Quite famous for its natural settings in the picturesque Tasmania, great farmland produces, prosperous farmlands, rich colonial history and some of the best wines of the region, Launceston beckons travelers and tourists from all parts of the world. Whether you want to unwind in the laps of Mother Nature or spend some time visiting the famous icons steeped in history, Launceston will be the perfect choice for you.
Being the 3rd oldest city in the region of Tasmania and the 2nd biggest after the capital city of Hobart, Launceston attracts quite a crowd every year due to its diversified offerings that are sure to satisfy the wishes of the visitors. You can make an attraction packed itinerary or just enjoy the laidback nature of the place while you are in the city. Whether it’s raining or pretty cool, the below mentioned are the list of the must-visit places in the city – attractions and activities without which a tour of the city remains incomplete.
Things to do in Launceston
- The Cradle Mountain and the Cradle Mountain National Park
One of the best and most popular attractions in Launceston and in fact in Tasmania, are the Cradle Mountains. And not without any strong reason! The Cradle Mountains are one of the prized natural icons of the region and are undoubtedly a treat for all travelers who flock here every year to witness the majestic mountains that rise to 1535 m above the level of the sea. Add to this the World Heritage site of the Lake St Clair or Cradle Mountain National Park and the travelers have a full day’s itinerary in the mountains and the park surrounding it. From the Jurassic age endowments to the picturesque scenery surrounding the mountains – this region is a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
The best way to enjoy the Cradle Mountain and the surrounding national park is either to walk along the planned trails or join the tour operators for the guided tours. The walking tours come in variable durations – from 20 minutes to a 6 day trip, while the tour operators usually conduct regular tours that take about 1 ½ hours to reach the various lookouts of the mountain and then quite some time to tour the mountains and the surrounding national park. Its best that you set apart a day for the this attraction.
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
Housed at two different locations – the Inveresk Railyards and the Royal Park, the QVMAG is one of Launceston’s iconic man made landmarks that is the home to innumerable colonial as well as modern style art, paintings and collections that tell the tale of the different periods of development of the city as well Tasmania. The museum also houses the popular Launceston planetarium that attracts kids as well as adults.
Reaching the Inveresk site from the Launceston costs about $45 for a 15 minutes cab ride while the other branch is a bit closer and takes about 12 minutes with an average cab fare of about $35-$40. If you are in the CBD, you could comfortably walk to both the sites as well.
- City Park Radio Museum
Museums are common in almost all cities across the world but themed based museum are a few in number, and when the theme is radios, the number becomes even rarer which is why a visit to the Radio Museum in Launceston is a must visit, even if you have a very biased idea that it would be boring. The unique museum is a great display considering the fact that radios had a very important role in the history of Australia. With a display of about 50 different models of radios that date back to as long as 1930, this museum sure does deserve to be on the list of must-visits, even if for an hour or two.
The museum is very close to the CBD and is within a walking distance of about 2 minutes if you are in the area.
- National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
Hosting an expansive collection of automobiles belonging to different periods, models, manufacturers and tastes, the Automobile museum is indeed an expensive addition to a city like Launceston. From royal Rolls Royce to sleek Jaguars – the museum has it all and much more, put on display throughout the year for the inquisitive visitors from around the world. You needn’t be a car fanatic to be able to appreciate the collection and display at the museum and so ensure that you include this attraction in your itinerary in Launceston.
The museum is practically located within the CBD of Launceston and close to the City Park which makes a viable option if you are in the area.
- Treetop Adventures at Hollybank
If you are in mood for some adventure, try the treetop tours carried out at Hollybank and you will carry with you every moment of the tour for ever. The Launceston region is home to some of the best of the plant kingdom and the towering trees are put to apt use in these treetop adventure tours that are conducted frequently, making a 3 hour long journey that takes the visitors through the landscapes and the natural bounties of the region for a fun time in the air. The soaring facilities are completely safe and utmost care is taken of the comfort of the visitors who dare to enjoy nature in a very different way.
The facilities are easily accessible at a 20 minutes driving distance from the city of Launceston with a pocket pinch of about $60.
- Cataract Gorge
If you are a nature lover, the Cataract Gorge in Launceston is one of those attractions that you cannot miss at any cost. And the best part of it is that you do not have to pay any cost to access the gorge region, the beautiful winding pathways, the crystal clear water body and of course, the unworldly views that you get to witness here. Whether you are planning for a day’s break from the hectic schedule or are in Launceston for a holiday, the Cataract Gorge mustn’t be missed in anyway. Its beauty is beyond human expressions and if you are up for a small fee, you can take an incredible 457 m long chairlift tour that gives you a full air view of the entire region – every penny spent at the gorge is worth it.
Despite its fabulous setting, the Gorge is a very short distance from the CBD and a 10 minutes drive from the CBD and walking, too, is a doable job. This will take you to the Alexandra Bridge and the causeway wherefrom you can continue the journey walking or via the chairlift.
- Launceston city park
If you are looking for a place to rest your tired limbs after a day of walking or climbing, then the Launceston city park is here to welcome you heartily. It’s absolutely free and will surely imbue renewed energy to continue with your visit in Launceston. Apart from the vast array of floral and plant life that the park hosts, it is a tourist hotspot for many other reasons – it is a set in a quaint atmosphere right at the center of the city, include facilities for numerous child activities, family BBQs, charming fountains and a number of monuments that add to the attractions of the park. You may just come and unwind here after a long day at work or make it a part of your travel itinerary.
If you are in the CBD, the park is surely just a blocks away which makes walking the best option to reach the park.
- Architectural landmarks of Launceston
Being the 3rd oldest city in the Tassie, Launceston is home to some of the marvelous architectural landmarks of the region. Worthy of mention are the – Albert Hall, an impressive structure that built in the fine Victorian style; the Custom House which was built in the 1885 and is a symbol of Launceston’s prosperity; Henty house which though quite new has a different feel to it and symbolizes modern brutal yet impressive architecture; Macquarie House, though not publicly accessible, carries the honor of being one of the oldest buildings of the city.
- Old Umbrella Shop
You may not need an umbrella or may despise of the use of one, but that doesn’t mean that you should give a miss to this unique experience. This shop in Launceston is one of the best examples of traditional retailing and has been preserved, almost intact, since the 20th century. For three generations, the Shott Family has preserved their trade, craft and traditions well and at present, the shop, apart from selling a vast variety of umbrellas, also offers a display of some of the collections through the ages.
It is in the CBD and you can make it to the shop as a part of your downtown shopping experience.
- Josef Chromy Cellar Door
Launceston is famous for its fresh produces and obviously, the fantastic wine and so no going away before you have sampled some of the best wines of the region. And nothing in region gets better than Josef Chromy that gives quite a competition to the other popular wineries in Australia and elsewhere as well. With a fantastic backdrop that unfurls a great natural panorama, a visit to the winery is a must do for all people who are in love with wine and even those, who haven’t ever tasted a drop. Its quintessential nature will surely make the journey worth it.
The winery is within the easy reach of the travelers with a short journey of about 15 minutes taking you to the cellar from the Launceston CBD. Average cab fares are $35.