With school holidays upon us, now is the time for some quality family bonding. The Heritage Highway has loads of family friendly activities on offer, so embark upon an adventure (you can even make a camping trip out of it). Take in the sights, have some fun at the playgrounds and reserves, make some new animal friends, cool off at the local swimming pools, and test out your detective skills. Keep an eye out for the Shadows of the Past Sculpture Trail as you travel! Here are six fun things to do with the kids in the Midlands.
1. Set the kids loose at the playground while you cook up a BBQ
There are some wonderful parks throughout the Midlands. You should be able to find somewhere to stretch your legs and let the kids burn off some energy at each town. Many playgrounds also have BBQ equipment, so you can rustle up some grub while the kids play.
Parks with play equipment include: Longford‘s Summerfield Park; Valentines Park on High Street, Campbell Town; and Ross Recreation Ground. Parks that also have barbecue equipment include: Evandale‘s Pioneer Park; the Train Park at Perth; Longford’s Victoria Square (Village Green); Cressy Park (which also has exercise equipment); Lions Park and Blackburn Park at Campbell Town; Ross River Reserve; Callington Park at Oatlands; and The Flour Mill Park at Campania.
More info: Playgrounds and BBQ Facilities
Image: Campbell Town, @amitythrills/Instagram
2. Visit Brickendon Estate’s Historic Farm
A visit to Brickendon Estate’s Historic Farm and Convict Village, near Longford, is sure to be a memorable day for the whole family. Brickendon is one of Tasmania’s World Heritage Convict Sites, built by William Archer in 1824 and still owned by his descendants today. Visit the large historic garden and explore the grounds to see the convict-built Gothic chapel, Dutch barns, chicken house, blacksmith shop and tool shed. The kids will love feeding the animals or trying their skill at gumboot tossing. You can even stay overnight in one of the historic farm cottages.
3. Meet the locals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a delight to visit, and their passion for our native animals is infectious. The kids will love meeting the locals, including Tasmanian devils, quolls, echidnas, native birds, lizards, kangaroos, and wallabies. Join one of the daily tours to learn about the sanctuary’s amazing rehabilitation work, and ignite the wildlife warrior in your little ones. Feeding the kangaroos is a fun (and slobbery) experience! If you want to get up even more close and personal, there are a range of experiences to choose from, including a short animal encounter, a 2.5 hour feeding frenzy, and special night tours.
4. Explore Chauncy Vale Reserve
Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary, near Bagdad, is one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania, and is the old home of beloved children’s author Nan Chauncy. The sanctuary is popular with family groups, and there are several areas suitable for picnics and barbecues. There are some lovely walks that lead to interesting spots, such as Secret Cave, Brown’s Caves Creek, Guvy’s Lagoon and Flat Rock lookout points.
5. Cool off at the pool
Cool off during those summer scorchers and hit the local pools! While they generally open daily for the summer season, it’s best to check each pool for individual opening hours. In the Northern Midlands, you’ll find public swimming pools at Campbell Town, Cressy, and Ross. In the Southern Midlands, splash about at the Oatlands Swimming Pool. Shrivelled fingers, wet hair, and an ice cream from the kiosk – a classic Australian summer!
Image: Oatlands Swimming Pool, @jadestrawbridge/Instagram
6. Play Skulduggery to solve a true crime
Put the whole family’s sleuthing skills to the test with a game of Skulduggery! There are three games in the series, each focusing on a true crime committed along the Heritage Highway in the 1830s. They are available to purchase at Heritage Highway Visitor Centres and the Northern Midlands Council.
Forgery for Fools is based at Oatlands, and involves the nefarious dealings of publican, gaoler, trickster and black-guard George Dudfield. The Arch Villains is based at Ross, and delves into why Ross Bridge took so long to build, the mysteries of Dr Zweigle’s code breaker, and the sinister truth behind the 1834 Christmas Day riot. Where There’s Smoke… is based at Longford – can you expose the sinister forces that laid waste to Joseph Archer’s wheat stacks?
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary by @fimorley5/Instagram