The jewel in Launceston's crown, the Cataract Gorge is visually spectacular and must be on your to-do list. Best explored on foot, take the Cataract Walk from Kings Bridge which takes you to the heart of the Gorge. Explore the Victorian style gardens and engage with the wildlife including wallabies and peacocks.
A highlight is the journey across the First Basin, which can be made via the longest single span chairlift in the world or by walking across either the Alexandra Suspension Bridge or causeway. All three are perfect locations for photo opportunities. Use your camera straight from the Uncover Launceston app to capture your holiday experience.
For those travelling during summer, the First Basin pool offers a chance to cool off from the warm summer sun. There are plenty of food and beverage options, so make time for lunch at the Basin Café, Gorge Restaurant or Basin Kiosk.
The Cataract Gorge is also accessible by vehicle via Basin Road in West Launceston or Gorge Road Trevallyn, with paid parking facilities available. An inclinator (or mechanical lift) is also available at the Basin Road entrance, and is wheelchair accessible.
Launceston is a picturesque city with many beautiful gardens. The City Park is an ideal place to immerse yourself into the beauty of the city's natural landscape. Meander through the many pathways, under the shade of hundred year old oak trees. Home to a large monkey enclosure, Monkey Island houses Japanese macaques, a gift from our sister city Osaka. Viewing platforms surround the enclosure allowing you to watch the entertaining antics of these playful creatures.
Whilst the monkeys are a highlight, the park is worth a visit for many other reasons. With the Uncover Launceston app, discover a majestic conservatory, historic fountains (including the second oldest fountain in Australia) and even a Russian cannon. City Park offers something for everyone to enjoy.
If you are visiting in February, the City Park comes alive. Festivale, Tasmania's premier summer food and wine festival is held on the first weekend, and is a food lover's dream. Presenting the best Tasmanian produce, cool climate wines, beers and entertainment the event attracts over 35,000 patrons each year. Later in the month, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra brings the park alive with Symphony under the Stars. Sit back and relax, with a picnic, bottle of wine and listen to the beautiful sounds of classical music in the one of the most picturesque locations.
Tasmania is renowned for amazing locally grown produce, and on Saturday mornings Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market showcases the best we have to offer. Bringing the farm gate to the city, you can meet the producers and makers first hand, learning all about their products. Harvest is the perfect spot for breakfast and a locally roasted coffee, before you head out to explore the city. Ensure you bring your shopping bag, as choices are aplenty with ethically raised meat, organic products, artisan bread and pastries, local seasonal produce, cheeses and even wine and ciders.
Launceston also has an array of stores that stock Tasmanian produce and products. The Mill Providore, Wursthaus Kitchen and Delicacy Launceston are just a selection of popular stores showcasing the best of Tasmania.
Launceston is rich in history, and one of the attractions today is the preservation of many Victorian and Edwardian era buildings and streetscapes. First established in 1806 by William Paterson, Launceston had an influx of wealth in the 1870s and 1880s due to mining booms in tin and gold. This can be seen in the grandeur of many buildings still standing today.
The CBD walking trail via the Uncover Launceston app showcases over 35 buildings dating back to 1824 and highlights the development of Launceston from a frontier settlement to a thriving city. You will hear the background and history of each location, and you will also learn about the lives of the owners and builders.
You don't need to be an architect or historian to appreciate the fine examples of the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco era designs in Launceston's built heritage, with even a few notable examples of the more modern Brutalist style.
If you enjoy beautiful food and wine, Launceston won't leave you with an empty stomach as there are fabulous restaurant and cafés on nearly every corner. Dining options are endless, with contemporary cuisine, modern Australian and international influences from China, Thailand, India, Korea, France and Italy.
If you enjoy a fine dining experience you cannot beat Stillwater Restaurant, Terrace Restaurant or Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant. For the lovers of a mouth-watering steak, check out the casual modern Australian experiences of Black Cow Bistro, Mud Bar and Restaurant or Cataract on Paterson.
Not only are the restaurants a hit with visitors, the café scene is also thriving. Inside Cafe, Sweetbrew and M&B Bar offer great coffee, breakfast and lunches in beautiful casual environments. Cocobean Chocolate and Charlie's Dessert House offer everything the sweet tooth desires with amazing desserts and chocolates.
Launceston is a walkable city, with many landmarks and must see attractions located within walking distance of the city centre. A fabulous array of walking paths is on offer, and the Launceston Seaport Precinct on the waterfront is a great place to start. Stroll your way to the Cataract Gorge, or walk the levee bank paths to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Utilise the Uncover Launceston app to discover all the trails on offer, and activate your navigation features so you don't miss a point of interest on the way.
