LAUNCESTON is a charming old city with lots of great 19th Century architecture. It is also the second largest city in Tasmania. There are many interesting buildings and churches to see, plus it has many facilities and much accommodation. There are also lovely parks and a water front. On the northern edge of Launceston city is the famous Cataract Gorge and the attractive old suburb of Trevallyn. Just beyond Launceston is the Tamar Island and the Tasmania Zoo. Launceston is within 60 minutes of the many attractions shown in the special map below. My website covers Launceston in 4 other pages, namely; TREVALLYN, CATARACT GORGE, TAMAR ISLAND and TASMANIA ZOO.
You are 60 minutes from GREENS BEACH, the NARAWNTAPU National Park, Mt BEN LOMOND, Mt BEN NEVIS, SCOTTSDALE, WEYMOUTH, CAMPBELL TOWN, MOLE CREEK, the GREAT LAKE and DEVONPORT. Nearby places are described in the TAMAR VALLEY REGION page.
View Region Tamar in a larger map
FACILITIES: Launceston is the second city of Tasmania. There is a huge shopping precinct in the Launceston CBD and more shopping precincts in the suburbs. There is much accommodation in LAUNCESTON.
TOURIST information is at Cornwall Square, 16 St John Street, Launceston City, The telephone number is (03) 6336 3133 or contact www.visitlauncestontamar.com.au
SIGHTS: Launceston was established in 1806, which makes it one of the oldest cities in Australia. From Launceston the explorers Batman and Faulkner went on to establish Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. Launceston still has a large number of historic assets to display and most of them are still situated within their original 19th Century ambience.
Like HOBART, Launceston has complete, 19th Century suburbs, like TREVALLYN, where you can really feel the past. There are many heritage listed buildings and they are easy to access. Launceston also has some great Art Deco buildings, which are blended into the older Victorian streetscapes.
Launceston also has a number of parks and gardens, which have a 19th Century charm. Royal Park looks across the Tamar River to TREVALLYN, while CATARACT GORGE has sights that are really spectacular. However, because of the large number of attractions in Launceston, TREVALLYN, CATARACT GORGE and TAMAR ISLAND are covered on separate pages.
From Launceston most of northern Tasmania is only an hour drive away. The only negatives about Launceston are that it is really three cities, each separated by a river and movement between them is restricted to four bridges. Further the CBD has a number of one way streets and parking can be a problem at peak times.
View Launceston in a larger map
BOAGS BEER LOVERS CENTRE is a great place to taste beers. The telephone is (03) 6332 6300. It is at 39 William St.
CARR VILLA FLORA RESERVE is a beautiful flower garden. It is located in the southern suburb of Youngtown. From the CBD of Launceston CBD drive south on Penquite Road, then turn west on C403 Quarantine Road on which it is located.
CITY PARK is bounded by Cimitere and Brisbane streets on the eastern edge of the Launceston CBD. It is a charming old Victorian park. Here you can feel the ambience that beautiful old trees can bring. It is a great place in which to have a rest.
CITY WALKING TOUR of the Launceston CBD can be begun and ended anywhere on the black marked streets on my map above. You will see numerous interesting old buildings along these streets. I have marked in the car parking areas and the public toilets to make your walk easier. There are numerous shops and eating venues in this area and many other attractions in the nearby streets.
FRANKLIN HOUSE is a charming old Victorian mansion. It is located on the southern edge of Launceston in Youngtown. Drive south on Hobart Road, until you see the sign at the edge of the City. Telephone (03) 6344 7824
GHOST TOUR takes you to the darker side of the convict past of historic Launceston. The telephone number is 0421 819 373 or www.launcestoncityghosttours.com
HISTORIC WALKING TOUR with a guide is available by telephoning (03) 6331 2213
KIDS PARADISE is a large indoor fun factory located at 1 Waterfront Drive, Riverside. (north west of the Launceston CBD) Telephone (03) 6334 0055
OLD UMBRELLA SHOP is the oldest store in Tasmania. It is located at 60 George Street, Launceston CBD. Telephone (03) 6331 9248
QUEEN VICTORIA MUSEUM is located just across the Esk River in the North East corner of Launceston. You must cross north over the river on Tamar Road. Outside the Museum is the tram station, where short rides are conducted. The tram telephone is (03) 6334 8334 The Museum has some really interesting modern exhibits, including a PLANETARIUM. It has also restored the old railway sheds to give you an insight into an old rail yard. The telephone is (03) 6323 3777
RICHARDSON'S HARLEY DAVIDSON is a museum for bike enthusiasts. The telephone number is (03) 6344 4524 or www.richardsonsharleydavidson.com.au It is south east of the Launceston CBD at 468 Westbury Rd, Prospect.
