city in the north of Tasmania, Australia

Launceston is the second-largest city in Tasmania and provides a base to explore the northern part of the state. The city was settled in 1805 and has a population of 87,645 (2021), making it Australia's fifth-largest inland city.

For other places with the same name, see Launceston (disambiguation).

Get in edit

By plane edit

Launceston is approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne on the mainland. Daily flights fly from Melbourne with Virgin Australia, Qantas Link, and Jetstar. Direct flights from Sydney are available daily and direct flights from Brisbane are available on selected days.

1 Launceston Airport (LST IATA) has four gates and not a lot of flights, so security moves quite quickly. The waiting area has free but slow wifi, a few cafes, and a standard airport shop with books and souvenirs. Rental cars are available at the airport.

By car edit

Launceston is a hub of the highway system in Northern Tasmania. From Hobart, Devonport, or Burnie, use Highway 1.

Get around edit

The best way to get around Launceston is by car. Taxis are available, but may add up to be expensive; try to get a transfer when you are moving from the airport to your hotel. Car rentals are available for reasonable rates. There is also a Metro bus service which goes all through the town.

Bicycle is a reasonable way to get around Launceston and out the Gorge. Traffic is fairly quiet in town, and there is a good network of bike paths.

See edit

  • Launceston City Park - includes an enclosure housing a large number of Macaque monkeys
  • Historic houses and buildings including Macquarie House, Franklin House, Entally House, Clarendon House and the 'Old Umbrella Shop'.
  • Tamar Valley - wine-growing area
  • National Motor Museum
  • 1 Tasmania Zoo, 1166 Ecclestone Rd, Riverside, +61 3 6396 6100. 100 species of animals.

Tamar Island edit

The Tamar Island Wetlands is a unique urban wetlands reserve 10 minutes' drive from the heart of Launceston in Tasmania's north.

Tamar Island has been Crown Land since settlement and up to the 1980s was leased to private and public operators. In the 1980s the Tasmanian Government purchased the wetlands area around Tamar Island, which was incorporated into the greater Tamar River Conservation Area.

An interpretation centre offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the value of the wetlands, along with a hike that takes you through the wetlands, in bird hides and over to the historic Tamar Island.

Cataract Gorge edit

Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge is 1 km from the centre of Launceston. There is paid parking at the entrance to the park, either all day or by the hour.

  • There are many walking tracks which skirt the side of the gorge, and cross it at a suspension bridge and a low level bridge.
  • You can swim in the gorge. The water can be quite cold, and there is a current, but with care you should be fine. There are constructed entrances to the water, and access is free. There is also an unheated swimming pool, and access to that is also free.
  • You can see the gardens and pergolas, and the peacocks walking around.
  • You can play on the playgrounds.
  • You can take a chairlift across the gorge, and walk back, or vice-versa, although going both ways on the chairlift is about the same price as a one way ticket.
  • There is a cafe on each side of the gorge, serving ice-creams, coffee, snacks, etc.

Do edit

Boag's brewery in downtown Launceston
  • Cruise the Tamar River
  • Tour the surrounding wineries of the Tamar Valley
  • 1 Boag's brewery, 39 William St, +61 3 63326300. Tours leave weekdays (from 9AM; closed on public holidays) from the Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers located in the Tamar Hotel in the heart of Launceston. Bookings and fully enclosed footwear are essential.    
  • Yoga in the park open classes by local yoga teacher in Launceston parks on weekend mornings. Saturday morning in City Park before the harvest markets and on Sunday mornings in Riverbend Park donation based/bookings not required.
  • Launceston Ghost Tour, 14 Brisbane St, +61 421 819 373. Starts 8:30PM nightly at the Royal Oak. Fun night walking around one of Australia's oldest cities. Unearth the eerie side of Launceston in the 19th century. Fascinating for history buffs. Bookings required. $24/person or $20 with a voucher from the local hotels.
  • 2 York Park (known commercially as University of Tasmania Stadium, formerly Aurora Stadium), 2 Invermay Rd, Invermay, +61 3 6323 3383. Tasmania's largest sporting venue with a maximum capacity of 21,000. Watch a game of Aussie Rules or cricket.    
  • Launceston self-guided walking tour along historic Cameron Street. See Launceston Historical Society's Page for more details.

Buy edit

  • Tasmanian Wool Products: Waverley Woolen Mills, The Sheep's Back (George St)
  • The Tasmanian Devil as soft toys, hand-puppets etc
  • 1 Design Centre Tasmania, Cnr Brisbane St and Tamar St, City Park, +61 3 6331 5506. Australia's only museum collection of contemporary wood design, they run exhibitions and tours of crafts, design and art, nationally and internationally. A not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and sustain design.

Eat edit

Budget edit

  • 1 Morty's Food Court, 25 Wellington St, +61 3 6331 5788. A small food court with a good variety of dishes (various Asian cuisines and a coffee/wine bar that sells cakes).
  • 2 Aromas Fine Food Cafe, 272 Charles St, +61 3 6331 4150. Good coffee and pastries in a quiet and relaxing area.
  • Fish and Chips at the end of the Wharf, past the end of the flood barrier when walking from town. Possibly the best fish and chips you'll ever have. Prices depending on fish and season.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

  • 3 Stillwater, 2 Bridge Rd, +61 3 6331 4153, . Elegant and contemporary Tasmanian. Try the rye waffles.
  • Brisbane Street Bistro, 24 Brisbane St, Fine dining (including degustation) using local ingredients, modern Australian/French style. They can cater for most dietary requirements with advance notice. Bookings essential regardless.
  • The Gorge Restaurant, 74 Gorge Rd, +61 3 6331 3330. Indoor and outdoor dining in a beautiful setting. Peacocks roam about.
  • Quigley's.
  • Dockside.
  • Black Cow.

Drink edit

Launceston has several "olde worlde" UK style pubs, including The Cock and Bull and Irish Murphy's. In the city centre there are pubs on many of the street intersections.

Sleep edit

There are many motels, hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments offering accommodation in the area.

Go next edit

Routes via Launceston
DevonportWestbury W   S  PerthHobart
END W A3 NE  ScottsdaleSt Helens
Greens BeachBeaconsfieldGrindelwald NW A7 SE  END
George TownHillwood N A8 S  END
END W C401 E  C432 jcn to Ben Lomond National ParkMathinna

The historic town of George Town and Low Head lighthouse are a one-hour drive to the north along the Tamar River.

This city travel guide to Launceston is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.