Tamar River
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett
Tamar River

Tamar River

Follow the beautiful Tamar River from Launceston to Bass Strait and visit picturesque vineyards, orchards, diaries and more.


Tamar River

Region and Getting There

The Tamar River is a bit misleading. It stretches from the city of Launceston to the Bass Strait in northern Tasmania, but it is not a river. It's actually a saline and tidal estuary. That means the entire body of water is salty, and it rises and falls with the tide of the Bass Strait to the north.

This tidal estuary is incredibly important for the city of Launceston. Ships carry freight down the estuary to the town of Bell Bay near George Town which serves as Launceston's port. This allows the inland to have access to the Bass Strait and beyond.

Length and Geography

This title estuary is 70 kilometres long. It is formed by the collision of the North and South Esk Rivers in the city of Launceston, which sits in the middle of the Tasmanian island. There is only one crossing for this body of water and you can find it in the rural town of Sidmouth. Batman Bridge connects the Batman Highway across the Tamar River using modern suspension architecture.

Tamar Valley Wines

The western banks of this tidal estuary are home to some of Tasmania's most intriguing hamlets and towns. You'll find an incredibly laid-back atmosphere as well as some of Australia's best vineyards and wineries. The Tamar River is a centerpiece to one of Australia's best cool climate wine regions, and the towns along its banks, driven by a wine economy, have accommodated tourists with cute and quaint hamlets worth a weekend visit.


If you perform an Internet search for the Tamar River, you'll likely find it in the south of England. That's because Colonel William Patterson named the Tamar River after his familiar hometown river in Britain in 1804.

Launceston's importance as a port town has waned over the years, but the Tamar River played an important role in the inland Tasmanian city's history. Launceston's port no longer accepts large ships and the SeaCat Tasmania no longer makes George Town a destination. But smaller freight ships continue to come down this tidal estuary to George Town to fuel some of Launceston's economy.

Attractions and Things to Do and See

Dalrymple Vineyards , Tasmania, AustraliaThe Tamar River Valley is worth exploring for its orchards, wineries and vineyards. The west Coast of this tidal estuary is dotted with some of Australia's best cool climate wineries.

Follow the Tamar River until it hits the Bass Strait. At the western edge of the mouth, you'll find the impressive Narawntapu National Park. Known as the Serengeti of Tasmania, this is one of the world's best places to view wildlife in its natural habitat. The grasslands are full of marsupials at dusk including the Tasmanian devil, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Ilona Schneider

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