Launceston is located 103km southeast of Devonport in Tasmania’s northeast. The modern city with charming archaic buildings is blessed with a scenic gorge right in the hub of the city and is the meeting point of three rivers, being the Tamar, North Esk and South Esk.
is a spectacular natural attraction of this city. The stunning gorge begins at Kings Bridge and there is a fabulous walkway along the gorge wall offering magnificent scenery and several lookout points. The towering gorge walls attract abseilers and rock climbers and for the not so adventurous a chairlift operates high up across the end of the gorge. Cataract cruises are also popular as you can cruise down the river and appreciate the scenery from within the gorge walls. Cataract Gorge is accessible via Trevallyn Rd.
Freelands Lookout on Bald Hill Rd offers scenic views over the city, the Tamar River and the beautiful surrounding countryside of rolling hills and bushlands.
The mighty Tamar River can also be explored on the Tamar River Cruises which depart daily from Home Point. Cruise Launceston’s major river system in comfort and take in the sights, ending on a high exploring Cataract Gorge. The 50 minute cruises operate all year around and the boat is suited to all weather conditions.
Another unique attraction is the John Hart Conservatory in City Park. The conservatory houses a magnificent display of orchids of many types and colours. The delicate blooms of remarkable flamboyance will certainly impress the green fingers.
City Park also attracts many visitors to enjoy the spacious grounds, relaxing, picnicking and playing sports. A brass band frequents the park on many Sunday afternoons, weather permitting and performs free for the public. There is also a Japanese Macaque Monkey enclosure here which provides plenty of amusement and observing these little characters is free.
The Tasmania Zoo on Ecclestone Rd, at Riverside which is 18km from the city centre, is the place to go to see the famous Tasmanian Devils in action. The zoo is home to many devils as well as a variety of other Australian animals. Devil feeding is held at 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm daily.
Sunday afternoons here attract locals and visitors alike to the Esk Markets
. The markets are held at the showgrounds on Forster St between 9am and 2pm and sell fresh produce, arts and craft, knick-knacks, books, plants and all sorts of bits and pieces.
On weekdays the James Boag’s Brewery, producing Tasmania’s famous beer, is open for tours. Three different tours are available and cover tasting, brewing, packaging and full factory tour. The “Centre for Beer Lovers” is located on William St in the city centre and advance bookings are essential.
Launceston lies at the foot of the Tamar Valley Wine Region, which stretches north towards Beaconsfield, east to Pipers Brook and south to Lilydale. Select a part of the region to explore in half a day or allow a couple of days to do it all. Tamar Valley has many boutique wineries with good old-fashioned country charm and service.
The Lilydale area not only has wineries, but waterfalls too. Just 3km north of the Lilydale village is Lilydale Falls Reserve, with a 5 minute walk along a creek bed to two small sets of falls in picturesque settings. Campers can take advantage of the cheap camp ground here in a bush setting.
Launceston is a scenic city and in the perfect location to base camp and start your Tassie holiday. Only 100km from the Spirit of Tasmania drop off point for self drive travellers, it is close to the northeast wine region and the tragically-famed Beaconsfield mining town. Launceston is categorised as a city but definitely projects the country feel.
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Destinations in Tasmania
Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers
Freycinet National Park
Mt Field National Park
Return from Launceston to Tasmania