Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania at just over 105,000 and is located in the north of Tasmania on the Tamar River. Settled by the Europeans in 1806, Launceston is one of the oldest cities in Australia.
Things to do during the day
The main attraction to Launceston is the Cataract Gorge. It is within easy walking distance to the city centre and is a natural water basin with towering cliffs. The gorge is home to the world’s largest single span chairlift at 308 meters crossing over the river. The view from the chairlift is spectacular affording views of the South Esk River with the towering cliffs and natural forests and grasslands. The Gorge also features a long suspension bridge, swimming pool and gardens. You can take a river cruise on the calm part of the river or even try your hand at hang gliding on a cable.
There are many parks in the city centre with the main park featuring an enclosure for Japanese Macque Monkeys as a gift from its sister city of Ikeda, Japan. More wildlife is featured at the Tasmania Zoo which is featuring a breeding program for the Tasmanian Devil.
Each year in February, the city hosts a Festivale with food, drinks, arts, and entertainment in City Park.
Things to do at night
Irish Murphy’s is a favorite bar of Launceston located in the city centre that features live music every night.
The Village Cinemas offer the latest Hollywood hits featuring a sale on Tuesday nights.
The city centre offers the most impressive display of restaurants. The Stillwater is a city favorite for all meals, but becomes a five star elegant dining room at dinner. The emphasis here is on fresh local fare including seafood, meats, and vegetarian.
The city center with the parks and shopping complexes offers a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy an evening stroll along the waterfront on a cool evening.
Australian Rules Football is popular here and is played at York Park. In 2007 the Tasmanian Government signed a contract with Hawthorn which will allow the football club to play four regular season games a year in Launceston. When not hosting football, the venue is used for concerts and festivals.
Stock car racing is also gaining a following in Launceston with a track to the south. The city also redeveloped their swimming facility and now houses a multi-million dollar swimming centre. Basketball is also a common sport among men and women.
The car is the most predominant means of transportation other than the city bus. The city is at the hub of 5 major highways that serve Tasmania which helps it to be the cultural and tourist center of the region. The airport serves over a million passengers a year and features direct flights to Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.
When to go
Launceston has four distinct seasons. The winters are cold with an average temperature range of 2 degrees. Rarely does it snow here. But the winter months are known for dense fog in the mornings. The summer boasts moderate temperatures with an average temperature of 25 degrees. Launceston does not receive much rainfall annually making it a good spot to visit year round.