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Top 20 things to do in Launceston and Northern Tasmania

Planning a trip and not sure where to start? Here's a list of the top 20 things to do while you are in Launceston and the North.

1. Visit Cataract Gorge

A trip to Launceston is never complete without a visit to Cataract Gorge. It’s hard to believe this incredible natural feature is only minutes away from the city centre. Loved by locals and visitors alike, Cataract Gorge makes for wonderful experience whether visiting for a short trip or spending the day. Have a picnic on the lawn, go for a dip in the pool, burn some calories on one of the many walks, take in the view via the scenic chairlift, enjoy the gardens, watch the peacocks stroll by or grab a bite from the café. With so many ways to experience the Gorge, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.

IMPORTANT: During January to February 2024 the 1km Cataract Walk between Kings Bridge and the Cliff Grounds, and the Trevallyn Steps track, between South Esk Road and Kings Bridge is closed. All other walking tracks in the Cataract Gorge remain open to the public, including the Zig Zag track between Kings Bridge and the First Basin. The Zig Zag track has steep and challenging terrain and should only be attempted by capable and experienced walkers wearing appropriate footwear for the terrain.

Vehicle access - from 9 January to 2 February 2024 road closures and detours will be in place around Hillside Crescent. Be sure to plan ahead and allow a little extra time to drive to Cataract Gorge. More information can be found here.

Public transport option: Free Tiger Bus

The Tiger Bus is a free transport service throughout our central city district, including into the Cataract Gorge main entrance on Basin Road.

2. Go for a stroll along Seaport

Enjoy the best of Launceston’s waterfront at Seaport. Stroll along the boardwalk and take in the view or stop by one of the many restaurants for a drink or bite to eat. Mudbar Restaurant, Rupert & Hound, and Boatyard Launceston are all local favourites.

3. Explore City Park

City Park has been a central space for Launnie locals since 1820. The opulent iron gates welcome visitors to the beautiful park which includes attractions such as a conservatory, several gardens, a giant chessboard, a playground and of course the famous Japanese Macaque monkeys. From 7 January to 25 February 2024 enjoy Music in the Park at the City Park Rotunda, relax on the grass amongst the trees to the sound of great local artists filling the park with music at this free event.

4. Sip back and relax at Josef Chromy

Since it first launched in 2007, Josef Chromy Wines catapulted to the top of the Tasmania Wine Industry amassing 14 trophies and 170 medals within a short period of time. The vineyard located just minutes outside of Launceston not only delivers incredible wine but also one of the most delightful food & cellar door experiences in the state.

5. Spend a Saturday morning at Harvest Market

Community is at the core of everything here in Launceston and one of the best ways to experience it is with a visit to Harvest Market. Held on Saturday mornings, Harvest transforms a quiet inner city car park into a welcoming community space. Here, locals and visitors come together to mix, mingle and meet the farmers and producers that create the amazing produce and goodies on offer.

6. Have a beer at James Boag Brewery

Beer lovers can’t miss a chance to tour the legendary James Boag Brewery which has been brewing refreshing lagers and ales since 1881. Set in the heritage listed Tamar Hotel along the Esk River, the brewery welcomes visitors from far and wide. Book yourself onto a fully guided tour to learn what goes into producing one of Tasmania’s finest beers.

7. Step out of your comfort zone at Penny Royal Adventures

Get the whole family's adrenaline pumping at Penny Royal Adventures. Go cliff walking, rock climbing or on a Dark Ride adventure. For something slightly less exhilarating but equally as exciting, try gemstone fossicking, barefoot sensations, or the Brig Tamar Cruise & Sarah Island Ghost Tour.

8. Wine & dine along Charles Street

Just opposite the picturesque Prince’s Square, Charles St comes alive with the hustle and bustle of diners. It’s the perfect place to start a bar hop or settle in for a tasty meal. Kick off with a drink and nibbles at Saint John Craft Beer and if you’re in the mood for Thai, Monsoon Launceston has an incredible range of dishes including plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

9. Have quality family time at Riverbend Park

If you thought heading to the park was just a way to keep the kids busy, think again. Riverbend Park has for zones which each contain a variety of equipment and experiences including the usual swings, diggers and sandpits but also a wheelchair carousel, outdoor table tennis and full size sports courts. The park also includes the Sky Walk and ‘confluence net’ which are two of the largest pieces of playground equipment in Australia.

