With some of Tasmania’s biggest wine producing regions and most visited national parks at its doorstep, Launceston is the island’s second largest city and has a character all of its own.
Its idyllic location at the junction of the Tamar River and the North and South Esk rivers is further enhanced by its well-preserved historic streets, parklands and elegant Georgian and Victorian colonial architecture. Arts and culture are highlights in Launceston with Australia’s largest regional museum, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, located right in the heart of the city. The unique Artbike service offers rental bicycles with customised maps of local art and design highlights if you prefer your culture outdoors.
Local restaurants, bars and cafés serve some of the best food and wine in Tasmania, sourced directly from local producers. Tamar Valley wines are among the state’s best and the Tamar Valley Wine Route and North West Wine Trail allow visitors to taste the finest cold climate wines Australia produces. In addition, one of the nation’s best loved beers is from Launceston. Founded in 1883, James Boag’s offers tours of its brewery facilities for thirsty visitors.
Launceston’s most popular local attraction is the Cataract Gorge Reserve with walking tracks, swimming facilities, free roaming peacocks and a scenic chairlift carrying visitors across the First Basin. The Tamar River and wetland area is also a highlight. Within a few hours drive is the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and to the east, the rugged beauty of Ben Lomond National Park.
Launceston services regular domestic flights to and from the mainland and is easily accessible for ferry passengers travelling through Devonport on the Spirit of Tasmania. Launceston is one of Australia’s best preserved colonial cities, surrounded by spectacular wine country, pristine wilderness and tranquil waterways.