Launceston, Tasmania’s second city, is a must-visit

Launceston has fabulous heritage architecture, a vibrant art scene and natural beauty.

The city’s museums have been revamped, creatives are flocking to the University of Tasmania and the wine scene is garnering international respect. There’s something for everyone — from foodies to outdoorsy types to art lovers.

Food and wine

Wine aficionados will be spoiled for choice in Launceston. A perennial favourite is the Josef Chromy Winery, which in just under 10 years has won more than 170 medals, making it one of the most successful wineries in Tasmania.

The views from the deck of the restaurant extend over the grape vines and are a perfect accompaniment to a glass of pinot noir. For a bit of a splurge, stay for a lunch of fresh, local Tasmanian produce.

If your party includes beer lovers, head over to the James Boag Brewery. The brewery runs tours of the brewhouse, providing an insight into the brewing process and the history of the company over the past century. You can end your tour with a guided beer tasting.

Stunning nature

You cannot visit Launceston without seeing Cataract Gorge, just outside town. Few cities boast such a spectacular view just minutes from the CBD.

The stunning cataract gorge in Launceston, Tasmania

Enjoy the vista from a number of vantage points. You can take a leisurely walk along one of the many paths, go for a dip in the free outdoor swimming pool, or cruise up the gorge. Don’t miss the world’s longest, single-span chairlift (open from 9am to 5.30pm) — the views are breathtaking.

If you have kids, they’ll love playing in leafy City Park. There’s plenty of space to run around, a mini-train to ride and a glass-walled enclosure with Japanese macaque monkeys. The monkeys are one of the most popular tourist attractions and for good reason. It’s all too easy to lose a few hours watching the troop of macaques interacting with each other.

Kings Park, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

Art and architecture

If you want art and culture, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) has to be at the top of your list. Featuring everything from colonial paintings to artefacts recovered from Australia’s oldest merchant shipwreck, QVMAG has something for everyone. Children will particularly enjoy the planetarium.

Shop for handcrafted and locally-produced art and other wares at Design Centre Tasmania. The centre includes the Tasmanian Wood Design Collection, Australia’s only museum of contemporary timber furniture.

Finish off your cultural tour with a visit to Franklin House, one of Launceston’s most beautiful and well-preserved Georgian homes. Dating from 1838, the house was built for an ex-convict turned successful businessman, and went on to be a private school before becoming the National Trust’s office.

Discover the beauty of Tasmania on a 10-day Grand Tasman tour from $3170pp twin share. For more information visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.

Image credits include: Josef Chromy Winery.

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