10. Indulge your senses at Stillwater

For a truly luxurious and memorable experience, look no further than Stillwater. Situated at the mouth of Cataract Gorge and built within an original 1840’s flour mill, Stillwater has been an iconic Launceston experience for years. The hatted fine dining experience is one of the best in the state and now you can even book a stay in one of their seven incredible accommodation options. The highly personalised experience helps to create the ultimate comfort for visitors, you might find it hard to check-out!

11. Check out the Queen Victoria Museum and Art (QVMAG)

Spread across two locations, the collection of art, history, and natural sciences showcased at QVMAG has been in the making since 1842. The Art Gallery at Royal Park and the Museum at Inveresk are just a few minutes apart by car or a 15-20 minute scenic walk along the Tamar and North Esk rivers.

12. Fly through the treetops or glide along the forest floor at Hollybank

Adventure awaits out at Treetops Adventure Hollybank on the outskirts of Launceston. Hang out high above the forest floor on the high ropes course or fly through on the zipline. If you’d rather stay a little closer to the ground, you can glide along the forest floor on a Segway tour or mountain bike.

Hollybank Treetops Adventures Looking up through a cloudstation

13. Have a steak at Black Cow Bistro

Known for their premium dry aged, free range, grass fed, hormone free Tassie beef and carefully selected wine list, Black Cow Bistro is an absolute must for meat-lovers. It’s the finest steak in town and maybe even the whole country!

14. Take it all in from the water with Tamar River Cruises

Explore the magical Cataract Gorge or cruise along Australia's longest navigable estuary and experience the beauty and magic of Launceston's famous Tamar Valley with Tamar River Cruises.

Tamar River and cruise boat

15. Hop on a wine tour

Our neighbours in the Tamar Valley are well known for their impeccable wine. Considered one of the top wine routes in the world, it’s something you need to taste to believe. Along the West Tamar you’ll find gorgeous boutique vineyards, many of which specialise in Pinot Noir, and, in the Pipers Brook region along the East Tamar you’ll find a plethora of world-renowned bubbly. The best way to experience our wine region is to hop on a tour so you can taste as much as you like and no one needs to worry about being the designated driver.

16. Go underground at Mole Creek Caves

Uncover the magical and mysterious underground world at Mole Creek Caves. There are three cave tours to choose which explore the highly decorated Marakoopa Cave and King Solomons Cave which features lavish colours, formations, and sparkling calcite.

17. Brunch with the alpacas at Apricus

For a brunch experience like no other, head to Apricus. It’s hard to believe this estate property with lake views, farm animals and walking trails are just a few minutes away from the city centre. Enjoy a delicious brunch made with fresh local produce, explore the grounds and meet the friendly animals that live there.

18. Step back in time at Brickendon and Woolmers Estate

Immerse yourself these neighbouring UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites. See what life was like for convicts on a colonial farm village at Brickendon Estate. You can even opt to stay in one of the original convict-built cottages. At Woolmers Estate, take a tour to view the personal items of 6 generations worth of the Archer family who once resided there. Have lunch at The Eleanor and wander through the immaculate grounds and gardens. Immerse yourself in the history and delve deeper into the stories with Reassign.

19. Fraternize with the Little Penguins

Low Head Penguin tours have been helping people on meet the Little Penguins since 1996. Their intimate, small group experiences mean everyone who visits has an unforgettable experience while ensuring the penguin’s natural habitat is unharmed.

20. Fall in love with Lavender

Sprawled across more than 260 acres, Bridestowe Lavender Estate is the world’s largest privately owned lavender farm. The best blooms are experienced in summer but visit at any time to see the vastness of the farm, taste their famous lavender ice-cream and shop their unique lavender items.