Launceston is a boutique riverside city, rich in culture and heritage. As Tasmania’s second largest city, the region is home to a thriving food and wine scene, which is showcased against a backdrop of a vibrant Georgian streetscape.
Radiating simple charm, Launceston is compact city that is easy to explore. Walk the elegant streets, through century-old parklands. Peruse revitalised areas such as Launceston Seaport. Cruise the Tamar River. Tour the surrounding wineries of the picturesque Tamar Valley. Taste a local beer at the James Boag's brewery. Or learn about local history with a ghost tour.
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Downtown Launceston is a food lover’s paradise. Restaurants, cafes and eateries abound throughout the city’s trendy precincts and historical streets. Positioned in the heart of the CBD, Launceston Seaport is home to a variety of outstanding cafes and restaurants, as well as a fully-serviced marina and expansive boardwalk – connecting Seaport with Royal Park and the scenic Cataract Gorge precinct. The heritage-listed Ritchies Mill complex was redeveloped in line with National Trust heritage guidelines, and is now home to several dining ventures with some of Launceston’s best views. The city’s main block – made up of Brisbane, Charles, York and George streets – is dotted with an array of dining opportunities; many of which showcase modern Australian dishes with foreign flair and influence.
Discover Australia’s “coolest” wine trail, The Tamar Valley Wine Route. Home to some of the finest cool-climate wines in the world, Tamar Valley hosts more than 32 wineries – specialising in varieties of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Follow the yellow and blue signs throughout the valley and drop by a cellar door tasting, throw a rug out for picnic, or reserve a table for lunch at a winery restaurant.
Missing the Boag’s factory tour in Launceston is like skipping the Guinness tour in Dublin… unforgivable. Indulge in the ultimate beer lover experience; take a tour of James Boag’s historic brewery and gain comprehensive insight into the brewing and packaging process, and taste a finished product complemented by Tasmania's finest cheeses.
Most of Launceston’s shopping opportunities are focused downtown, in the CDB or by water, or in surrounding regional areas.
Brisbane, York, Charles and George streets foster most of downtown’s retail trade. The block sees major department stores like Myer and Target sit side-by-side with national fashion retailers such as Colorado and Sportsgirl and one-off type boutiques. Spend a day wandering Brisbane Street Mall and surrounding blocks for the best shopping experience in Launceston.
Fast-growing suburbs like Kings Meadows, Mowbray, Newstead and Prospect/Prospect Vale offer a great alternative to city shopping, hosting their own modern shopping facilities and niche stores.
The Inveresk and York Park Precinct was once Tasmania's largest industrial site, and is now Launceston’s major cultural hub. Developed on a heritage industrial site, the new complex showcases Tasmanian art and culture. Nearby, Royal Park is also a great destination in which to soak in Tasmanian culture and history – hosting the historic Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, which houses a planetarium and exhibitions.
Outside the city limits, Tamar Valley provides unique shopping opportunities. The tree-lined streets are home to a treasure trove of retail indulgences including hand-made wares, boutique designs, fresh grown local produce and antiques from yesteryear.
Launceston and surrounding regional areas also host an exciting calendar of weekly, fortnightly and monthly markets. The Deviot Market hawks garden fresh produce, local arts and crafts and wine, produced in the Tamar Valley. Every fortnight the Lilydale Village Markets ooze with a great variety of bric-a-brac, food and crafts. The Launceston Markets are one of Tasmania’s favourite markets for fresh produce, second-hand clothing and books. The Launceston Esk Markets feature over 150 indoor stalls, offering a wide range of collectables, novelties and bric-a-brac. While antiques, fresh produce and local crafts can be uncovered every Sunday at the Evandale Market.