Colonial Quest

Immersive Self-Guided School Excursion in Hobart

A Historical Walking Challenge for primary schools: years 3 to 6
mapped to the National Curriculum

The Big Question: What were the challenges of living in Hobart in the early 1800s?

Summary of activity – School Excursion Hobart, Tasmania

Colonial Quest will challenge your students. They will need to apply their knowledge and understanding of Hobart’s history and use their inquiry skills to pose questions, reflect, and communicate the way through to achieve their  Quest in time. Creativity, team work, problem solving and negotiation skills will serve them well and ensure they can thrive in Hobart in the early 1800s.

Colonial Quest is a fun and highly interactive self-guided school excursion opportunity designed for all students in years 3 to 6. Students and Educators will be immersed in a quest and will leave with a first-hand experience of the challenges faced by early settlers and convicts in Hobart in the early 1800s.

All students are allocated a colonial Hobart character. Each participant will determine how to improve their situation in the colony to achieve their Quest. The Game Facilitator – classroom teacher or educator – will reveal information at key locations allowing the students to learn about the development of the settlement, then make connections on how these developments present opportunities or challenges to their specific character.

Colonial Quest is aligned to meet outcomes in the Australian Curriculum in HASS for years 3 to 6.

As an extension program for year 6 students, we have an alternative, interactive self-guided excursion experience which is aligned to meet the specific outcomes in the Australian Curriculum covering the late and post-colonial era in Hobart and Tasmania. It is titled: 60 years for Year 6: 1890 – 1950 in Hobart and Tasmania. The 60 Years for Year 6 self-guided experience focuses on the social, economic and political development of Hobart, particularly after 1900, as well as Tasmania’s experience of migration.

Humanities and Social Sciences Outcomes

Colonial Quest is aligned to meet outcomes in the Australian Curriculum in History and Civics and Citizenship for years 3 to 6 in Knowledge and Understandings and Inquiry Skills for all years 3 to 6.

General Capabilities Outcomes

Critical and Creative Thinking is essential for students to achieve their Quest in the time period allowed for the game. As stated in the curriculum throughout this game students will implement exactly these outcomes – “…imagining probable, possible and preferred outcomes in relation to social, environmental, economic and civic sustainability and issues in context. They think creatively about appropriate courses of action and develop plans for personal and collective action. They develop enterprising behaviours and capabilities to imagine possibilities, consider alternatives, test hypotheses, and seek and create innovative solutions, and think creatively about the impact of issues on their own lives and the lives of others.”

Personal and Social Capabilities are demonstrated for students to achieve their Quest in time. As stated in the curriculum throughout this game students will implement exactly these outcomes – “As students gain understanding about human experience, past and present, and about their own interconnectedness to people and places across local and global settings, they identify issues and others’ perspectives which inform reflective practice, empathy, communication skills, teamwork and advocacy.” And, “Through working collaboratively in the classroom, in the field and in virtual contexts, students develop their interpersonal and social skills, learning to appreciate the different insights and perspectives of other group members, developing skills to plan, problem-solve, negotiate and lead. Historical, geographical, civic and economic studies inform students’ personal identity and sense of belonging and offer opportunities to consider ways of contributing to their communities.”

Background Learning – 5 pre-excursion classroom sessions

Colonial Quest can be completed at any time throughout your unit of inquiry – beginning, middle or end.

We recommend a maximum of 15 students in each excursion group, lead by one of your  educators as the game facilitator.

The Colonial Quest program includes all materials for the self-guided city walk and five background learning classroom sessions.

In the Colonial Quest educators pack is detailed information on the most effective way to select and allocate the character roles to students.


Full details on the self-guided CBD city walk tour route are provided, starting at the waterfront and finishing at Parliament House. Most groups find they complete the Colonial Quest city walk in about 2 hours, including a short snack and bathroom break.

Mapping to the National Curriculum

Please click here to read or to download the Colonial Quest National Curriculum mapping document

How to get your hands on the Colonial Quest Kit

In March 2020 the Colonial Quest underwent a process of review and restructure to bring it more in line with physical distancing protocols.

The result is a very exciting program which is now more available to a wider range of student groups and educators.

Please use the contact form below and let us know your group size and we will be in touch shortly.