Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city. It’s a vibrant, cultural hub, full of great attractions such as museums, open parkland, vibrant cafes, and more wineries than one can count. It’s the perfect place for a relaxed family vacation.
Visit The Cataract Gorge
Launceston’s Cataract Gorge is beautiful, no matter which season it is when you first see it. Watching the endless torrent of freshwater tumbling through the gorge is excellent therapy in itself. The Gorge is located at just a 15 minute walk from the city center. You can explore the Gorge through the many walking trails, or opt for a ride in the world’s longest single-span chairlift. The Gorge has other attractions in store –a suspension bridge across the falls, an historic hydro-electric station, a swimming pool and lovely park-like gardens.
Explore Launceston’s Historic Areas
The older members of your family will love to explore the elegant streetscapes, the Launceston Seaport, Australia’s best regional galleries and the Queen Victoria Museum. Be sure to take your kids to see the century-old parks. The main boardwalk of Launceston takes you to many colonial museums, galleries, notable buildings, the Home Point rowing course and finally to Cataract Gorge. Make time to visit the Narawntapu National Park for some wildlife-spotting. If you have more time, side trips to the historic villages of Longford and Evandale are recommended. Here you’ll find several grand old mansions and farms with quaint names.
Enjoy Alpine Adventures
Travel 55 kilometers from the city center to reach Ben Lomond National Park and its craggy mountains. If you’re into rock climbing, bushwalking, skiing, trekking, hiking or mountain biking, this park is a must-visit.
Visit The Tasmania Zoo
Your kids will love to visit the Tasmania Zoo, 900 acres of natural bushland containing the largest private collection of animal species in Tasmania. Here they’ll find several native and exotic animal species such as the American Alligator, crocodiles, Tasmanian Devils, reptiles, kangaroos, Little Blue Penguins, wombats and so on. The zoo is also home to hundreds of bird species such as the Wedge-Tailed Eagle and the Swift Parrots which are now endangered. Take your kids to Tasmania Zoo during Feeding Hour; they’ll enjoy learning more about the wonderful animals and bond with them. They can also get their picture taken petting a little Tasmanian Devil!
Explore The Tamar Valley Vineyards
Follow the Tamar Valley Wine Route from Launceston and taste some of Tasmania’s best cool-climate wines. Enjoy a cruise on the River Tamar and the surrounding wetland area, stopping at some of the best vineyards on the way. West Tamar is extremely picturesque, with spectacular rolling green hills. This region has many fabulous boutique wineries that you must explore.
Visit The National Automobile Museum Of Tasmania
If you have kids, especially boys, don’t forget to take them to this amazing museum. This museum stocks cars from different eras – even truly rare cars from a 100 years ago. What’s more, there are bikes from every era too, even the huge bikes from World War II, used by soldiers. It’s a small museum and there’s not much place to display all the rare vehicles to best effect, but it’s still an amazing experience for automobile lovers.
Jennifer Danvers is an experienced traveler and writer, who works as a freelance writer for Adrenalin, Australia.