A vibrant city in northern Tasmania, Launceston lives up to its reputation as a cultural hub with first-class museums, natural attractions, and a thriving art and culinary scene. As one of Australia’s oldest cities, it is a showcase of elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and ancient parks, surrounded by a burgeoning wine region.
Thing to do
For a dose of nature without leaving the city centre, Cataract Gorge features towering cliffs, bush lands and Victorian-era gardens, with the South Esk River slicing through town. You can ride one of the longest single-span chairlifts in the country, and explore the park on hiking and cycling paths, as dramatic floodlights illuminate the area at night.
City Park draws families and animal lovers to interact with monkeys at the glass Japanese macaque enclosure and to enjoy picnics at the Victorian fountain and kid’s playground. For a chance to see live entertainment, a music conservatory hosts seasonal concert performances.
A focus on art and design is prevalent throughout Launceston, evidenced by the world-famous Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. The facility harbours a fascinating group of natural, technology and zoology collections as well as an impressive planetarium. A perfect souvenir, the Design Centre Tasmania sells artisan objects made with local Huon pinewood.
A big draw to visiting Launceston is its access to the rolling vineyards of Tasmania’s premier wine-growing region. The Tamar River winds through forested hills, farms and lavender fields, dotted with vineyards and orchards. Historic villages to explore begin at Longford on the outskirts of Launceston and extend south along the Heritage Highway.
Getting around Launceston
Metro buses service the main areas and suburbs of Launceston, but taxis are also available at all times. You can pick up a rental car at Launceston Airport for exploring the region. Bicycle rentals offer a popular way to travel between attractions.