The title of “Tasmania’s Second City” may not be super sexy, let’s be honest. But Launceston isn’t giving up the status of “best Tasmanian destination” to Hobart without a fight. Some might say the two cities are locked in an epic battle of bragging rights, and we say Launceston is holding its own.
The food and wine scene are divine, and a 15-minute walk delivers you to what just might be Australia’s best natural attraction: The Cataract Gorge. If you’re ready, so are we. Check out our Launceston travel guide to find out how to make the most of your time in Tasmania.
Modern charm and nods to early Australia are common sights in Launceston. As you meander along High Street, your nose will lead you right to one of the city’s many food vans, which serve up everything from juicy burgers to savoury vegan fare.
Meanwhile, the impact of colonial architecture on the landscape here is undeniable. Even Launceston hotels aim to please any type of visitor; you can stay in a cosmopolitan hotel or a quaint Victorian inn. Book one of Wotif’s Launceston holiday packages and your Tasmanian adventure is off to a good start!
Planning Your Holiday
Short flights from the mainland arrive daily at Launceston Airport (LST). From there, a 15km drive drops you at your accommodation in Launceston and right into the heart of things. With your bag unpacked and visions of fermented goodness dancing through your mind, you’re off to find the nearest watering hole!
Eating Your Way Through Launceston
Who has two thumbs and like to save some cash? You. And when you save big on our Launceston hotel deals, you’re left with a bigger food budget—you’re gonna need it. The food van scene is alive and sizzling here, but that’s not the only way to get your calorie fix.
Launceston takes pride in its abundance of brew and vines. You can sip on a home-grown cider just as easily as you can find an award-winning Pinot Gris from one of 30 local vineyards. If you want something to wash down, sit yourself down at a downtown or art district restaurant first. As servers walk by with plates heaped with Moroccan carrot salad, free-range beef or wood-fire pizza, try to catch the drool before it hits the table. It’s called etiquette, people.
Travelling with Family
Plunk the gang’s luggage down at one of the best hotels near Launceston Airport, bust out your matching T-shirts (or don’t, party poopers) and you’re ready for adventure! At least, that’s what we call sailing over the famed Cataract Gorge Reserve and First Basin in the longest single-span chairlift on the entire planet.
With your feet back on solid ground and your palms dry once again, a visit to the Tasmania Zoo is in order. Real-life dinosaurs from the Jurassic Era share the lot with exotic animals, though we can’t promise you’ll experience any Hollywood-style adventures. Before you head back to your Launceston hotel for the night, turn your gaze to the stars at the Planetarium.
Indulging Your Inner Adventurer
Feeling like a regular Tasmanian devil? Feed the speed demon and adventure seeker inside you by embarking on a thrilling aerial excursion, or by taking your climbing to new heights. Begin your foray into extreme experiences with a trip to the Hollybank Treetops Adventure. For three hours you’ll glide via zip-line between platforms set between giant trees.
Take flight (no, really) to a new level when you go hang gliding in Launceston. Soaring over an 18m cliff? Yeah, you just call that a Tuesday.
Navigate your way to the Tamar River and continue north, and before you know it you’re on an epic wine-tasting trip through a top wine producing region.
If you want to get your party on a bit closer to hotels in Launceston—translating to shorter cab fares home—turn up at the renowned Royal Oak Hotel Pub. If you like your bartenders properly shaggy (no, not like that!), drink your evening hours away at Saint John, where the vast beer menu is often poured by a bearded fellow behind the bar.
Having Fun All Year
If the sun’s out, there’s probably a tune in the air in Launceston. That’s because outdoor music festivals often take over the local parks, vineyards and the Cataract Gorge parkland. Springtime brings the Junction Arts Festival, and five days of art installations and inspired performances throughout the city. Looking for places to stay in Launceston during event season? Book early to ensure the best price, then get your music or culture on!
Reserve your Launceston accommodation today, and your Tasmanian holiday is off to the right start. Who knows, hotels near City Park may inspire you to start calling Launceston your new home away from home before you depart!