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Top Ten Things to Do in Launceston

Home > Launceston > Lists | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Archie Ward (subscribe)
I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website to make more moolah for my trips.
Published July 22nd 2015
With four wheels and a desire to see more

Photo Credit: Poco a poco

Tasmania remains one of the most interesting places in the world to visit. It was very hard to actually create a list of the top 10 things to do in Launceston, because there is so much to experience in this area. Filled with beautiful scenery, exceptional wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage of both the Indigenous people and from the Colonial period, I tried my best to pull a little bit from every category to create the ultimate top ten things to do in Launceston list.

1. Platypus House.

There could not be a things to do in Launceston list without including the Platypus House. The Platypus is the most recognized symbol of Australia and Tasmania. The Tasmanian Platypus is a little different than those found on the mainland, and they are more abundant, yet still protected. The Platypus House also provides a great exhibit for the Echidna, a rare egg-laying mammal that looks like a porcupine with a bird's beak, but is neither.

2. Low Head Penguin Tours.

Located to the north of Launceston is the Coastal Reserve, Low Head. Here you will find the fairy penguins, also known as the littler blue penguin. These small little penguins, measuring only 30cm high, come ashore at night to groom, frolic, and sleep. Tours last about an hour and a half, and are worth every moment that you spend admiring these tiny creatures.

3. Narawntapu National Park.

Bakers Beach Narawntapu National Park
Bakers Beach, Part of Narawntapu National Park

Photo Credit: E. B.

On a list of the top 10 things to do in Launceston, you must include Narawntapu National Park. This is a double bonus, because the park is filled with incredible outdoor activities, including many different hiking trails. It is also home to some very unique animals. Visitors to this park can enjoy seeing kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and the elusive Tasmanian Devil. At the north entrance of the park, you may also get a glimpse of a rare pack of albino wallaby. This park also contains some of the rarest marsupials in the world, but they are often very hard to spot because they are generally nocturnal and very small.

4. Cradle Mountain National Park.

Photo Credit: Joern Brauns

This breathtaking park can only be described as a paradise. Crystal blue water, majestic mountains, and lush landscapes surround you n this park. People who love to hike will find that this park offers any type of hiking they desire. You can indulge in a simple 20 minute hike, or an epic six day journey through the heart of the park. Enjoy many additional outdoor activities, including canoeing on some of the clearest water you will ever see.

5. Cataract Gorge.

Alexandra Suspension bridge at Cataract Gorge

Photo Credit: Peripitus

This amazing park is located only minutes from the city and is a must for any top things to do in Launceston list. Cataract Gorge has a beautiful lake, a suspension bridge, and beautiful landscaping, including a rocky riverbed that is perfect for climbing. Cataract Gorge is also home to the longest chair lift in the Southern Hemisphere. It is perfect for picnicking, hiking, or just sitting back and enjoying your day.

6. Freycinet National Park.

Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park
Wineglass Bay

Photo Credit: JJ Harrison

Perhaps one of the most beautiful sights in the world, Freycinet National Park is home to Wine Glass Bay. This astounding park offers everything that the heart could desire when it comes to beauty. Even though this park is about a two hour drive outside of Launceston, it had to make the list. Hiking, swimming, and many other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the park.

7. Valleybrook Wine Tours.

If immersing yourself in the local wine culture sounds like a terrific way to spend the day, then you will love the Valleybrook wine tours. These tours will take you to a minimum of four local wineries based on your wine preferences. Tour stops include local family-owned wineries, to larger regional companies that produce wines in the area. As a bonus, they do all the driving, so you never have to worry about taking too many samples.

8. Tamar River Cruise.

It is always important to include a way to indulge when you compile a list of the top ten things to do in Launceston. It is highly recommended that you take a day to indulge in a Tamara River Cruise, which travels down the Tamara River, the lifeblood of the area. Guests will be able to experience the "true Tasmania", and learn many things about the area. Don't worry, the educational part does not take away from the luxury and relaxation part of the cruise.

9. Woolmers Estate and National Rose Garden.

Photo Credit: Willis Lim

The Woolmers estate is one of the most historically significant estates from the colonization period of Australia and Tasmania. This estate served as a working farm for many years and remained a crucial part of the area. The last descendent of the Archer family who built the estate passed away in 1994, leaving the estate as a historical marker for the future. It is absolutely fascinating to tour the home and the grounds of the estate.

10. Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Photo Credit: Kspilling

Many people pass up museums because they feel that they are dull or the same as any other. This is not the case with the Queen Victoria Museum, which is filled with everything that is special to Tasmania. You will find unique artwork from the Indigenous tribes of Tasmania, incredible artwork and displays of the unique flora and fauna of the region, classic works of art from Europe, and modern marvels that are sure to please everyone.

After travelling in and around Launceston, I found it very had to compile a list of just 10 things to do, but it sure helped that I had located a car hire agency in Launceston with Car Hire Launceston Airport before I touched down. The place is very scant on taxicabs, and public transport doesn't allow you to visit all of the places above, so please look into having your own vehicle if possible before you leave.

This must be one of the most incredible places that I have ever travelled in the world. The area is rich in beauty, culture, nature, and entertainment venues of all types. It is amazing in every aspect, and regardless of what your favourite thing to do is, you will find a place to do it here.
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Why? You're in Launceston and want to see it all
Phone: 1800 651 827
Where: Launceston and the North of Tasmania
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