Despite the laid-back veneer and gentle pace, there are many captivating attractions to experience and things to do in Launceston and the Tamar Valley.
Spread across two contrasting sites – the majesty of the 1890s Victorian Royal Park building and the industrial grittiness of the Inveresk Railyards — the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery offers fascinating insight into our cultural heritage. Browse the Design Tasmania Wood Collection for a contemporary celebration of local timbers, worked by furniture designers and artisans. Stroll through the green sanctuary of City Park (waving good morning to the Japanese Macaque monkeys as you pass!) towards the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, where ever-changing displays of rare and notable gas-guzzlers delight petrol-heads young and old.
Any visit to Launceston would be incomplete with an afternoon in City Park. Stroll amongst under the lush canopies of oak and plane trees before greeting the Japanese Macaques – Launceston’s famous tribe of monkeys. Other parks and reserves should also be on your must-visit list – the lush confines of Princes Square are a great place to relax, while a stroll along the boardwalk past Royal Park is the perfect way to walk off your lunch enjoyed from one of the number of restaurants and cafés lining the Seaport.
Only 15 minutes from the City Centre, you’ll find yourself in the stunning natural formations of the Cataract Gorge Reserve and First Basin, the most visited attraction in Tasmania. Cross the Basin in the world’s longest single-span chairlift, traverse the iconic Alexandra Suspension Bridge high above rocky rapids. In the warmer months, the Basin takes on a beach-like appearance – join the locals as they laze on the grassy banks or cool off in the public pool.
A connection to nature is something you will be sure to enjoy on your visit to Launceston. Many of our parks and reserves are home to an assortment of native marsupials – wallabies, possums and pademelons abound. Traipse along the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk through wetlands to Tamar Island – take a picnic and enjoy the abundant birdlife and river activity. Or, for a wildlife experience that is a little more up-close-and-personal, head out to Tasmania Zoo – the State’s largest wildlife park. Over 100 species of rare, exotic and native finned, feathered and furry creatures call here home – meet ferocious Tasmanian Devils and languid Koala Bears.
Journey down the vineyard patchwork of the Tamar Valley to Platypus House – where the incredible duck-billed platypus and spiny echidna (both egg-laying monotremes native to Australia) reward the drive. Just next door is Seahorse World, a working seahorse farm dedicated to the conservation of these mystical aquatic animals. And while on the West Tamar, lose yourself in history at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre. Infamous for the 2006 extraordinary rescue, the mine has a rich heritage, and interactive displays document the hunt for the elusive gold.
Launceston and its surrounding towns have a strong colonial history, and the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Woolmers and Brickendon homesteads at Longford should be added to your list of attractions not to miss. Woolmers dates back to 1819, and a wander through the house and grounds is like a moment back in time – you will also enjoy the National Rose Garden here.
Launceston is a city rich in sights and experiences – take the time to explore and visit some our attractions – you will be sure to enjoy…