Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Launceston (Australia), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Launceston is located in the north of Tasmania and currently has a population of around 87 000 people, which makes it the second-largest city in Tasmania after Hobart.
The city of Launceston is also one of the oldest cities in Australia, founded already back in March 1806 by Europeans. It was named after Launceston in Cornwall (United Kingdom).
Tamar Valley is one of these places that seem to have been blessed with everything you could wish for: fantastic nature, good food and excellent wines.
The valley is situated along the Tamar River and has a length of around 50 km. The valley features an interesting wine route that leads along 20 vineyards and is great for cycling and hiking.
This region is especially known for its pinot noir and chardonnay and bringing home a bottle of the local wine is one of the best ways to remember yourself of the great days you had here long after coming home.
James Boag Brewery Experience
The James Boag Brewery has a very long history dating back to 1881 when it was founded by a Scottsman who traveled all over the world to combine the pure Tasmanian waters with the freshest local ingredients to brew a truly magnificent beer.
To this day only the finest hops and barley are used for the beer and not only that, visiting the brewery and its bar has also become a real tourist attraction.
The bar is located in the historic Tamar Hotel and offers a fantastic experience that almost feels like traveling back in time.
Cataract Gorge Reserve
The stunning Cataract Gorge Reserve is located on the South Esk River and is home to the world’s longest single-span chairlift. This reserve is all about natural beauty and fascinating views and offers plenty of hiking trails.
Many people come here for the wildlife and especially bird watching is very much possible here. If you are not overly keen on hiking there are also many great restaurants here that are perfect for spending time with family or friends.
Alexandra Suspension Bridge
The 60 meter-long Alexandra Suspension Bridge is one of the highlights of the Cataract Gorge Reserve. The bridge was inaugurated in 1904 and has since then been a very important structure for the area as it connects the eastern and western shore of the South Esk River.
If you are comfortable with heights the bridge is a must-visit as it offers one of the most scenic views along the river with its stunning rock formations and the so-called First Basin as well as the surrounding wilderness.
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery is Launceston’s premier destination for art and culture lovers but also offers interesting exhibits of the region’s history.
There are collections dedicated to the first days of European settlement in Tasmania as well as the construction of the first railway lines. Many of the most influential Tasmanian artists have their work presented here.
The museum also offers a section dedicated to Astronomy which should be very interesting for anyone interested in science.
Josef Chromy Cellar
The Josef Chromy Cellar is one of the best places to taste the local wines. The estate is located a few km south of Launceston in a quiet village called Relbia.
You will not only find a great selection of wine here but also modern Australian cuisine that is known for its innovative dishes. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a small lake making it a very scenic spot to spend a few elegant hours.
Tamar Island Wetlands
Right on the outskirts of Launceston, you will find a beautiful wetland ecosystem called Tamar Island Wetlands which is consisting of mudflats, lagoons, and several islands.
This area is very rich not only in unique landscapes but also in wildlife and is home to large populations of reptiles, fish, and birds, such as the Royal Spoonbill, which can be seen in the photo below.
The wetlands have been made accessible by an extensive network of boardwalks which allow exploring without ever getting your feet wet. There is also an interpretation center here which offers great educational value.
Launceston’s City Park is a lovely green space right in the center. The park is known for its monkey enclosure which attracts hundreds of children and adults alike each day.
During sunny days plenty of residents use the park for sunbathing as it offers a lot of spacious meadows. There is also a statue of the botanist Ronald Campbell Gun here that shouldn’t be missed.
City Park is a good place for a rest while sightseeing and offers plenty of shade and benches where you can sit down and relax.
Hollybank Treetops Adventure
Hollybank Treetops Adventure is a great place if you like to get your adrenaline flowing, which has also made it one of the most popular places to visit in Launceston with kids.
There are numerous different experiences to be had here including a 400 m zipline across the Piper’s River, a treetop obstacle course that will test all your courage, and a thrilling mountain bike course that will excite even the most experienced cyclists.
All these amazing adventures can be found just 20 km north-east of Launceston and best of all the area is almost completely untouched and there is fantastic nature as far as the eye can see.
Low Head Penguin Colony Tour
Tasmania is known for its large penguin populations and if you are interested in this aspect of the area’s wildlife the Low Head Penguin Colony Tour is a great chance for you to meet these fascinating animals in person.
The tours are fully guided and take place during sunset. The groups are limited to 10 to 15 people in order to protect the animals and their habitat.
Low Head is known for being the home of the penguin species “Little Penguin” (also called Blue Penguin or Fary Penguin) which is only found in Australia and New Zealand.
Design Tasmania is located in the south-eastern corner of Launceston’s City Park and offers a nice collection of contemporary wooden artworks.
The exhibits on display range from everyday items like chairs to musical instruments. Many of the artworks are for sale which makes Design Tasmania a great place to pick up a gift or a souvenir.
The studio is run by a not-for-profit organization that is very active in the support of local artists and works towards educating the public about Tasmanian design and art.
Launceston’s award-winning Harvest Market takes place every Saturday and is a great place to meet people while shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables.
The produce is generally sold by the farmers themselves. One of the best aspects of the market is that it is accredited by the Austrian Farmer’s Market Association.
And it guarantees that the farmers who come here are only allowed to sell products they have grown regionally. Apart from the delicious fresh produce, there is also wine on sale here.
Tulloch’s Auction House
The Tulloch’s Auction House is a great place if you are eager to experience the hectic atmosphere of a traditional auction house. Many of the things sold here are very historic and interesting such as old uniforms or historic tools.
There is also plenty of art sold here. Maybe a great chance to buy something nice awaits you? You can check the auction house’s catalog online and see if something interesting will be sold during your stay in Launceston.
National Trust Old Umbrella Shop
Launceston’s Old Umbrella Shop offers an interesting glimpse into Tasmania’s retail heritage and has survived since the early 20th century. The shop started as a business that hand-made and repaired umbrellas.
Today the shop is still known for its Tasmanian-made products but there are also many historic items on sale here that are often worth a lot of money. Coming here is a great experience if you like antiquities.
Taste Walk Talk Tour
Launceston’s central business district is known for its great selection of restaurants and bars and the best way to experience them is the Taste Walk Talk Tour of Let Brock.
Taking part in the tour is almost like having a local friend showing you the best-kept secrets of the city. The experienced tour guides that lead the tour can tell you all about the best local products including the fantastic Tasmanian wine.
The tours take place during all parts of the day and are of varying lengths. Many of them are very suitable for families.
Want more recommendations on things to do in Launceston, Australia? Leave a comment below!