The city’s museums have been revamped, creatives have been 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.
Wine aficionados will be spoilt 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 stretch out over the grape vines, and make a perfect accompaniment to a glass of their 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, including 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.
You cannot visit Launceston without visiting Cataract Gorge, just outside town. Few cities boast such a spectacular view just minutes from the city centre.
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.
If you want art and culture, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) has to be at the top of your list. Covering 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 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.
Explore Launceston and some of Tasmania’s most beautiful landmarks on a 10-day Tasmanian Experience with Seniors Coach Tours from $3565pp twin share. Book by December 23, 2016 and bonus companion flights are included. Visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.
Image credits include: Josef Chromy Winery.