TAMAR RIVER CRUISES telephone (03) 6334 9900 or contact www.tamarrivercruises.gov.au
WINDMILL HILL is located on the eastern end of York Street on the hill. It now has the new Aquatic Centre. Just east of this hill are some very interesting old streets and houses. The only disadvantage is that they are located on hilly streets and there are no public toilets in this area.
- City Park
- Carr Villa
1/ The Pilgrim Church in Paterson Street .
2/ This photo shows All Saints Anglican Church with its unusual Byzantine style.
3/ This is All Sainst showing its lines from the side.
4/ This is the interesting Victorian era vestry of All Saints Anglican Church.
5/ This is an impressive Gothic style church in George Street, Launceston.
6/ This is the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cimitere Street, Launceston.
7/ St Andrews in Paterson Street is the oldest in Launceston and was built in 1833.
8/ This is another view of St Andrews in Paterson Street.
9/ This white church is a Gothic style church in Frederick Street, Launceston. In 2012 this church was about to be restored into a residence.
10/ St Andrew's Church in Paterson Street is one of the oldest in Tasmania. Its metal fence is the oldest iron fence erected in Colonial Australia and is partly made of iron from Tasmania.
1/ This is the portico of the Albert Hall in Tamar Street on the edge of City Park. It is classic Victorian building and attests to a time when Launceston was a very wealthy city. Launceston has a wealth of Victoriana.
2/ This is the Albert Hall in its full, grand profile. It is one of the largest and grandest buildings in Launceston.
3/ These are Victorian buildings in Brisbane Street, close to the Mall. Each shows a uniquely, different style. They make the Launceston CBD a very interesting place.
4/ The Bank of New South Wales shows the style of the early Victorian era. It is in Brisbane Street, Launceston near the Mall, where there are many other old buildings.
5/ The Clarion Hotel shows the charm of a classic old Victorian hotel. It is on the corner of Tamar & Williams in the Launceston CBD.
6/ This Victorian building in George Street, Launceston is showing Italian influence in its windows frames.
7/ This is the portico of the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Cameron Street. It is the largest hotel in Launceston.
8/ Holyman House in Brisbane Street shows the new clean lines of the Art Deco Movement of the 1930s. There are a number of other great Art Deco buildings in Launceston.
9/ The stylish Bendigo Bank in Paterson Street, Launceston shows a classic Italian Renaissance style.
10/ This building in Paterson Street, Launceston shows the large arch windows popular in government buildings in late Victorian times.
11/ The Brisbane Arcade shows a classic Victorian style. It has a variety of boutique shops and leads to a tiny square with an ancient gas light. It is a favorite Launceston hide away.
12/This ancient gas lamp in the Brisbane Arcade once lit up Launceston's streets.
13/ The old Cornwall Hotel on Cimitere St, Launceston was where in 1833 Batman and Faulkner organized their expedition to found a settlement at Melbourne. Yes, Tasmanians from Launceston actually founded the towns that later became Melbourne and Geelong.
14/ This is the restored tram station just outside the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston, where pleasure tram rides are now conducted from.
15/ This old tram has been converted into a tourist bus. It is not one of the Launceston trams referred to above.
16/ The Brisbane Street Mall is the commercial heart of the Launceston CBD.
17/ The Launceston Aquatic Centre in York Street now houses a number of versatile, ultra modern, swimming pools. There are many grand old homes in the streets beyond the Windmill Hill on which it stands.
18/ This is Civic Square in the north of the Launceston CBD. The square cuts across Cameron Street, which you can see the continuation of in the middle. On the left is the Service Tasmania office.
19/ Cameron Street has some of the most prestigious buildings in Launceston. Beyond this interesting Victoria era terrace is the Launceston Art Gallery.
20/ On the other side of Cameron Street, Launceston is the stylish Supreme Court Building.
21/ This is the historic Customs House on the Esplanade.
22/ The Colonial Hotel on Elizabeth Street is another historic building.
33/ This historic hotel in Elizabeth Street is now the Quill and Cane Restaurant.
1/ King's Bridge joins the city to the north western suburbs of Launceston. The brown houses to the right are part of the Penny Royal Complex. The waterfront sided Royal Park begins to the left of this bridge.
2/ The Wind Mill Restaurant is located at the edge of Royal Park near the wind mill. It is one of the most stylish restaurants in Launceston.
