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Published May 20th 2020
Save this list for the ultimate bucket list experience
The riverside city of northern Tasmania, Launceston is famed for the natural phenomenon Cataract Gorge, the Queen Victoria Museum, City & Royal Parks and the breathtaking vineyards of the Tamar Valley.
With recent closures, lockdown restrictions and with some places of interest slowly re-opening (at the time of writing) it is a great time to prepare a bucket list for all the things to do, see and experience once Launceston and its surrounds re-opens for good!
The list below includes all the top attractions, points of attraction, and must-sees across Launceston and its surrounds.
1. Launceston Cataract Gorge & First Basin
This piece of wilderness in the heart of the city centre is home to the natural phenomenon Cataract Gorge and First Basin, walking & hiking trails, the world's longest single-span chairlift, swimming pool, restaurant, kiosk, wildlife, birdlife including peacocks, panoramic lookouts, suspension bridge, and beautiful gardens.
Established in the 1820s by the Launceston Horticultural Society, City Park is an essential part of cultural and heritage life in Launceston.
It is home to many gardens, a conservatory, bandstand, duck pond, children's playground, the Tasmanian Design Centre, and Monkey Island, which houses a group of macaques. There are also many memorials and statues, including Launceston's Boar War Memorial.
The Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery is home to a wide range of permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions include Tasmania's history, Guan Di Temple (a unique window on Chinese practice), Tasmanian Connections (exhibits on colonial and bushranger artefacts, animals, geological timelines, & more), Tasmanian Tiger, The Sydney Cove Collection, The Blacksmith Shop, and Southern Skies.
The original site was for Tasmania's first military barracks. Today the park sits adjacent to the Tamar River. It is home to open spaces, green lawns, skate park, barbecue area, play area, outdoor exercise equipment, boardwalks, and sealed walkways that link to nearby Cataract Gorge Reserve, Kings Park, The Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, and the Seaport.
Situated on 900 acres of old-growth native bushland, Tasmania Zoo is home to Tasmania's most extensive collection of native and exotic animals. It is dedicated to continuously contribute to wildlife conservation and education of the community at large.
There are over 100 rare, exotic and native species, and also home to the second largest collection of primates in any private Australian Zoo, as well as being the only Zoo in Australasia to exhibit the Celebes Crested Macaque.
This unique urban wetlands reserve located just a ten-minute drive from Launceston is a short 500-metre walk from the interpretation centre. It takes you through spectacular wetlands, where you can observe wetland birds on the lagoon.
The Tamar Island Wetlands Centre is home to a range of family-friendly activities and volunteer talks.
The now relocated National Automobile Museum of Tasmania in Launceston is home to one of Australia's most significant motoring collections. It spans over 100 years of style and technical achievement with collections including traditional and contemporary automobiles.
There are different theme displays each year as well as continually changing car and motorcycle displays in the Main Hall.
Built by the former convict and successful businessman Britton Jones, Franklin House is notable for its lavish use of imported Australian Red Cedar.
It was once used to accommodate one of the colonies leading private schools which operated from 1842 to 1866. Finally, the House became the birthplace of the National Trust in Tasmania in 1960.
Today, Franklin House is opened to the public for self-guided tours, and it survives with House, stables and garden. Nearby (and accessible) is St. James Church which was built in 1845 and had many associations with the House.
The Museum showcases Tasmanian community and the trams they used and is home to Launceston's only surviving double bogie tram.
The Museum is also home to a workshop, a large modern display gallery filled with exhibits, and access to rail track running through the precinct, as well as recapturing Launceston's tramway past with a 1940s tram ride.
The National Trust Old Umbrella Shop is one of the last surviving retail experiences of the early 1900s. It offers a rare glimpse into Tasmania's retail heritage.
The Umbrella Shop was operated by three generations of the Shott-family who made and repaired umbrellas. Today the shop sells an extensive range of umbrellas, as well as a variety of National Trust and Tasmanian-made products.
Pearn's Steam World is home to an impressive collection of historic agricultural machinery.
The Pearn family, who operated an agricultural business in Westbury district for over 80 years, established this Museum and there are many fantastic examples of steam traction engines, tractors, stationary engines, and agriculture memorabilia on display.
Launceston Cheese & Wine Tours offers opportunities to discover and experience Tasmania's wineries and cheese artisans. Sample wine straight from barrels, stroll through boutique vineyards, chat with winemakers, taste different handmade cheeses, and explore some of the most excellent wine and cheese in Australia.
This Australian brewery company was founded in 1883 by James Boag and his son, also named James, in Launceston.
Brewery Tours are available and include a fully guided tour, insights into James Boag's history, look at various stages of the brewing process, tastings of three exceptional beers, accompanied by delicious Tasmanian cheese.
Discover towns and cities and the many places of interest and attractions by taking a day trip from Launceston. Day trip ideas include North/North East which includes Lavender Estate, Hillwood Berry Farm, Barnbougle Dunes, Bridestowe, Pipers River wineries, George Town, Low Head, and Lost Farm.
West day trips include Mole Creek Caves, Deloraine, Tasting Trail including Christmas Hills, Ashgrove Cheese, 41 degrees south Salmon Farm; Liffey Falls, Westbury Maze, and Trowunna
South day trips include Evandale antiques, Joseph Chromy, Longford, Woolmers, Gourmet Sauce Co, and Honey Farm.
East day trips include Scottsdale, Pepperbush Peaks, Derby, Trail of Tin Dragon, Hollybank, and Lilydale.
This market is the only place in Tasmania where the producer's tales and their products can be regularly found in one place.
The market only sells food and beverages grown and produced in Tasmania. There is a wide range of fresh produce, products, and producers including Pippin Cider, Wandering Gully Blueberries, Killiecrankie Farm, Humbug Reach Vineyard, Mt Direction Olives, Seven Sheds Brewery, and more.
Launceston is home to some of the best art galleries. There is an excellent selection of contemporary art galleries including 1842, Queen Victoria Art Gallery, Design Tasmania, Space Gallery, and more.
Launceston is home to more than 148 gardens and park, including City and Royal Parks, playgrounds, and dog-friendly parks and gardens. Some gardens and parks include Cataract Gorge, Princes Square, Punchbowl, Royal Park Regatta, Kings Park, and much more.