Tasmania’s food and wine gateway, Launnie is packed with things to see and do. Here’s our shortlist of some of the best to help you make the most of even the shortest visit.
Whether you are in the area for work or play, a weekend away or just a day, we've pulled together a shortlist of experiences to make the most of your time in town. Though with some of the best food and cleanest air and beautiful landscapes the country has to offer there’s quite a few reasons to linger longer.
The insider itinerary
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN LAUNCESTON
There’s plenty to see and do in Launnie, but if pressed for time try our go-to list for short visits.
1. Cataract Gorge
Just a 15 minute walk from the city centre Cataract Gorge is a must-do for any visitor to the city. The gorge is famous for its walking and hiking trails, panoramic lookouts, cafes, wildlife, gardens, suspension bridge and chairlift.
2. The Tamar and North Esk River foreshore
Featuring a bustling marina, cafes and restaurants, a walk along the Tamar River and North Esk River shorelines, which merge in central Launceston, is a relaxed way to take in the city views. From Ritchies Mill Walk to Old Seaport there are plenty of spots to stop for refreshments.
3. Design Tasmania
For those seeking some cultural stimulation the not-for-profit design centre is a must visit. Design Tasmania has been dedicated to furthering design in the state since 1976 through its exhibitions, collections and a gem of a gift store. The petite gallery is home to the largest collection contemporary Tasmanian wood design.
4. The QVMAG Art Gallery at Royal Park
Northern Tasmania's home of art, QVMAG Art Gallery at Royal Park offers visitors access to a diverse collection reflecting on the state’s histories, identities and local stories. Set within a beautiful heritage façade, this contemporary art gallery is filled with a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions for you to explore, for free, all year round.
5. The QVMAG Museum at Inveresk
The Museum at Inveresk houses everything from dinosaurs, wildlife displays to artefacts from iconic shipwrecks and historic transport memorabilia. Admission to the Museum is free.
6. City Park
Launceston’s City Park is the green heart of the city. Established in the 1820s by the Launceston Horticultural Society and handed over to the Launceston City Council in 1863, it is now an important part of cultural life in Launceston. Shaded by giant oak trees and framed around the elaborate John Hart Conservatory (filled with flowering orchids) it is also home to an enclosure of energetic Japanese Macaques, aka Snow Monkeys.
One bite and you’ll be hooked.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN LAUNCESTON
See for yourself why Launnie was recently named UNESCO City of Gastronomy. One bite and you’ll be hooked.
Bread + Butter
Elevating everyday staples to an artform, this small batch artisinal butter factory and bakery is a great choice for coffee catch ups with fresh baked pastries, sourdough and chic industrial vibes.
An extensive wine menu pairs well with fresh oysters or artisanal cheese.
Next level plant-based foods packed with flavour, nourishment, and love. Honestly, you’ll wonder how they do it.
A one-stop-shop for wine and food combining a wine bar, restaurant, cellar door and retail outlet. For those wanting to try Havilah Wines and Two Tonne Tasmania, tastings are available by appointment.
Mudbar is renowned for its fresh, seasonal, handmade food overlooking the river. The venue is perfect for a relaxed lunch, afternoon cocktails, or a romantic dinner for two.
The intimate, 20-seat modern-Asian restaurant located in the picturesque Quadrant Mall, features produce that is sourced locally and designed for sharing.
Rupert & Hound
Local, sustainably caught seafood or some of Tasmania’s best steaks, cooked to perfection. Popular for groups and families.
Saint John Craft Beer
Their generously proportioned burgers are the perfect accompaniment for their library of 100+ craft beers.
Here are some great options to consider while in town.
REASONS TO LINGER LONGER IN LAUNNIE
If you are in the area for more than a day or two, here are some great options to consider while in town.
James Boag Brewery Tour
Before there was whiskey and wine, Tasmania was known for beer. The James Boag Brewery has been producing beer with pure Tasmanian water and outstanding local ingredients since 1881. Step inside the original brewery on the banks of the Esk River for a fully-guided tour concluding with a tasting of three exceptional lagers and ales at the James Boag Brewery Bar.
Franklin House and Gardens
Just a short drive from Launceston central you will find Franklin House, the city’s only house museum. Built for successful businessman and ex-convict Britton Jones, in 1838, this rare colonial building went on to accommodate one of the colony’s leading private schools which operated from 1842 until 1866. In 1960, it became the birthplace of the National Trust in Tasmania. Relax under a 180-year-old oak tree, wander through the Victorian Kitchen Garden, send the children in search of Patrick’s Pails or explore this beautiful home on a self-guided tour.
Harvest Launceston Community Farmers' Market
Offering the very best that Tassie has to offer every Saturday, Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market – or Harvest to locals – is a local foody icon. Since 2012 Harvest has been the focal point for the community, showcasing local primary produce and handmade food that is truly paddock-to-plate. Meet the producers in person and sample some the finest fresh and artisanal produce in the world.
Tamar Valley Wine Route
Launnie is the perfect base for exploring the acclaimed Tamar Valley wine region. Home to more than 30 wineries including some of the best cool climate and fine sparkling wine producers in the world. The cool climate lends itself to Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir, so if you like these varieties, you are in luck.
The Tamar Island Wetlands
On the outskirts of Launnie is a unique estuarine wetland ecosystem of mudflats, lagoons, and islands. A raised boardwalk traverses the incredibly biodiverse environment via picnic spots and bird hide where more than 60 bird species have been recorded.