Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and is a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. Founded in 1806, Launceston is the nation's third-oldest city with a fascinating history and has one of the best preserved early cityscapes in Australia with its beautiful and elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century old parks..
A boutique city, Launceston is located at the head of the picturesque Tamar Valley and boasts magnificent natural attractions including the spectacular Cataract Gorge Reserve.
The city has the charm and pace of a regional centre and the facilities of a much larger city, but without the crowding or traffic. Launceston has the freshest air, the healthiest climate, and the wildest places are available right on the city's doorstep.
Everything you need to have an amazing Tasmanian experience is on Launceston’s doorstep. In fact the whole region is packed with city and country charm, gorgeous historical towns, excellent food and wine and beautiful scenic highlights.
Looking for things to do in Launceston? Here are our local tips.
Cataract Gorge Reserve, or the Gorge as locals call it, is a unique natural formation and an easy 15 minute walk from the city centre along the banks if the Tamar River or within a five minute drive from central Launceston. On the southern side the first basin has cafe and a swimming pool surrounded by bushland. On the northern shady side, named the Cliff Grounds is a restaurant, kiosk and Victorian garden with ferns and exotic plants. The beautiful Kings Bridge over the Gorge was floated in to place in 1867. The Gorge has walking tracks, the world’s longest single span chairlift, a suspension bridge and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views.
Located in the heart of the city and close to the CBD, is the beautiful City Park, featuring magnificent mature shrubs and trees, many of English origin. Features of the park also include displays of annual flowers, a Japanese Macaque Monkey enclosure, the John Hart Conservatory, a duck pond, a ‘senses’ garden, monuments, the historic Albert Hall, a cafe, BBQ area, the City Park train, a children’s playground and toilets. Rated as one of Australia’s top ten parks by Trip Advisor, City Park originally called the People’s Park was developed by the Launceston Horicultural Society and in 1863 was handed over to Launceston City Council.
Australia's largest regional museum Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Launceston if you are interested in Tasmanian history, heritage and natural sciences. Located on two key sites, the museum at Inveresk and the magnificent art gallery at Royal Park are proudly operated by Launceston City Council.. The permanent exhibition at the Royal Park art gallery, “The First Tasmanians: Our Story” presents and explores the history and culture of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Founded in 1881 Boags Brewery remains the longest single operating brewery in Australia. James Boag understood that there’s nothing on earth quite like Tasmania’s natural purity and today the James Boag Brewery still insists on using crisp Tasmanian water and only the finest hops and barley to produce a range of exceptional beers. Located only a few minutes’ walk from Launceston’s CBD, step inside this historic brewery for a fully guided tour and a chance to taste some exceptional beers.
Winner of outstanding farmers market at the 2017 Delicious Produce Awards, Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market brings the farmgate to you every Saturday from 8.30am-12.30pm at 71 Cimitiere Street (in the car park opposite the Albert Hall) . Meet the farmers, connect with locals and feast your eyes on baskets brimming with Tasmania’s freshest seasonal produce. Savour a locally roasted coffee and taste your way around our foodie State at this vibrant weekly event.
Australia’s only collection of contemporary wood design, Design Tasmania proudly celebrates the history and heritage of Tasmanian designers. In 1976, founder Gary Cleveland presented a vision: “to establish in the minds of a large proportion of the world’s population that the word ‘Tasmania’ is synonymous with good design and reliable craftsmanship.” Forty years on, Design Tasmania remains committed to that vision by supporting, promoting and guiding designers and master artisans on a local, national and international platform. Located in the eastern corner of Launceston’s City Park, the centre houses a permanent Design Collection and is home to a retail outlet featuring Tasmanian designed and handmade gifts.
The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania plays an important role in preserving cars and motorcycles that have been part of automotive history, the development of this country and to social history. Located opposite Launceston City Park in Cimitiere Street the museum comes alive with four sensational theme displays each year as well as constantly changing exhibits in the main hall and a mezzanine floor packed with motorcycles.
Tasmanian is the oldest wine producing region in Australia. The valley is even the source of cuttings for the first vineyards to be planted in Victoria and South Australia. As early as the mid1800’s commercial vineyards operated in Windemere on the Tamar’s lower eastern shore. Today the valley produces around 40 per cent of Tasmania’s premium quality wines. Named by Essential Travel Magazine as one of the Top 10 wine routes in the world, the Tamar Valley Wine Route is an authentic journey through some of Australia’s most beautiful vineyards and right on Launceston's doorstep.
For more information about Launceston visit Destination Launceston