Chilled-out and beautifully situated in the north of Tasmania, Launceston is heaven for lovers of the outdoors, as well as being a cultural hotspot.
The city is home to plenty of museums, galleries and historical sights, such as the Australian National Motor Museum and the Queen Victoria Art Gallery, and the well-preserved Victorian streets of the town centre.
Then there is the Tamar Valley – the heart of Tasmania’s wine industry. Drive out to vineyards in a hire car, and take advantage of tours and sampling events, or just head over to Launceston’s thriving farmer’s market held every Saturday. It’s not all about wine either though – a tour of Boag’s Brewery will reward any beer lover as well.
Natural beauty is also one of Launceston’s assets, and there are few better places for bird lovers to visit than the wetlands centre on Tamar Island. Hikers and climbers will also want to visit Cataract Gorge, where you can enjoy natural swimming and take a spectacular chairlift ride.
Not far from Launceston, visitors can easily reach the site of George Town, which was once the capital of Tasmania and now lies almost deserted, but has some superb museum exhibits documenting local history and beautiful period architecture.
More energetic holiday makers might also want to rent bikes and explore the countryside, or rent canoes and paddle along the Tamar. There are secluded beaches nearby, as well as excellent hiking and climbing opportunities. There are also some great activities for children, such as the Zone 3 Laser Games centre, an Indoor Games centre and a challenging mini golf course.
Most visitors will prefer to spend time in Launceston over the hot, sunny summer months between November and March. Summer also sees the town hosting the vibrant Festivale event, but can see slightly higher prices. Try autumn (March to May) for cheaper accommodation, and the chance to attend events like the Tasmanian Rally or local food festivals.
The city operates an efficient and extensive bus service that will reach hotels and attractions in all parts of Launceston. Buying a daily pass is a good option. Tasmanians also love to cycle, and there area number of cycle hire outlets, as well as car and motorbike hire businesses. If you want to reach the coast or visit Hobart, renting a car is a superb option.