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Your guide to Launceston
All About Launceston
Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city and the gateway to the northern part of this island state. This beautiful riverside city features several renowned art galleries, museums, and design studios, including the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Launceston is also somewhat of an outdoor gallery, as you can wander the streets and admire its beautifully preserved Colonial and Victorian architecture.
You’ll never find yourself short of a delicious meal here. There’s a vast selection of cafes, restaurants and bars in Launceston, and the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market is held every weekend, offering the chance to sample all kinds of local wine and produce, such as cherries, raspberries, and peaches. There’s also Cataract Gorge — a river gorge and urban oasis with a pool, bridges, café, restaurant, and an outdoor swimming pool. Launceston also hosts hundreds of musical, cultural and sporting events every year.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Launceston
The most popular time to visit Launceston is over summer, when the city’s lively atmosphere attracts many visitors during the school holidays. Summer is also an ideal time to make the most of the range of outdoor activities on offer and take a dip in the pool at Cataract Gorge. Autumn is another popular time to visit Launceston, with the cooler weather and low rainfall ideal for bushwalking, cycling, and exploring the outdoors. Spring is beautiful as well, as the countryside is awash with wildflowers. September also marks the annual Junction Arts Festival, which celebrates the Tasmanian community with art, music, and dance performances. While winter can get very cold and it sometimes snows here, Launceston offers plenty of ways to stay cosy. This is a great time to visit galleries and museums, and sample some of the city’s superb dining options.
Top things to do in Launceston
Just two minutes from the centre of Launceston you’ll find Cataract Gorge, a natural urban reserve you can experience in various ways. Take in the sights from the chairlift, walk across the suspension bridge, grab a bite to eat in the restaurant, or explore the gentle walking tracks. On the southern side of the gorge you’ll find an outdoor public swimming pool and playground, surrounded by grass and bushland. On the northern side, there’s a beautiful Victorian garden with ferns and exotic plants.
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
You can explore Launceston’s cultural and artistic side at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the largest regional gallery in Australia. The museum is split over two locations, the Art Gallery at Royal Park and The Museum at Inveresk, and displays a diverse collection of art, history, and natural sciences.
Launceston is a handy base for exploring the Tamar Valley, Tasmania’s oldest wine growing area. Known for its cool-climate wine varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, the Tamar Valley is also home to some quality restaurants, superb scenery, and historic villages.