Launceston Tasmania – History, Scenery, Fine Foods and Great Wineries

Launceston Tasmania City of Launceston

Launceston Tasmania is a river city, situated at the point at which the North and South Esk Rivers meet and join the tidal Tamar Estuary. Settled in 1804,

Launceston (pron: Lon-ses-ton) was named after the town of Launceston in Cornwall, England, birthplace of the then Governor of New South Wales, Philip Gridley King.

It was from Launceston Tasmania that Melbourne was settled. In 1835,

John Batman, Lt Col. William Patterson and John Pascoe Fawkner met in Launceston and decided to send Batman across Bass Strait to develop land around Port Philip Bay for what was to become Australia’s major southern city, Melbourne.

Many places in both Melbourne and Launceston carry the same names as these early explorers (Batman Bridge, Fawkner Park, Patterson Lakes).

Much of the early architecture of Launceston has been marvelously preserved, and the city parks make it a wonderful place to discover on foot. Launceston’s locals take pride in their city, and this is reflected in the way the city is maintained.

Cataract Gorge – Launceston Tasmania

Launceston is unusual in that it has an amazing gorge and naturer preserve almost in the heart of the city. Cataract Gorge can be easily reached on foot from the Downtown area. The Gorge is home to what is called the “longest single span chairlift in the world.”

Launceston Tasmania Cataract Gorge Suspension Bridge

For directions on taking the walks in Cataract Gorge, see our Self Guided Walking Tour of Catract Gorge.

More Information:  Cataract Gorge Launceston Walking Tour


 Our local team of Tasmania travel specialists can arrange everything for you. Contact us to book your perfect holiday.


Group Tours of Launceston and the Tamar Valley

If you are not driving yourself, a good introduction to Launceston Tasmania are the Half Day Group Tours of Launceston and the Tamar Valley.

Launceston Tasmania Tamar Valley Vineyards

Book Now:   Launceston City Sightseeing Tour

Book Now:   Launceston Afternoon Highlights Tour

Cradle Mountain Day Tour from Launceston Tasmania

Cradle Mountain is about 2 hours drive from Launceston. It can be visited easily from Launceston on a full day tour that picks you up at the hotel, takes in the highlights of the Cradle Mountain area and then drops you back in Launceston.

Launceston Tasmania Cradle Mountain Day Tour From Launceston

More Information:  Cradle Mountain National Park Day Tour from Launceston

Historic Houses and Colonial Mansions Around Launceston Tasmania

Launceston is the ideal base from which to explore the restored colonial mansions at Clarendon, near Evandale, and at Woolmers Estate, near Longford.

There is a wide range of accommodation, though we always recommend forward bookings to make sure you get the right hotel in the right location.

Launceston Tasmania Woolmers National Rose Garden

Twenty minutes scenic drive from Launceston brings you to Longford, and here you will find Woolmers Estate, a World Heritage listed property that showcases colonial life in a well preserved, authentic setting.

The National Rose Garden at Woolmers Estate is a delight, and many of the convict built outbuildings are restored to the condition in which you would have seen them had you just arrived in Tasmania in the 1800’s.

This is living history at its best. Another local example of an historic working farm can be found at Brickendon.

Launceston Tasmania Brickendon Estate

Migrants from England, hoping to find a better life in Tasmania, did so with gusto, creating some of the finest homes and estates in Australia.

Some, such as Fitzpatrick’s Inn Westbury are now boutique accommodations of some distinction that allow you to experience life as it was in colonial times, but with all the modern comforts required by the discerning traveler of today.  Book ahead so you do not miss out.

Clarendon House – South of Launceston and Evandale

Launceston Tasmania Clarendon House Outside

Launceston during the 1800’s quickly became the centre of a fertile, productive farming area spreading south as far as Ross, west as far as Deloraine and backing up against the rugged Western Tiers of the Tasmanian Central Plateau. These areas are rich farmland with a backdrop of pure wilderness.
To the south of Launceston Tasmania lies the well preserved village of Evandale, and further south along the C416 Nile Road, sits Clarendon House, said to be the finest of the Tasmanian Restored Colonial Mansions, and rated and protected by the National Trust. It is well worth a visit to Evandale and Clarendon House.


The Bridstowe Estate Lavender Farm Near Launceston Tasmania

The Bridstowe Estate Lavender Farm is one of Tasmania’s most spectacular sights during December and January.

The lavender fields stretch almost endlessly to the surrounding hills, and the farm is an exceptional experience, especially when the flowers are in bloom.

Picnic areas are available, and the process of Lavender farming is explained for visitors.

It takes many years to establish a working lavender farm, and the process of growing, harvesting, processing and distilling lavender oil is explained in an excellent audio-visual presentation at the Visitors Centre.

Launceston Tasmania Bridstowe Estate Lavender Farm

The cafe at Bridstowe offers light meals and refreshments, including lavender tea. A range of lavender products is available at the gift shop.

A visit to Bridstowe Estate Lavender Farm is an interesting part of your Launceston experience.

BOOK WITH US is an official travel guide for Tasmania, our local team of Tasmania travel specialists can arrange and book your perfect holiday.



East Coast Self Drive Tour: 7 Day 6 Night

Best of East Coast: Hobart / Mt Field, Port Arthur, Freycinet, Launceston

Includes: Accommodation, Car Hire, Entrances, Full Itinerary

from $ A1,490 pp

View East Coast Tour

Wilderness & Beaches: 8 Day 7 Night

Highlights: Launceston, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Hobart, Freycinet

Includes: Accommodation, Car Hire, Entrances, Full Itinerary

from: A$1,525.00 pp

View Wilderness Tour 


Tassie Icons – Start Hobart – 9 Day 8 Night

Highlights: Hobart, Port Arthur, Mt Field, Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Freycinet

Includes: Accommodation, Car Hire, Entrances, Full Itinerary

From A$1,935 pp

Tassie Icon Tour




Experience Hobart’s not-to-be-missed star attraction Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art & a wine tour.

Mona Day Trips 


Head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where you can come face to face with the iconic endangered Tasmanian devil.

Tassie Devil Day Trips 


A must do while in Tasmania is to experience the magnificent splendour that is Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park.

Cradle Mt Day Trips


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Map of Launceston: Map of Tamar Valley

Find Tours and Activities: Tasmania Tours & Activities

More Information on Launceston: Launceston, Tasmania – Wikipedia