We reserved the whole of day 5 for a day trip and decided on Bruny Island, a small island about one hour's travel from Hobart.
I debated a few day trip options from Hobart. Port Arthur was on the list, but there wasn't much interest in seeing the ex-penal colony. I had my reservations about Bruny Island tour (a coastal tour on a boat) because our party included kids, sea sick inclined individuals and a grandmother, and once we stepped on that small boat, we wouldn't be able to get for a few hours. But what is life without a few adventures?
So off we went to catch the ferry.
Now let me list the downsides first. The ride is rough. The ginger pills they gave seemed to do wonders though, because none of us got sick! It's cold out there so do dress warm and have a windbreaker. It's not rough throughout, just when heading to a particular spot or heading back, so in those times, just hang in there. You will feel incredibly tired at the end of the trip, despite being seated for the whole time.
About bringing kids, which was my biggest dilemma...I know some people would call me crazy for even contemplating this with kids, but I don't believe in just doing theme park holidays while we have kids, because we have kids around for a good part of our adult lives. Instead I try and plan holidays with a bit of everything that everyone enjoys. I do do my research and weigh a number of things.
The older kids were excited at first and enjoyed the sights and getting wet, but the cold and the rough seas got to them on the second half. They didn't complain though, and I'm proud my boys are great troopers. Your kids need to be a bit of the thrill seeker (Number 2) or appreciate nature and beauty (Number 1) to enjoy this.
The bub seemed to do best, she slept through most of it, firmly wrapped around hubby. If taking a bub, I wouldn't recommend it if they were too young...they should be old enough to be not 'flimsy', to stay and sleep in a secure baby carrier (do bring proper restraints, you don't want to be carrying them in your arms and bouncing around the boat!) and young enough to not walk around the boat.
Now I'll list what's good about the Bruny Island Tour.
You get to see formations that are millions of years old, and realise what a speck in the space of time you are.
It's almost like going to Jurassic Park.
Or maybe visiting a scene in Lord of the Rings.
You go beyond civilisation, it's an 'end of the world' feeling.
You see seals where they choose to live and bask in the sun and dive off rocks, not where they are trapped in a cold room.