Tasmania's “northern capital” of Launceston was established in 1806 by free settlers. It has fine Victorian buildings from the 1870s and 1880s and elegant contemporary architecture. The unique attraction of Cataract Gorge is a natural wonder only a 15-minute walk from the city centre, and not far from the J Boag and Son brewery. Cool climate wines and fine dining are the essence of the new Launceston experience and the city is a perfect base from which to explore the surrounding region.
The tidal River Tamar flows north from Launceston to George Town and Bass Strait, past forested hills and pastures, lavender plantations, vineyards, strawberry farms and orchards. Excellent restaurants, superb boutique wineries and simple roadside stalls ensure every appetite is indulged and this idyllic setting will satisfy other interests too, from history enthusiasts to nature lovers. You can explore by road or cruise the long curve of the Tamar River.
North east of Launceston is Scottsdale with its Forestry EcoCentre, en route to the popular port and seaside town of Bridport, famous for fishing; the purple haze of lavender fields at Nabowla; and the links golf course, Barnbougle Dunes.
Beneath the Great Western Tiers, to Launceston's west, is the pretty town of Deloraine, that every year hosts Australia's biggest working craft fair, while to the south down the Midlands Highway, are authentic examples of Tasmania's “living history”. In Evandale, Longford, Campbell Town and Ross, you will find 19th century grand country manors, workers’ cottages and peaceful town centres that are home to thriving country communities today.