After an amazing start to our Tasmania roadtrip in Hobart and Bicheno, we finished our trip in Launceston, northern Tasmania. Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city, another glorious stunner, hugging the River Tamar. Best of all, the region is home to a number of wineries with attractions interspersed. Indeed something for everyone! We spent two nights in Launceston but could easily have extended to explore the region further.
Where did we stay?
I loved our airbnb, a charming 1930’s brick cottage just steps from trendy St Georges Square’s cafes, shops and night time pop-up food vans. Best of all was our host Debbie who furnished the place with goodies and tips for us to enjoy the city.
What did we do?
- 15 minutes from the City Centre, is the stunning Cataract Gorge Reserve and First Basin, the most visited attraction in Tasmania. To get up to the top, you take the world’s longest single-span chairlift which the kids loved. From there you can take a number of walks, including across the Alexandra Suspension Bridge. Back at the bottom is a nice playground, grassy banks and a public pool (although it felt a bit too chilly for us).
- We love a farmer’s market and the Harvest Market is on every Saturday in downtown. We all loved the goodies on sale and stocked up on cheese, spices and oils to bring back to Singapore. In a way I preferred this market to the massive Salamanca Market in Hobart.
- The Tamar Valley Wine Route encompasses more than thirty cellar doors spread over 170km around the Tamar Valley. Dotted between the vineyards are a huge number of attractions. We started with Platypus House, where you can watch live Tasmanian Platypuses and Echidnas in daylight conditions and undercover. It was our first encounter with these ‘monotremes’ and we were all enchanted.
- Next door to Platypus House is Seahorse World, a seahorse farm dedicated to seahorse breeding, education and conservation. Our guide was engaging and lively sharing details on the captivating lives of these odd looking creatures.
- The Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre is fascinating. The Centre is a trip back in time with over 10,000 pieces from Beaconsfield and the Tamar Valley. There’s lots of hands-on activities and also dress up opportunities!
In addition to this, the Mine Rescue exhibition covers the story of the 2006 ANZAC day mine rock fall which I previously knew nothing about. We then walked around the historic Mine Ruin site, which includes a chance to pan for gold!
- Driving the Tamar Valley Wine Route is an attraction in itself. The scenery is beautiful and we loved popping in to Cellar Doors at random. Loira Vines in particular was delicious!
Where did we eat?
- For our last night (well the actual last night was at the Hobart Airport Travelodge so that doesn’t count), I wanted somewhere special. The Black Cow Bistro came with rave reviews, specialising in premium Tasmanian beef. Needless to say it did not disappoint! Although bear in mind, it is upscale and if you’ve got kids who like to misbehave at meals, this place isn’t for you.
- Delicious lunch and wine at the Leaning Church Vineyard The kids loved playing in the sandpit and in the activity corner.
- Check out the food trucks in St. Georges Square. This burger from ‘Food For Dudes’ was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!