Launceston: The Place for a Historic Holiday
Launceston is one of the oldest cities in Australia and the only inland town in Tasmania. With a year-round population of well-over 100,000 people, Launceston is filled with life, culture and excitement, yet the pace is slow and the residents are relaxed and friendly. Lovingly referred to as "Lonnie" by locals, this holiday destination offers an interesting landscape with high ridges covered in trees and lower wetland areas. Launceston is set between the North and South Esk Rivers and is just a short drive from the rivers of the Bass Straight. Holiday houses, villas, cottages and apartments abound in Launceston, and of course, there are options to suit parties of all sizes.
Spend Some Time in Cataract Gorge
There is something for everyone - old, young, athletic and leisurely - at Cataract Gorge. This must-see Launceston natural attraction is set just a kilometre outside of town and is the ideal place to get in touch with nature. Explore the numerous walking trails that meander through the park, with paths leading around the gorge itself, across the suspension bridge, up onto high cliffs and down to the spacious recreation area. If you tire of walking, hop onto the chairlift, which is the largest single-span chairlift in the world. Once in the recreation area, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, tour the beautiful gardens or play a game. Do not forget to bring your swimming suit along, as there is a free public pool, though swimming is also available in the cool waters of the gorge.
History and Culture in Launceston
To get a thorough look at Launceston's heritage, take part in a historic walks. Averaging approximately an hour, the walks take visitors through the streets of Launceston, highlight important buildings, tell the story of the town's founders and provide important facts about the town. After your walk, stop off at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Galley to enjoy a number of interesting exhibits relating to the history of Launceston, Tasmania and even Australia. Stick around town after dark to get a history lesson of another type; Launceston offers ghost tours in which guides tell stories that have been passed down for generations.
Sip Local Wine or Beer
If you enjoy sampling locally-made beverages, Launceston, which is set conveniently in the Tamar Valley, is for you. Book one of the many wine tours available to visitors and allow an experienced guide to take you to a handful of the wineries found around the Tamar Valley. Choose from half- or full-day tours and learn more about the wine region itself and the many varieties of wine. Make a day of it and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the wineries. For beer drinkers, historic Boag's Brewery is a must-see. The brewery has been in service since the 1880s, and informative tours are available throughout the year. Do not forget to book ahead of time- and do not leave without sampling some of the offerings!
LauncestonÃs City Centre
There is much more to Launceston than just beautiful architecture and prominent history. While in the city centre, visit City Park. In addition to plenty of green space, visitors have access to Launceston's botanic gardens, a monkey enclosure, a train ride, multiple museums, playground equipment and much, much more. A variety of designer shops are found on the busy streets of Launceston, and there are quirky local stores and quaint art galleries as well. Make sure to visit the town's centre during the farmer's market to buy fresh produce, handmade crafts and local delicacies.
A Tasmanian Gem
With four distinct, yet comfortable, seasons, an abundance of culture, grand architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries and plenty to do and see outside, Launceston is the ideal holiday destination for families, history buffs and those who seek out the finer things in life. Launceston has its own airport with direct flights to and from Melbourne.For more travel information, read our Travel Ideas articles.