrarian Kitchen for lunch.
An hour’s drive south of Hobart will deliver you to Geeveston, a character-filled country town in the Huon Valley that has a lot to recommend it. Explore its quaint cafes, bakeries and stores selling creations by local artisans, its forestry heritage commemorated in wood carvings of local historical figures, and roadside stalls selling crisp Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples during autumn. And head into the surrounding forest to test the kids’ head for heights at Tahune Adventures.
A living history lesson that the kids will be none the wiser about, the town of Bothwell, the gateway to the state’s Central Highlands, has more than 50 heritage-listed buildings including everything from cottages to grand churches to a water mill. Having first been settled in the 1820s mostly by those of Scottish descent, the town retains a Celtic flavour, with the country’s first and oldest golf course, a number of whisky distilleries, Australia’s first Aberdeen Angus stud and fly fishing.
Mount Field National Park
It’s a scenic 1.5 hours’ drive from Hobart to Mount Field National Park where, blanketed by ancient rainforest, the star attraction is the three-tiered Russell Falls. Also make time for the Tall Trees walk , flanked as it is by giant swamp gums, which – at up at 30 metres in height – are the tallest flowering trees in the world. At Lake Dobson, walk the hiking trails in summer and ski during winter.
Take a 30-minute drive from Hobart to Kettering, followed by a 15-minute ferry ride and you will arrive on windswept Bruny Island, a gourmet paradise that you can spend the day eating your way around. While you will love the craft distillers and breweries and the local wineries, the kids are going to be much more interested in picking their own berries at Bruny Island Berry Farm (closed during winter months), which has been owned by the same family since the 1880s, seeing the live beehives at Bruny Island Honey, and deciding what to choose from at Bruny Island Chocolate Company’s cute roadside shop.
It’s a 30-minute ferry ride off the east coast of Tassie to Maria Island National Park, but it’s a world away from the everyday, filled with a wondrous array of animals and birds, from wombats to seals to wedge-tailed eagles, stunning scenery and evocative convict sites.