Launceston is also home to many regional sporting facilities, including the Launceston Aquatic Centre, Regional Tennis Centre and York Park (University of Tasmania Stadium). UTas Stadium is one of the best boutique stadiums in Australian and home to five matches per year for Australian Rules Football team, Hawthorn.
For those keen to explore Launceston on two wheels instead of two legs, many paths are cyclist friendly and a large number of streets have cycling lanes. On your Bike Tours offer guided tours throughout Launceston, and can incorporate dining options along the way. If you have an appetite for mountain biking, only 10 minutes from the city centre you will find Kate Reed Reserve (15km trail) and Trevallyn Reserve (8km trail). Or if you would like to really test you skills head one hour (by car) north east and you will find Blue Derby, a world class mountain bike trail.
Launceston is fast becoming an arts and cultural hub and is home to one of the largest and oldest regional museums in Australia. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, or QVMAG is located over two sites.
Royal Park displays items from the museum's fine and decorative art collections and portraiture and landscape paintings from their colonial collection. The newly created permanent exhibition The First Tasmanian: Our Story, explores and presents the culture and history of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Inveresk is home to many exhibitions, including the Tasmanian Connections exhibition, which holds an extensive dinosaur and rock collection dating back 545 million years ago. The southernmost permanent planetarium in the world, is a key feature of Inveresk, and shows are available daily (except Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays). Just imagine sitting back, relaxing and taking a tour of the night sky.
Launceston also has a proud contemporary dance scene, with Stompin’ Youth and Tasdance both based in Launceston and holding performances regularly. If you would like to catch a show while you are here, pop into the majestic Princess Theatre, built in 1911. Many types of performances are held at the theatre including dance, musical theatre, live music and plays.
Situated in the heart of the Tamar Valley our cool climate weather is the perfect environment to produce award winning wines. The Tamar Valley Wine Route takes you on a journey to over 25 award winning vineyards including Josef Chromy Wines, Sharman Wines, Tamar Ridge and sparkling wine favourite Jansz. Stop and sample the amazing selections on offer, whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery of the picturesque Tamar Valley.
Launceston is not only a hotspot for wines, it is fast becoming a popular destination for the best boutique beers and ciders. Launceston is home to a very famous brewer in Boags, with the brewery established in 1881 on the banks on the North Esk River. Take a look behind the scenes, and learn how the magic happens on a guided 90 minute tour. There is also plenty of time at the end of the tour to taste the finished product.
Saint John Craft Beer offers a great selection of Tasmanian craft beers on tap. The Fresh Hop Beer Festival in April celebrates all things beer, with the brewing community coming together to showcase the freshest brews of the year. And for those cider lovers, the Tasmanian Cider Trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore and enjoy the best that Tasmania has to offer.
You may choose to experience Launceston's waterfront on two feet, but you get an entirely different perspective by observing it from the water. Launceston is situated where the North Esk and South Esk Rivers meet on the Tamar River and Tamar River Cruises based at Home Point offer a great range of touring options. The Cataract cruise takes you into the picturesque Cataract Gorge or day sailings are available down the Tamar River, where you can enjoy the scenery whilst enjoying local food and wine.
For those that prefer to stay on land, head to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. The museum houses a vast collection of vintage and classic cars and motorcycles. If you are a collector of memorabilia, a great selection is on offer so be sure to take home a souvenir or two.
Launceston punches well above its weight for a regional city when it comes to shopping. Whether it is a souvenir for family, a gift for a loved one or something special for you, Launceston's boutique shopping scene has you covered.
The heart of the city centre is the Brisbane Street Mall, where you will find a number of national retail chains including Myer. It however is the side streets, malls and arcades that can hide the hidden gems. The Quadrant Mall, Old Brisbane Arcade and Centreway Arcade are great to explore. If you are looking for a present to take home try Hope and Me, Embellish and Inside which offer a great range of gifts and homewares for all ages.
If you have a taste for fashion, ladies must visit Justin Paul and Yeltour. And for the gentlemen, pop into Routleys or Neil Pitts. All stores are locally owned, and stock an extensive range of fashion labels from Australia and around the world.
If would like to experience one of the last surviving retail experiences from a century ago, step back in time into the Old Umbrella Shop. Established by the Shott Family in 1907, they made and repaired umbrellas. Still open today, the shop sells a large range of umbrellas and a variety of Tasmanian made products. The store also displays historic umbrellas and the original blackwood display cases. Download the Uncover Launceston app to learn more about the store, along with many other places within the CBD and beyond.