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Things to do in Launceston.

Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Explore the city’s arts, design and dining highlights. Then launch into Tamar Valley wine country and northern Tasmania’s wilderness.

Northern adventures

a group of people sledding down the Meander River in Tasmania.Wayne Enright

River sledding is a fun way to experience the Meander River

Have you ever heard of river sledding? Grab your friends and head for Meander Wilderness Adventures. Pull on your wetsuit, slide onto your raft, and using your arms paddle the Meander River on an inflatable. Gentle rapids will have you negotiating boulders and your fellow rafters. Think dodgem cars on the water. On the calmer stretches lie back and take in the wilderness surrounding you.

Take to the skies on a scenic flight with Unique Charters Experiences. Choose from a 15-minute Cataract Gorge fly over, or a longer scenic flight to Cradle Mountain, taking up the option to touch down in Cradle Valley to explore Dove Lake and the Enchanted Walk. Where you fly is up to you. Drop in on Lease 65 Oyster Farm, land on secluded Swan Island for a picnic with views over breezy Bass Strait, or enjoy an exclusive private wine tour in the Tamar Valley at Pipers Brook. Forget the routine, connect with nature and each other.

The local food scene

people having food and coffee inside of Bread and Butter in Launceston, Tasmania.Kelly Slater

Try hand-churned butter at Bread and Butter, tucked away  inside an old motorcycle warehouse

The food scene in Launceston has flourished in recent years. Long-time favourite eateries such as Stillwater, Black Cow Bistro and Mud Bar now joined by newcomers such as Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant. Head to Geronimo for a European vibe and a rustic farm-to-table dinner.

Emerging within Launceston’s character-filled buildings are stylish casual cafés, such as Earthy Eats, Sweetbrew, Bread and Butter, and Bryher.  With a strong focus on local produce, Bryher owners Alison Bergner and Tristan Morrison make everything onsite, from the pickles to the pastries. When deciding where to eat out, if you’re feeling spoiled for choice book a Taste.Walk.Talk tour for a city-wide overview.

Want a local brew in a casual atmosphere?  You’ll find nowhere better to sample those wares than Saint John Craft Beer. As one of the earliest craft beer venues to open (back in 2014) Saint John has remained true to its original ethos. The crew here continues to offer up to 14 taps and 170 bottled beer varieties at any one time. A food van out the back serves up burgers and bar snacks in the evening.

The Tamar Valley

the facade of Holm Oak vineyard in Tasmania.Rob Burnett

The old European trees at Holm Oak vineyard provide shelter and warmth, ideal conditions for fuller reds

North of Launceston, the Tamar Valley Wine Route is home to more than 30 cellar doors. Holm Oak, Moores Hill and Stony Rise Wine Company to name a few, are all within a stone’s throw of each other. With sweeping views of the river, Tamar Ridge is a beautiful spot and Hubert and Dan pop-up restaurant serves a new menu at the vineyard every Thursday night. Follow a quiet backroad to find Swinging Gate Vineyard, where you can pick up a bottle of pinot noir and stay for a few nights in the Domescape glamping accommodation among the vines.

Launceston’s Arts

the facade of Design Tasmania in Launceston, TasmaniaChris Crerar

Visit Design Tasmania to see the collection of contemporary wood creations

In the heart of Launceston, you’ll find Theatre North at the Princess Theatre. Inside this elegant historic building is a hub for live performances in the north of the state. The annual program of events includes poetry, puppetry and stand-up comedy; and guided tours are available for those who want a closer look at the striking art deco fittings. Also, check out their touring performances.

Visitors with an eye for arts and culture should also check out Launceston’s Design Tasmania, Australia’s only museum collection of contemporary wood design. With designers in Tasmania enjoying access to distinctive timbers like Huon pine, myrtle and sassafras, this centre celebrates the history and talents of those woodworkers. A shop and exhibition space invite you to explore at your own pace, and regular meet-the-maker events are listed on the website.

Nature walks

People standing on the Cataract Gorge bridge in Launceston, TasmaniaJarrad Seng

Beautiful Cataract Gorge is Launceston’s natural playground

For a taste of nature just moments from the city centre of Launceston, head to the picturesque natural formation of Cataract Gorge. If it’s too chilly for a swim in the outdoor pool, follow Duck Reach Trail to the historic Duck Reach Power Station. Take a few moments to admire the elegant steelwork of Sentinel Lookout as it extends into the landscape, and immerse yourself in the tranquil views over the South Esk River.

the rainforest of Liffey Falls in TasmaniaTourism Tasmania & Scott Sporleder, Matador

Experience lush cool temperate rainforest as you walk to the tiered Liffey Falls

Travel a little further afield and you’ll find a few of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. At Liffey Falls State Reserve, one of the state’s prettiest waterfalls is nestled in an area of cool temperate rainforest. Pine Lake Walk provides an opportunity to see rare pencil pines without going on an extended bushwalk, and for more experienced hikers Meander Falls is an alluring day walk into the Wilderness World Heritage Area.

For the diary

The stalls of premium food and drinks at Festivale in TasmaniaAdam Gibson

Spoilt for choice: there are more than 80 stalls of premium food and drinks at Festivale

Upcoming events in Launceston and the north include:

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