Chilled-out and beautifully situated in the north of Tasmania, visitors have been booking flights to Launceston because it is idyllic for those who enjoy nature and the outdoors. Natural beauty is also one of Launceston’s assets, and there are few better places for bird lovers to visit than the wetlands centre on Tamar Island.
Most visitors take a flight to Launceston over the hot, sunny summer months between November and March. Summer also sees the town hosting the vibrant Festivale event which is one of Tasmania’s premier food and wine festivals. The three day celebration takes places annually at Launceston’s stunning City Park on the second weekend of February every year and is dedicated to showcasing the best of Tasmanian food, wine, locally brewed beer, cider and whisky. There are over 70 different food and wine stalls to explore which are operated by local restaurants, winemakers and producers. Activities such as wine and beer tasting and cooking demonstrations are available for all to get involved in. However during this unique outdoor event, accommodation travel costs to Launceston can be slightly higher than usual.
Try autumn (March to May) for reasonably priced accommodation and cheap flights to Launceston, and the chance to attend events like the Targa Tasmanian Rally. The event has been running since 1992 and is one of the largest, longest and hardest tarmac rally events in the world and is a high energy, red-blooded, competitive motorsport event. Winter also hosts various local food festivals for individuals to enjoy.
Take a flight to Launceston and visit the city’s many museums, galleries and historical sights, such as the Australian National Motor Museum and the Queen Victoria Art Gallery, and the well-preserved Victorian streets of the town centre.
Then there is the Tamar Valley – the heart of Tasmania’s wine industry. Drive out to vineyards in a hire car, and take advantage of tours and sampling events, or just head over to Launceston’s thriving farmer’s market held every Saturday. It’s not all about wine either though – a tour of Boag’s Brewery will reward any beer lover as well.
Hikers and climbers will also want to visit Cataract Gorge, where you can enjoy natural swimming and take a spectacular chairlift ride.
Not far from Launceston, visitors can easily reach the site of George Town, which was once the capital of Tasmania and now lies almost deserted, but has some superb museum exhibits documenting local history and beautiful period architecture.
More energetic holiday makers might also want to rent bikes and explore the countryside, or rent canoes and paddle along the Tamar. There are secluded beaches nearby, as well as excellent hiking and climbing opportunities. There are also some great activities for children, such as the Zone 3 Laser Games centre, an Indoor Games centre and a challenging mini golf course.
The city operates an efficient and extensive bus service that will reach hotels and attractions in all parts of Launceston. Buying a daily pass is a good option. Tasmanians also love to cycle, and there are a number of cycle hire outlets, as well as car and motorbike hire companies. If you want to reach the coast or visit Hobart, renting a car is a superb option.
Launceston has its own airport and getting into town is relatively straightforward. Just catch one of the Airport Shuttle Buses which leave from the arrivals terminal, and which will take you directly to the centre of town. All major car rental firms are represented, but book first to minimise hassle. Taxis will also be available if needed to ferry you straight to your hotel.