3/ Penny Royal is a former theme park on the site of an old quarry. It is now a luxury apartment complex.
4/ The Penny Royal apartments look old, but they are actually, very modern. Behind them is the former theme park, located in an old quarry. Penny Royal was, until recently, one of Launceston's top tourist attractions.
5/ Just beyond the Penny Royal Complex is Launceston's most famous restaurant. It is the brown building that stands before the old Ritchie's wind mill.
6/ Ritchie's Mill is an ancient, flower-grinding mill. It is similar to the restored Callington Mill in Oatlands.
7/ This photo shows the full sails of Ritchie's Mill. The mill adds a distinct shape to the Launceston sky line.
8/ From Royal Park you have a lovely view up the Tamar.
9/ On the left or Trevallyn side of the Tamar River is a boat repair business that has been there since the 19th Century. This view looks across the Tamar to the eastern shore.
10/ This is looking east towards the bridges. Penny Royal is to the left and Trevallyn is to the right of the bridges.
11/ This view looks across the Tamar towards the historic suburb of Trevallyn, where you can see many interesting old houses.
12/ This view looks north towards the new Seaport restaurant, apartment and marina complex. In the distance you can see Mount Arthur.
13/ A raised broadwalk leads towards the restaurants. These are amongst the best in Launceston and there is a large public car park south of the apartments on the right.
14/ This view looks west across the marina towards a distant Trevallyn.
15/ This view looks north up the mud flats of the Tamar. These mud flats are dangerous and should never be entered. The factories on the right are where ships are repaired. This business goes back to the late 19th Century.
16/ This view looks east across the Tamar to the Silo and to its right the Seaport. The Silo is now being turned into a luxury hotel.
17/ The Tamar River is very gentle and reflective in the afternoon. It gave off this painterly appearance that day and shows why Launceston is such a charming old city.
1/ The entrance to City Park is on Tamar Street. The park is one of the top attractions of the Launceston CBD.
2/ This plaque near the entrance to City Park tells you that early Launceston was founded in this area.
3/ There is a cage for monkeys near the entrance. In the background you can see the Albert Hall.
4/ The Launceston Arboretum is built in this classic, old style. It houses a wide variety of exotic plants.
5/ These are some of the many beautiful flowers inside the Launceston Arboretum.
6/ The old Rotunda is where bands perform their concerts. Many of the cultural events of Launceston are held here.
7/ This is a lovely monument to Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The money to build it was raised by the children of old Launceston.
8/ The gardener's cottage blends well into the ambience of Launceston's City Park.
1/ Franklin House is a National Trust property on the southern edge of Launceston in north eastern Tasmania. It was built in 1838 and served initially both as a residence and as a boarding school. The house dominated the local Franklin village and was the centre of a grazing estate. Inside are wonderful displays of Georgian furniture and decor. The telephone is (03) 6344 6233
2/ This photo shows the rear courtyard of Franklin House. The extension to the left is the servants quarters, while the extension to the right is the old stables. The Franklin village was formerly outside the boundaries of old Launceston.
3/ Franklin House is surrounded by a beautiful garden. It is a must see for those doing a garden tour of Launceston.
4/ This photo shows the garden's shelter. When the flowers bloom this shelter would be very beautiful.
5/ St James Anglican Church was built in 1845 to serve the needs of the Franklin Village. It is just opposite Franklin House. The church is built in the primitive Gothic style and is the seventh oldest church in Tasmania.
6/ At the rear of the church is a cemetery. This has some of the oldest graves in Launceston.
7/ Around the altar you can see exquisite wood work. The church also has a very ancient organ.
8/ The Grubb family financed the construction of two skillful, stain glass windows. The Grubbs were once an important Launceston family.
9/ This is the other exquisite, stain glass window.
1/ The Carr Villa Gardens are in Youngtown, a south eastern suburb of Launceston. The complex includes a chapel, crematorium, gardens and a cemetery. This photo shows the chapel, which looks very stylish and very European. You can easily spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the gardens.
2/ The memorial plaques are supported by a plethora of lovely shapes and shades of green.
3/ This photo shows the beautiful scene that greets you.
4/ The lovely pond was lined with memorial plaques.
5/ This photo shows the stylish, memorial wall.
6/ This photo shows some ancient headstones amidst the lovely greenery. I thought that this arrangement was a great way to celebrate life.
7/ This photo shows the lovely chapel from the front.
7/ This photo shows the lovely chapel from the front.