Launceston is one of Australia's oldest cities, where a variety of 19th century buildings stand testament to its heritage. The first major city to be reached after crossing the Bass Strait, Launceston is regarded as the 'jump-off point' to the heart of Tasmania but its charm and character are worth experiencing in their own right. Once a laid back farmland town, it has now been redefined as a cultural hub, although evidence of its sleepy ruggedness remains evident throughout. Launceston hotels make for an ideal base from which to explore the many attractions in the surrounding area. Narawntapu National Park is within easy reach and known for its fantastic wildlife, with the historic villages of Evandale and Longford also being close by.
Launceston has a healthy reputation as a haven for sports enthusiasts; you often see cyclists and hikers kitted out to explore the surrounding countryside. But there are many other ways of getting around this fertile corner of Australia. Consider taking a Segway tour through the beautiful Hollybank Eucalypt Forest, where thrill-seekers can also find zip lining activities. Of course the jewel in the crown is Cataracts Gorge, a sharp slice in the landscape found only a few minutes away from the CBD. As such this city has some of the oldest architecture in Australia giving Launceston a visually elegant appeal.
There are many museums and art galleries to visit, making any Launceston holiday a fascinating experience. Visit the Queen Victoria Museum or the innovative Design Tasmania, considered to be one of the best exhibition spaces in Australia and taking inspirational cues from the University of Tasmania. Be sure to hire some Artbikes here to explore the city and beyond.
Launceston is situated at the junction of the River Esk and South Esk River where they merge to become the River Tamar. A cruise along the River Tamar is one of the best ways to discover the beautiful countryside found nearby.
Food and wine are integral to the continued success of Launceston. The city figures highly on any self-respecting beer lovers list, being the site of the original James Boag Brewery, one of the most popular brews in Australia. Launceston is also a prime wine growing region. The countryside is dotted with vineyards such as the Josef Chromy world-renowned wine estate. Here you can not only taste international class Tasmanian wines but you can also enjoy fine cuisine at the Josef Chromy restaurant, one of the best dining experiences available in Australia.