The QVMAG Museum Tasmanian Tiger | Exhibition Source: QVMAG

The Five Best Things to Do in Launceston

With the news of Virgin’s new direct flight routes linking Launceston to the rest of the country and a recent UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy title, the Northern Tasmanian city is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for Australian travellers.

With the Tamar Valley wine region to the north, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park to the west and an array of quaint towns, thick forests and countryside to explore, it’s easy to forget there’s a lot to see in Launceston too. Before you leave the city to explore the wilds of Northern Tasmania, spend some time getting to know Launceston and all the best things to see and do.

Hit the antique shops

If the array of charming heritage buildings that make up Launceston’s streetscape don’t make you want to find your own vintage treasures then the stores themselves will. Head to the popular Red Fox Antiques for its carefully curated collection of antique furniture, homewares and clothing. The store is filled with everything from copper kitchenware to vintage fur coats and jewellery. You can then hit up the fabulous Seven Sisters Antiques, Junk St Store and The Old Umbrella Shop for a truly unique winter item.

Image: Red Fox Antiques Source: Red Fox Antiques

Try the local tipples

With wineries, breweries and distilleries to choose from, you have plenty of choices when it comes to sampling the local drink. Start with a tour of James Boag’s Brewery. Founded back in 1881, the Launceston brewery still produces all of James Boags beers we drink today. The tour gives you an insight into the rich history of the company and the brewing processes that create James Boag beer. Then, whiskey drinkers can head to Launceston Distillery, while wine drinkers can stop off at Josef Chromy wines or drive to some of the many wineries nestled into the Tamar Valley.

Image: Boags Brewery Source: James Boag

Check out the markets

Follow the locals down to Harvest Market on Saturday morning and fill your basket with freshly ground coffee beans, local cheeses, organic vegetables and a few too many pastries. Located on Cimitiere Street, the market is a community hub for fresh food, good coffee and live music are definitely one of the best things to do in Launceston on a Saturday morning. If you can take on even more markets after Harvest then head a little out of town to the quaint village of Evandale on Sundays and take in the antique treasures, farm animals and food trucks found at the Evandale Markets.

Source: Harvest Market

Put your hiking boots on

You can’t come to Launceston without visiting the spectacular Cataract Gorge. Located just outside the city, you can easily walk to the Gorge and take on one of the many hiking trails found within the park. If you are brave enough, take a ride on the Cataract Gorge chair lift, which happens to be the longest single spanning chairlifts in the world. If you want to get another good dose of nature then head to the sprawling City Park and check out its Japanese macaques monkey enclosure and pretty botanical greenhouse.

Image: Ride on the longest chairlift in the world Source: Cataract Gorge

Engage in the arts scene

While Hobart usually takes centre stage in terms of arts and culture, you can’t miss Launceston’s hidden gems. Start with a trip to the QVMAG art gallery and museum for an insight into the region’s local visual artists, natural science and cultural history. Then head over to Design Tasmania to experience some of the island’s best craftmanship, before finishing off at the tiny Greenoaks Gallery on St Georges Square that showcases the work of pastel and watercolour work of resident artist, Dan Villiers.

Image: QVMAG Art Gallery Source: QVMAG

Looking for more things to do in cities around Australia? Read about things to do in Exmouth, Perth and Cairns.

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