It’s sometimes called ‘Tasmania’s northern capital’, and once you visit Launceston you’ll understand why. Tassie’s second biggest city, Launceston is a cultured and charming place that can stand up next to Hobart as a holiday destination. It’s also the gateway to the Tamar Valley region, best known for its wetlands, waterfalls and wine. Book your Launceston accommodation with us to start exploring this unique city and all it has to offer.
The Palawa people are Launceston’s traditional owners, who often performed ceremonies at beautiful local sites like Cataract Gorge. Lieutenant Colonel Paterson settled the town in 1806, giving it the name of the Cornish township where Governor Philip Gidley King was born. Despite being a relatively small city, Launceston has a number of national ‘firsts’ to its name – one of the most notable being the first Tasmanian city created by Parliament.
Take a walk through Launceston’s main street and you’ll see Victorian-era buildings turned into cafes and shops. Feel like some waterfront dining? Launceston Seaport features fine restaurants as well as a boardwalk and marina on the foreshore of the Tamar River. Check out the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Australia’s biggest regional museum, where you’ll uncover everything from Tasmanian history to science collections and art, both historic and modern. There’s even a planetarium where you can get up close and personal with the stars – the ones in the sky, that is.
With a Launceston stay, you’ll also be close to the natural beauty that Tasmania is so admired for. Just 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre is Cataract Gorge, a river gorge with a swimming pool on the southern side and a restaurant and pub on the northern side. You can take a chairlift ride over the basin, wander through the gardens and admire the colourful peacocks, or simply take a break and enjoy the view.
The Launceston Golf Club is a must-visit destination for history buffs, golf nuts AND golf history nuts (if they exist). Opened in 1899, it’s one of the oldest golf clubs in the country and certainly the oldest in Tasmania. It’s a 10 minute drive from the CBD and, despite being a private members’ club, allows visitors.
Sports fans will love Aurora Stadium, which holds 21,000 people and is a regular venue for AFL games as well as touring musical superstars. About 17 kilometres out of town is Tasmania Zoo, the largest wildlife park in the state and the home to over 40 Tassie devils as well as reptiles, monkeys, birds, penguins and many other species.
Launceston is right next to the Tamar Valley, so why not keep the adventure going by travelling the Tamar Valley Wine Route? Follow the blue and yellow wine route signs to discover more than 30 wineries throughout the region. While you’re in the Tamar Valley, you can also sight-see gorges and waterfalls or take a river cruise. Book your Launceston hotel with us today to see what makes the city so special.
Image credit Biguana under Creative Commons