Launceston is one of the best places to visit in Tasmania. It’s a city where art and design are valued, people embrace the outdoors and food and drink culture thrives.
It’s also an easy platform to get out into the fabled wilderness, cruising along the Tamar River or journeying to Cradle Mountain. There’s an awesome gorge within walking distance of the CBD, a city park with an island inhabited by macaque monkeys and a plethora of architecture harking back to the city’s early 19th-century origins.
1. James Boag Brewery
If you're a beer lover, then you'll want to add the James Boag Brewery Experience to your list of things to do while visiting Launceston. A tour of the brewery, a visit to their museum and a tasting of their range of beers are all included in your ticket.
The acclaimed 1881 brewery uses Tasmanian water for its beers, hosts functions and offers guided tours and food. They're a must-visit for anyone interested in beer history and the unique culture of Tasmania's brewing industry.
The decision by Boag's owner Lion Australia to shutter the company's popular hospitality and tour offerings is being slammed by locals and tourism experts alike. Declining beer consumption, rising costs and the impact of COVID-19 on the industry have made it difficult for the 160-year-old brewery to operate.
2. City Park
One of Launceston's most beautiful parks, City Park is a tree-lined oasis in the heart of the city. This stunning parkland features mature trees and shrubs, an enviable annual flower display, a Japanese Macaque monkey enclosure and the John Hart Conservatory.
A favourite of locals, it's also the home of a famous annual food festival. There's also a duck pond, senses garden, monuments and a chess board.
If you like the idea of seeing old cars and motorbikes, the National Automobile Museum is worth a visit too. Its exhibition space - a hall of muscle - is full of changing exhibits, including a mezzanine with a collection of vintage bikes and motorcycles.
3. Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
Launceston, Tasmania's second city, is home to plenty of things to do. From heritage walks, a range of museums and fabulous food and wine spots, it's a perfect base for easy day tripping around this beautiful state.
The Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Australia's largest regional museum, is a must-visit while in the area. Its grand galleries, located in Inveresk on the north bank of the Tamar River, are filled with exhibits covering history and nature of Tasmania. The museum also boasts a planetarium and an ongoing exhibition about the extinct Tasmanian tiger.
4. Tramway Museum
Launceston is arguably Tasmania's second city, and though it might not get the same press as its famous counterpart Hobart, it has much to offer visitors. From a day of exploring history to dining at delicious restaurants, there's something for everyone.
Tucked away in the historic Inveresk precinct, the Tramway Museum is a great place to spend a few hours learning about the history of Launceston's tram system. A restoration society has turned the former tram depot into a fascinating museum, with a workshop and modern display gallery.
Another must-visit attraction is the Queen Victoria Museum, which occupies a 19th-century railway workshop with a dazzling collection of Tasmanian artifacts. The museum also has a planetarium and offers educational shows about the state's history and culture.
5. Tasmanian Artisan Shop
Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania and offers plenty of local delights to explore. This spirited city is packed with heritage, art galleries and museums and is surrounded by fabulous food and wine areas.
- The city is a perfect base for easy day tripping, with the Tamar Valley Wine Trail tempting visitors with lush vineyards and delicious Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
- You’ll also find a range of museums that are worth checking out, including the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, which is a great place to learn about Tasmania’s history and natural science.
- It’s home to Australia’s only museum collection of contemporary wood design, exhibiting the works of top designers and artisans working with indigenous timbers including huon pine, king billy pine, sassafras and myrtle. It’s a great way to see the best of Tasmanian craft and design.