Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania, vol. 2 – Historic Launceston

I visited Tasmania in June and was captivated by its breathtaking nature and stunning scenery.

Launceston, the second largest city in Tasmania, is situated in the northern part of the island. It is surrounded by mountains and is known for its historical significance. Being one of the oldest cities in Australia, Launceston boasts a rich cultural heritage.

The downtown area of Launceston is relatively small and can be easily explored on foot. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk along the downtown promenade, visit local shops or dine at one of the many restaurants available. Personally, I found it quite enjoyable to explore the town on foot and discover the history of the place in the old buildings that tell their own story without words. The oldest building in the city is St. John’s Anglican Church, which was completed in 1825 and is considered the oldest church in northern Tasmania.

Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Every Saturday morning, people from the city gather at the outdoor Harvest Market where local farmers and producers bring their produce to sell. You can find a variety of items, including local jams, cheeses, fresh vegetables, bread, and much more. If you’re in the area on a Saturday morning, I highly recommend a visit. You can also enjoy a light lunch at one of the many food stalls.

However, what interests me the most about Tasmania is its nature and countryside. Just a short walk from the city centre, you can enjoy the great outdoors. The Cataract Gorge Reserve has several walking trails, and I walked to the gorge along the river. Even though I didn’t go very far, I was surrounded by nature and could enjoy the view of the strong rapids full of water after the previous week’s rain. You can cross the river in a chairlift if you want, but I chose to walk across the suspension bridge. I also encountered three wallabies, Tasmania’s little kangaroos, along the way.

Cataract, Tasmania, Australia

Launceston is situated at the southern end of the Tamar Valley, along the river Tamar. The Tamar Valley is well-known for its vineyards, and it’s easy to visit wineries within a short drive of the town. Guided day trips to the wineries are also available, where you can taste the wines and have a ride arranged for you. Josef Chromy Wines, one of the most renowned wineries, is located about 10 km from the centre of Launceston.

While on your way to the Tamar Valley, you can stop at the popular wetland on Tamar Island. There, you can view the birds in the area and walk through the wetland on footpaths. I personally visited the island during the winter months.

Tamar Valley, Australia

During the winter months, the atmosphere in this region is similar to that of Nordic countries in autumn. Daytime temperatures of around 12-14 degrees Celsius are ideal for nature walks. Spring and early summer are undoubtedly the most beautiful times of the year when nature comes alive after the winter.

You can fly directly to Launceston from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

Author: Asko Meriläinen
Photo Credits: Asko Meriläinen