Launceston is Tasmania's “northern capital” and Australia's's third-oldest city. A city of parks and gardens, gracious Victorian architecture from the 1870s and 1880s, elegant contemporary architecture, vibrant art and culture, Launceston boasts a spectacular scenic waterside setting at the place where the North and South Esk Rivers join to form the broad Tamar.
A quick flight from Melbourne or Sydney and a short drive from Devonport and Hobart, Launceston has all you need for a perfect short break or a major holiday, with a range of accomodation options to suit all budgets, from cheap hostels and motels, to family friendly serviced apartments, quaint and cosy B&Bs, to boutique luxury hotels.
Launceston's crown jewel is the magnificent Cataract Gorge. Walk along its spectacular cliffs, wander the first basin, take a chair lift ride, traverse one of the many walking trails, picnic amongst the peacocks or experience the area even further on board a Tamar River Cruise. Afterwards, taste the fine ales on offer during a tour at the Boags Brewery - arguably Launceston's most famous export. Finish the day with a relaxed dinner at one of the many restaurants along the waterfront in the Seaport precinct.
Launceston has recreated itself and now has some of Australia’s top restaurants and stylish places to stay. Cool climate wines and fine dining are the essence of the Launceston experience. The city celebrates its food, wine and cultural scene in the annual autumn Festivale, a feast of music, art and Tasmanian regional flavours; while Launceton's showcase of history, art and design is the remarkable Inveresk Cultural Centre.
Launceston is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding region of the Tamar Valley. The River Tamar flows north from Launceston to George Town, and Bass Strait, past vineyards, strawberry farms and orchards. Featuring excellent restaurants, superb boutique wineries and simple roadside stalls to cater for every appetite, this idyllic setting will also delight history enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Tamar Valley has boutique cool climate wineries, and elegant vineyard restaurants where you can meet with the growers and the makers.
Nearby historic towns such as Evandale, Longford, Campbell town and Ross, preserve the architecture and community spirit of a 19th century village but are also very much of today. Further afield is the rugged scenery of the Tasmania North West Coast and, of course, the magnificent splendour of the world heritage listed Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair.