Nestled in the far north of Tasmania, Launceston beckons with it’s unique charm and diverse attractions. Whether you’re an adventurous soul, a nature lover, a history aficionado or someone yearning for a retreat from the daily grind, Launceston has something extraordinary for you. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through the city’s hidden gems and renowned treasures, discovering the true essence of Launceston.
From beautiful parks to historic landmarks, culinary delights to outdoor escapades, Launceston is a multifaceted destination with something for everyone. In this blog post we run through the 44 best things to do in Launceston, to maximise your experience in this incredible destination.
1. Explore the Beauty of the Cataract Gorge Reserve
An enchanting natural wonder, nestled just a stone’s throw away from Launceston’s city centre, Cataract Gorge is a ‘must add’ to your list of things to do in Launceston. A striking spectacle of nature’s artistry, South Esk River has chiseled its way through towering cliffs, creating a dramatic and mesmerising gorge. The result is a tranquil oasis of lush vegetation, tranquil waters and an abundance of wildlife.
The perfect place to exercise, reconnect, unwind and relax, there’s something for everyone at Cataract Gorge. Go for a swim in the swimming pool, enjoy a picnic under the trees, grab breakfast or lunch at the Basin Cafe, catch up with friends on a leisurely short walk, challenge yourself with a long hike, have a fun family barbecue or go wildlife spotting. If you take on one of the walking trails keep your eye out for the wildlife that calls the Cataract Gorge home, including peacocks, pademelon and wallabies.
Cataract Gorge also features the world’s longest single-span chairlift. Go for a ride on the chairlift and be treated with panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings. Soaring gently above the river and the gorge’s rugged formations is a thrilling way to appreciate the sheer grandeur of the natural landscape.
Entry to Cataract Gorge is free. The car park at the gorge however does charge parking fees. At the time of writing this (November 2023), parking fees are $1 per hour or $6 per day. The chairlift does also cost, return trip tickets are $20 per adult, $12 per child (3-15 years old) and children under 3 are free.
2. Enjoy the Many Unique Attractions of City Park
Located in the heart of Launceston is the serene urban oasis, City Park. The well-maintained park offers a refreshing green space where both locals and visitors can unwind, take leisurely strolls and enjoy the beauty of nature.
As you enter the park you’ll be greeted by meticulously manicured gardens, historic statues, vibrant flowers and trees. City Park also features; the John Hart Conservatory, a duck pond, a giant chessboard, train tours, a playground and more. An excellent spot for a picnic, with plenty of shaded areas, benches and open spaces, pop by for a quick walk or spend the whole day here.
City Park is also known for it’s resident Japanese macaque monkeys. A gift from Launceston’s sister city, Ikeda, Japan, they add a unique and endearing touch to the park’s character. Visitors of all ages can enjoy observing the monkeys doing what monkeys do; grooming each other, swimming, lazing around and climbing ropes.
Entry to City Park and all of the attractions within it are free. There are no costs involved, making this a great free thing to do in Launceston. If you are driving in to the park you will need to consider parking fees.
3. Scale New Heights, Embark on a Pirate Adventure and Unveil Historic Thrills at Penny Royal
A captivating destination that seamlessly blends history with thrilling adventures, Penny Royal is the place to visit for a day of fun. This unique attraction offers visitors a journey back in time, allowing them to explore the rich tapestry of Tasmania’s past while indulging in a range of exciting activities.
Thrill seekers and adventure lovers can enjoy an adrenaline rush tackling the 20 metre cliff jump, rock climbing, scenic zip lines or the cliff walk. Both the young and young at heart will enjoy the immersive historic experiences such as the Matthew Brady Dark Ride where you jump on a barge and immerse yourself in the daring escapades of bushranger Matthew Brady or the Brig Tamar Cruise where you sail the lagoon, fire a cannon and meet the ghosts of Sarah Island. Those who are feeling lucky can pan for gold and fossick in the stream bed for gold and gemstones, any treasures you find you can keep. There’s no shortage of fun things to do.
After a day of exploration and adventure, visitors can unwind over a glass of wine at the wine bar, a delicious pizza from Brady’s Tavern, a refreshing ice cream from the ice creamery cafe or a premium steak or seafood dish at Alida Restaurant.
There really is something for everyone of all ages and interests, making Penny Royal a must visit attraction for locals, interstate and international visitors.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry to the complex is free. Different experiences within the complex (such as the zip lines and Brig Tamar cruise) have their own costs. Penny Royal do have multi adventure passes that encompass multiple experiences. Multi adventure passes are; the cliff pass and park pass which are $59 per adult and $39 per child or the all adventure pass which is $69 per child or $99 per adult.
4. Go Beyond the Pint with a Behind the Scenes Look at James Boag Brewery
An iconic brewery, in the heart of Launceston. The James Boag Brewery has been brewing their award-winning lagers and ales on the banks of the Esk River since 1881. The brewery has since become a cultural hub where locals and tourists come together to celebrate the artistry of brewing.
James Boag have opened up the doors of their historic brewery, offering visitors an immersive journey into the world of premium Tasmanian beer. With their fully guided tour you’ll get a behind the scenes look at the meticulous art of brewing, exploring the brewery and learning exactly how their iconic beer is made. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, the guided tour is a captivating experience for all and the perfect thing to do in Launceston.
After taking on the tour make sure to check out the memorabilia that James Boag have on display and pop by the brewery bar. The brewery bar is a popular spot for locals and visitors to pop by for a few beers and enjoy a bite to eat with family and friends.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) James Boag run three guided tours per day (11am, 1pm and 3pm), they cost $35 per adult and $18 per child (5-17 years old). The tour is free for Tasmanian residents.
5. Glide Along the Tamar River with Tamar River Cruises
Embarking on a Tamar River Cruise is more than a boat ride; it’s an immersive journey through the heart of Launceston’s scenic landscapes, combining tranquility and history. As one of the premier attractions in the region, Tamar River Cruises offers a unique perspective on the Tamar River and Cataract Gorge, providing a delightful experience for visitors seeking a leisurely day on the water.
Tamar River Cruises have four different tours on offer; a 50 minute Cataract Gorge Adventure Cruise, a 4 hour Batman Bridge Luncheon Cruise, a 2.5 hour Morning Discovery Cruise and a 2.5 hour Afternoon Discovery Cruise.
Each cruise has their own unique offering but all of them include fantastic historical and local commentary on the area and stunning views of the Tamar River and Cataract Gorge. Passengers gain a deeper appreciation for Launceston’s rich heritage while leisurely drifting along the historic waterway.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) the 50 minute cruise is $40 per adult and $20 per child, the 4 hour cruise is $159 per adult and $75 per child and the 2.5 hour cruises are $110 per adult and $45 per child.
6. Step Back in Time at the Queen Victoria Museum
Delve into Launceston’s rich and diverse history at the Queen Victoria Museum in Inveresk. The moment you step into the museum you’ll be on a captivating journey, unveiling the layers of history that have shaped Launceston into what it is today.
The museum houses an extensive collection of interesting natural science, blacksmith, railway, maritime, aviation and astronomy displays. Each display provides a comprehensive overview of Launceston’s multifaceted history.
A hands-on and interactive experience for visitors of all ages to learn and connect with the past. A trip to the Queen Victoria Museum is a must do during your time in Launceston.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry to the Queen Victoria Museum is free, making this a fantastic free thing to do in Launceston. If you are driving in to the museum you will need to consider parking fees. If you don’t want to drive in there is a free Tiger Bus that you can take.
7. Shop Tasmania’s Finest and Support the Local Community at the Harvest Market
On Saturday mornings the city comes to life with the Harvest Market. A vibrant hub of culinary delights, the market showcases Tasmania’s finest fresh produce, artisanal creations and mouthwatering dishes. The perfect thing to do in Launceston on a weekend, enjoy leisurely strolling through the market, taking in the aromas of fresh produce and the lively chatter of locals and visitors.
At the heart of the Harvest Market experience is the dazzling array of farm-fresh produce. Local farmers frequent the market with their seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. Also on display are meats, seafood and dairy products. A true paddock to plate experience, grab the produce you need and create a culinary masterpiece with them.
The Market also has a treasure trove of artisanal creations on offer. Explore stalls adorned with handmade cheeses, freshly baked bread, cold pressed juices, spirits, sauces, oils, pickled goods and more. Food enthusiasts will also enjoy the diverse range of ready-to-eat dishes on display, from gourmet pastries and coffee to authentic Korean pancakes (Hotteok) and hot bowls of veggie soup.
Do yourself a favour and visit the Harvest Market to indulge in the diverse flavours of Tasmania. More than just a marketplace, the Harvest Market is a great place to support and connect with the local community.
8. Immerse Yourself in Astronomy at the Launceston Planetarium
Embark on an astronomical journey at the Launceston Planetarium. This captivating facility, located within the Queen Victoria Museum, provides an immersive experience that goes beyond the confines of Earth. Offering a unique blend of education and awe-inspiring entertainment, the planetarium shows are perfect for curious minds and stargazing enthusiasts.
The planetarium hosts a variety of shows suitable for a range of different ages and interests. For example ‘the Secret of the Cardboard Rocket’ is a show where a children’s astronomy book comes alive to teach children about the different planets and ‘Dark’ is an educational film on dark matter presented by Dr Alan Duffy, an astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.
Each show is followed by an immersive live tour of the night sky. The fascinating tour displays stars from around the world and simulates the motion of the stars, making you feel as though you’re sat outside right underneath them.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) ticket prices for the Planetarium are $8 per adult, $6 per child and $23 for a family pass. A visit to the Launceston Planetarium is a relatively cheap and fun thing to do in Launceston.
9. Take to the Sky with a Unique Charters Flight
Visitors seeking a unique perspective of Launceston can elevate their journey by taking to the skies for an exclusive helicopter flight with Unique Charters. Their flights offer exceptional panoramic views of the breathtaking landscapes of Launceston and it’s surrounds.
Their Launceston City and Gorge loop flight is a short 10 minute flight that provides breathtaking views of the Tamar River, city of Launceston and the Cataract Gorge. Admire the city’s oldest buildings, appreciate the tranquility of the Tamar River and be amazed by the beauty of Cataract Gorge.
Their Tamar Valley Taster flight is a 20 minute flight that follows the Tamar River via natural wonders and man-made marvels like the Batman Bridge, Tamar vineyards and the Cataract Gorge. Get the best of both worlds with the allure of the city and the tranquility of the river.
Their City to Coast flight is a 35 minute flight that goes from Launceston city to the coast. Starting in the city, here you can appreciate Launceston’s unique architecture and beautiful surrounds. From here you’ll follow the Tamar River to the coast where you can marvel at the pristine beaches and iconic Low Head Lighthouse.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) the Launceston City and Gorge loop flight costs $150 per person, the Tamar Valley Taster flight costs $245 per person and the City to Coast flight costs $440 per person. While this may be out of budget for most, it can be a great thing to do in Launceston for those seeking a luxury experience or looking to celebrate a special occasion.
10. Stroll Through Royal Park
On the banks of the Tamar River, Royal Park stands as a serene escape amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. A peaceful retreat with well manicured lawns and stunning views over the river, this picturesque park is the perfect spot for leisurely strolls, picnics and some relaxation.
Royal Park features a barbecue area, playground, outdoor exercise equipment, bike paths and a skate park, catering to various recreational activities. Families, friends, couples and individuals often gravitate to its open spaces, where they can unwind, connect with nature and revel in the tranquility it provides.
Throughout the year, Royal Park also serves as a venue for community events and gatherings. From festivals to musical performances, the park becomes a focal point for local happenings.
Entry to Royal Park is free, making this another great free thing to do in Launceston. If you are driving in to the park however you will need to consider parking fees.
11. Admire Tasmania’s Vibrant Artistic Legacy at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery
Situated within Royal Park, the Queen Victoria Art Gallery stands as a cultural beacon, celebrating Tasmania’s vibrant artistic legacy. The distinguished gallery showcases an extensive and diverse collection of traditional and contemporary art, with new exhibitions coming in periodically.
Many pieces offer glimpses into the region’s past, portraying moments of historical significance, cultural traditions and the evolving landscape. The gallery’s commitment to preserving these narratives through art allows for a deeper understanding of Tasmania’s heritage.
A fantastic free thing to do in Launceston, at the time of writing this (November 2023) entry to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery is free. If you are driving in you will need to consider parking fees but if you aren’t driving in there is a free Tiger Bus that you can take.
12. Challenge Yourself at Entombed Escape Rooms
Looking for an exhilarating group activity in Launceston? Consider diving into the world of escape rooms with Entombed Escape Rooms. These immersive experiences provide a blend of adrenaline-pumping excitement and intellectual challenges as participants have to race against the clock to solve puzzles, decipher clues and unravel mysteries.
Entombed Escape Rooms have a variety of different escape rooms with diverse themes, such as the Trial of the White Rabbit room, an Alice in Wonderland themed room where participants must save the White Rabbit who has been stolen by the Queen or the Creep Carnival room where participants find themselves trapped within an abandoned carnival where a clown is coming to get you.
A fun and memorable outing in Launceston. If you’re looking for something different to do during your time in Launceston a visit to Entombed Escape Rooms is a must.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) each escape room costs $76 for 2 people, $99 for 3 people, $120 for 4 people, $140 for 5 people and $150 for 6 people.
13. Strike Up the Fun at Launceston Lanes Bowling
For a dose of classic entertainment and a fun day out with friends or family, look no further than Launceston Lanes Bowling. Boasting an impressive 20 bowling lanes, it’s the perfect place for an action-packed group activity.
In addition to the bowling lanes, the venue features arcade games. Hit the arcade for additional excitement and a change of pace between rounds of bowling. From classic arcade games (such as air hockey and racing simulators) to the latest cutting-edge arcade games (such as a Minecraft Dungeons and Slither.io arcade)
The venue also has delicious food and a licensed bar so you can enjoy a bite to eat and a drink while enjoying the entertainment. With so many fun things to do and so much on offer, making a visit to Launceston Lanes Bowling is a fantastic choice for a memorable day out.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) standard games of bowling are $17.90 per adult and $15.90 per child (under 14 years old). They also have multiple game and family bundles available that are discounted.
14. Revisit History at the Launceston Tramway Museum
Revisit Launceston’s rich transportation history at the Launceston Tramway Museum. Ran by a passionate team of volunteers who restore and revive the old trams of Launceston, this unique attraction offers a nostalgic journey.
Visitors are transported back in time to experience Tasmania’s tramway past with captivating tales, an extensive collection of tram memorabilia, fascinating informational signs, a 1940s tram ride and a sneak peak at ongoing tram restoration projects.
One of the main draws of the museum is the opportunity to take a ride on a historic 1940s tram. This interactive ride, complete with a conductor ready to stub your tickets, gives an authentic tram experience, where visitors can feel the rhythm of the old trams and appreciate the ingenuity of the transportation systems of yesteryears.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) open times are 10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday and admission fees are just $5 per adult, $2 per child and children under 6 are free. Tram rides that run between 10am and 4pm are included with your entry fee, there are no additional fees for taking a tram ride. The low costs make visiting the Launceston Tramway Museum a fantastic cheap thing to do in Launceston.
15. Attend the Annual Royal Launceston Show
If you’re visiting Launceston during October, attending the annual Royal Launceston Show is a must. This much-anticipated event offers a variety of entertainment, agricultural showcases and family-friendly attractions, making it an exceptional and enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike.
The Royal Launceston Show is renowned for its diverse and thrilling entertainment offerings. From exhilarating rides and sideshow games to captivating performances and live music, the event delivers an array of engaging activities that cater to all ages. The festive ambiance and lively atmosphere create an unforgettable experience for attendees.
At the heart of the show is the showcasing and celebration of Tasmania’s agricultural and pastoral life. Visitors have the opportunity to witness a range of agricultural displays, livestock exhibitions and competitions that showcase the region’s farming prowess. From cattle and sheep shows to equestrian events and tractor displays, the show provides an immersive experience in Tasmania’s rural culture.
For the 2023 Royal Launceston Show, adult day passes were $12 online or $15 at the gate, children (5-15 years old) day passes were $4 online or $5 at the gate, children under 5 years old were free and a family day pass (2 adults and 3 children) was $30 online or $40 at the gate.
16. Elevate your Visit with Hot Air Balloon Tasmania
If you’re looking for something to set your trip apart, adding a flight with Hot Air Balloon Tasmania on your list of things to do in Launceston is a must. An experience that elevates your visit to Launceston to new heights – literally. Floating gently over the scenic landscapes of northern Tasmania, this unforgettable hot air balloon ride offers an exhilarating and serene way to witness the region’s beauty from a unique vantage point.
Meeting at Peppers Silo Hotel in Launceston an hour prior to sunrise, the journey starts by hopping into a car that will take you to the launch site. From the launch site you’ll get a full passenger safety briefing and once the balloon is inflated you’ll be ready to climb on board. As the balloon gently rises you’ll witness the changing colours of the sunrise which adds a magical touch to the journey. Your skilled pilot will guide the flight, offering insights about the region and the art of ballooning.
After landing you’ll spend a bit of time packing up before heading for a delicious breakfast to conclude this incredible experience. A wonderful option for special occasions. Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a milestone celebration, the aerial perspective and serene atmosphere provide an unforgettable backdrop for any memorable moment.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) a balloon flight experience which includes breakfast and photos costs $450 per person. They also have private packages for marriage proposals and special occasions that cost $1999 per couple.
17. Move Your Body at the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre
A vibrant hub for health, leisure and recreation, the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre offers a fun day of swimming or working out in a welcoming environment. Sat in the heart of the city and open 7 days a week, make a day of your visit or come for a quick morning swim before spending the day elsewhere.
The centre features a comprehensive aquatic complex that caters to various interests and ages. With indoor and outdoor leisure pools, competition pools, program pools, a spa, children play areas, a 65 metre waterslide, diving boards, a swim school and more. The centre has a range of options for visitors to have fun, relax and get some exercise.
For fitness enthusiasts, the centre provides a fully equipped gym and fitness classes. Visitors can engage in a variety of group fitness classes, including yoga, pilates, boxing, HIIT and spin workouts. Additionally, the gym facilities offer state-of-the-art equipment for individual workouts, catering to all fitness levels and goals.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) casual aquatic entry costs $8.20 per adult, $6.20 per child (6-15 years), $4.40 per toddler (2-5 years), $2 per spectator and infants (under 2 years) are free. They also have more inclusive passes such as the complete pass for $21 that includes access to the gym, group fitness classes and aquatic areas. Their 65m waterslide has an additional fee of $1 per ride or $10 for unlimited rides. They are open Monday to Friday 6am-8pm and weekends 8am-6pm.
18. Appreciate Tasmanian Design and Craftsmanship at Design Tasmania
A not-for-profit design centre, Design Tasmania stands as pivotal institution that promotes and showcases various forms of design and craftsmanship. Recognised for their dedication to furthering design in Tasmania through their exhibitions, collections and store, the centre is a platform for creativity and innovation.
A highlight of the centre is their contemporary Tasmanian wood collection, which draws visitors from near and far. With over 80 pieces on display, each piece showcases the talents of Tasmanian wood designers and makers. After leisurely strolling through their wood collection and admiring each piece, make sure to check out the other collections they have on display, with new collections being introduced periodically.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) admission to the gallery is free, adding to the list of fantastic free attractions in Launceston. Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday 10am-3pm and Sundays 10am-2pm.
19. Treasure Hunt the Day Away at the Launceston Esk Market
The Esk Market stands as a testament to the city’s creative spirit and community vibrancy. This bustling market, held every Sunday, transforms into a haven for artisans, makers and enthusiasts alike, offering a delightful and diverse experience for visitors.
Wandering through the stalls is like embarking on a treasure hunt, with each stall having it’s own unique offering. Shop fresh produce, secondhand items, collectables, comics, clothing, accessories, furniture, toys, knitted items, candles, jewellery and more. There’s really something for everyone, no matter your interests.
With food and coffee stalls you can also indulge yourself with something yummy to eat or a coffee pick-me-up as you stroll through the market. If you’re looking for something to do in Launceston on the weekend, make sure to visit Esk Market.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry to the market is free and parking at the market is free, making this a great free thing to do in Launceston. The market runs every Sunday from 9am to 2pm.
20. Learn from the Locals at the City of Launceston Visitor Information Centre
For anyone eager to unravel the wonders of Launceston, the City of Launceston Visitor Information Centre stands as the ultimate compass. Nestled in the heart of the city, the visitor centre is more than just a stop for maps and brochures; it’s the key to unlocking the treasures of Launceston and enhancing your stay.
No matter the city or town you’re visiting, dropping by the visitor centre is a must to get the ‘insider’ information from the locals. At the Launceston Visitor Centre, the Launceston locals are more than happy to share the hidden gems of Launceston, help you plan your itinerary and give you the ultimate tips and tricks on travelling Tasmania (from the best campsites to road conditions and recommended routes). They can also assist with booking your accommodation, transport, restaurants, attractions and experiences.
The visitor centre also has a range of local products and merchandise for sale. The local products are created by Tasmanian makers, crafters, designers and artists, allowing you to directly support the community while indulging in something special for yourself (or a friend).
At the time of writing this (November 2023) the visitor centre is open 9am-5pm on weekdays and 10am-2pm on weekends.
21. Spoil Yourself with a Tamar Valley Wine Tour
Wine enthusiasts can’t pass up on the opportunity to go on a Tamar Valley wine tour through the lush vineyards and esteemed wineries surrounding Launceston. Situated along the picturesque Tamar River, the Tamar Valley region is packed full of award winning and internationally recognised wines.
Joining a Tamar Valley wine tour provides an opportunity to sample a variety of wines from crisp and refreshing whites to robust and velvety reds, all expertly crafted by passionate vintners. Most tours complement your wine tastings with gourmet delights such as full meals made from Tasmania’s finest produce or platters of locally sourced cheeses, artisanal bread and meats. Your tasting experience is enhanced with the region’s culinary delights.
There are a few different tour companies who offer Tamar Valley wine tours, all of which offer transport from Launceston. We recommended researching which tour is best suited for you. We’ll list a few of the tour companies below:
- Tamar Valley Wine Tours
- Valleybrook Wine on Wheels
- Prestige Tours Tasmania
- Tamar Valley Food & Wine Boutique Tours
- Tailored Trails
22. Let Your Creative Juices Flow at a Paint the Town Red Event
For those looking to unleash your creativity, don’t pass up on attending a Paint the Town Red event in Launceston. An artistic haven, the studio offers a range of fun and engaging events where you can paint or sculpt in a social and relaxed atmosphere.
Hosting paint and sip events and sculpting classes, participants of a Paint the Town Red event can channel their inner artist while sipping on their favourite beverages. Guided by skilled instructors, even those who have never held a paintbrush before can create a masterpiece.
These events are not just about creating art; they’re about enjoying the process, having loads of fun with friends or fellow art enthusiasts and creating memories in a lively and social setting. An event at Paint the Town Red is the perfect thing to do in Launceston for those who want to explore their creative side.
Prices vary depending on which event you’re attending but at the time of writing this (November 2023) paint and sip events run for 2 hours and cost $50 per person.
23. Paddle Along the Launceston Waterfront and Tamar River
For those craving an outdoor adventure in the heart of Launceston, hop on a kayak and explore the breathtaking beauty of the Tamar River in a way like never before. Launceston Kayak Tours offer a unique and immersive experience exploring Launceston.
Launceston Kayak Tours provide guided kayaking adventures that cater to both beginners and seasoned paddlers. Led by experienced guides, these tours are designed to showcase the stunning landscapes along the Tamar River. You’ll start on the North Esk River and head down the South Esk River, passing historic buildings, bridges and the iconic Launceston waterfront.
If you own a kayak and prefer a solo adventure, Launceston’s waterways are open for independent exploration. Hit the water on your own time and enjoy a peaceful paddle at your own pace.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) Launceston Kayak Tours cost $70 per adult and $45 per child (4-16 years old).
24. ‘Par-fect’ Your Swing at the Launceston Golf Club
For those seeking a blend of leisure, sport and the picturesque landscapes that define Launceston, a day at the Launceston Golf Club stands out as a must do experience. As you navigate the meticulously manicured fairways and greens, you are treated to great views of the surrounding area.
The 18 hole course itself is designed to be a fun and challenging course for players of all skill levels, with a mix of strategic bunkers, undulating terrain and thoughtfully placed obstacles. As one of the oldest golf clubs in Australia, golf lovers won’t want to pass on a visit to the Launceston Golf Club up.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) green fees are $80 for 18 holes or $50 for 9 holes.
25. Delve into Launceston’s Diverse Art Scene
Besides a visit to the well-known Queen Victoria Art Gallery, a visit to Launceston’s lesser-known art galleries promises an immersive journey into the vibrant and dynamic world of visual arts. A must do for art lovers. Exploring galleries like Gallery Pejean and Greenoaks Gallery provides a nuanced perspective on the flourishing arts scene in Tasmania.
Nestled on the edge of the picturesque St Georges Square, Greenoaks Gallery has a diverse range of quality artworks on display. All created by award-winning artist Dan Villiers, who you can meet. He works with a wide variety of styles and subject matters. From acrylic paintings of the stunning landscapes around Tasmania to pastel paintings of flowers and animals.
In the heart of the city is Gallery Pejean, a gallery that showcases incredible contemporary artwork from established and up-and-coming artists. Gallery Pejean features talented artists from Tasmania and mainland Australia, each of whom have their own unique style. With ever-changing exhibits, there’s always something new to see on display.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) there are no entry fees for either gallery. Spending a few hours exploring these two galleries is a great free thing to do in Launceston.
26. Transport Yourself to the 1900s at the Old Umbrella Shop
A historic charm in the heart of Launceston, a trip to the Old Umbrella Shop is like a portal to the past. A visit to this unique establishment is not just a stroll through a historic building; it’s a step back in time, a journey into the nostalgia of Launceston’s past and an immersive experience that captivates visitors with it’s historical charm.
Now a National Trust site (and popular tourist attraction), the shop was originally setup in 1907 and has been meticulously preserved since. Operated by three generations of the Shott family who made and repaired umbrellas, today the shop continues to operate as an umbrella and souvenir shop. The Old Umbrella Shop also has a small museum in the back that has a collection of memorabilia on display.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) there are no entry fees for the Old Umbrella Shop.
27. Cycle your Way Through the City
Embrace the city’s cycling culture and explore the city on wheels. With its bike friendly infrastructure and picturesque trails, cycling through Launceston offers a unique and invigorating way to experience the city’s charm.
Navigate the city streets on your bike and discover Launceston’s unique blend of historic architecture and vibrant neighbourhoods. Cycling allows you to cover more ground than walking, providing the perfect means to explore the city’s hidden gems, local cafes, and cultural hotspots.
If you don’t have your own bike you can hire a bike from Roll Cycles in the city. They have a range of different bikes for hire, including town bikes, electric bikes and mountain bikes.
28. Visit Glass Manifesto and Witness the Captivating World of Glass Artistry
Glass Manifesto is a captivating gallery and studio where the magic of glass comes to life. The studio showcases a diverse array of glass pieces, each with their own intricate design. An artistic haven where craftsmanship meets creativity and where each piece tells a story of skill, innovation and boundless creativity.
If you’re lucky, you may get to see the artists, Peter Bowles and Anne Clifton, in action. You’ll be blown away by the impressive artistry and skill demonstrated and will walk away with a deeper appreciation of the dedication that goes into each masterpiece. Witnessing the transformation of molten glass into exquisite forms is both educational and mesmerising.
A visit to Glass Manifesto is another fantastic free thing to do in Launceston as at the time of writing this (November 2023) there are no fees for entering the studio.
A Little Further Out…
While our list has focused on things to do in the Launceston CBD, just beyond the city limits are an abundance of other incredible tourist attractions and fantastic things to do. Unique animal experiences, stunning natural wonders, historic landmarks and cultural experiences are some of the many fantastic things to do near Launceston that promise to enrich your visit.
If you have the time, stretch beyond the city centre and check out the attractions around Launceston that we’ve listed below. All of them are within a 1 hour drive of Launceston.
29. Experience the Swiss-Inspired Charm of Grindelwald
Experience a touch of Switzerland in the heart of Tasmania, just a short 18 minute drive north of Launceston. The picturesque Swiss-inspired village of Grindelwald boasts an enchanting blend of charming architecture, flower-lined streets and serene lakes.
At the heart of Grindelwald is the Tamar Valley Resort. Beyond just offering accommodation, the resort features a Swiss village. The beautiful village features an inviting bistro, a bustling activity centre, a delightful candy shop, a charming bakery cafe, an exquisite boutique, a tempting ice creamery, an engaging games arcade and more.
Adding Grindelwald to your list of things to do near Launceston is a must, even if just for a brief visit to admire the architectural beauty of the town and the delights of the resort. For families, Grindelwald is a haven of entertainment with child-friendly activities like mini-golf, arcades, pedal boats and more, so you may be tempted to stay longer.
There are no fees for visiting Grindelwald and the Swiss village at the Tamar Valley Resort, there are also no charges for parking at the resort. If you want to stay overnight at the resort or engage in the activities they have on offer, these will have a fee.
30. See the Elusive Platypus and Adorable Echidnas at Platypus House
Only 45 minutes north of Launceston, you can have a captivating encounter with one of Australia’s most iconic and elusive creatures, the platypus. Platypus House in Beauty Point offers a unique opportunity for you to get up-close to platypus and echidnas.
Their 45 minute tour lets you meet their resident platypus and echidnas as you get a comprehensive run down on these amazing monotremes by your knowledgeable guide. You’ll get to watch the platypus swim, play and forage in their enclosures before heading to an echidna room where the adorable echidnas get to enjoy a snack right in front of you.
A truly unique and once in a lifetime experience, animal lovers will want to make the detour and add a visit to Platypus House on their list of things to do in Launceston.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) tours at the Platypus House cost $29.50 per adult, $14 per child (4-16 years) and children under 4 are free.
If you’d like to see wild platypus in Tasmania we’d recommend checking out our guide: Where to See Platypus in Tasmania: The Ultimate Guide.
Images taken from the Platypus House website.
31. Spend the day with Seahorses at Seahorse World
For an extraordinary marine adventure that unveils the wonders of the ocean’s hidden treasures, Seahorse World is a fantastic attraction. Just next door to Platypus House (45 minutes north of Launceston), Seahorse World invites visitors into a captivating world where seahorses take centre stage.
An immersive and educational experience for all ages, their 45 minute guided tour is led by a passionate expert who shares their wealth of knowledge about seahorses and the mysterious behaviours they exhibit. You’ll get to see a variety of seahorses and seadragons, a behind the scenes look at a seahorse farm and you’ll even get to hold a seahorse in the palm of your hand.
An ideal outing for visitors of all ages, a visit to popular tourist attraction Seahorse World, will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the diverse and delicate marine life that graces our oceans.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) the tour costs $24.80 per adult, $10.50 per child (4-16 years) and children under 3 are free. They also offer family passes (of up to 2 adults and up to 6 kids) for $63.
32. Discover Tranquility at Lilydale Falls
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and venture into the serene embrace of Lilydale Falls, a hidden gem just a short 30 minute drive from Launceston. Nestled amidst lush greenery and scenic landscapes, Lilydale Falls offers a tranquil retreat where the soothing sounds of cascading waterfalls and the lush green ferns create a perfect sanctuary for travellers.
Explore the beauty of Lilydale Falls through the well-maintained walking trails that wind their way through the surrounding forest. The trails are short and relatively easy, taking just 5 minutes to get to the first waterfall and 10 minutes to get to the second. While majority of the trail is flat, there is a short steep rocky section.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night Lilydale Falls is also a fantastic free campsite. We spent a night here and absolutely loved it.
There are no fees for visiting or camping at Lilydale Falls, making this a brilliant free thing to do near Launceston.
33. Frolic Amongst the Flowers at Bridestowe Lavender Estate
An enchanting landscape awaits, just 45 minutes away from Launceston. Renowned as one of the world’s largest lavender farms and one of Tasmania’s most iconic attractions, Bridestowe Lavender Estate offers an incredible experience of fragrant lavender fields, captivating vistas and a myriad of lavender products.
The picturesque estate comes to life during blooming season (December-January). Visit then and enjoy wandering through the vast lavender fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. The symphony of purple flowers against the backdrop of mountains and Tasmanian countryside creates a breathtaking sight.
If you’re visiting out of season, it’s definitely still worth adding a visit to Bridestowe Lavender Estate to your list of things to do in Launceston. While the flowers won’t be in bloom the scale of the farm and the scenic backdrop is still an impressive and beautiful sight. You’ll also still get to enjoy the lavender treats and products that Bridestowe is known for, such as the iconic lavender ice cream.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry fees during blooming season (December-January) are $20 per person and there are no entry fees February to November.
34. Witness the Spectacular Penguin Parade with a Low Head Penguin Tour
As the sun dips below the horizon, the beaches of Low Head come alive with the remarkable spectacle of little penguins returning from a day of fishing at sea. Low Head Penguin Tour run a guided tour so you can witness the penguin parade and learn about these incredible creatures. The 45 minute drive from Launceston is worth it for this heartwarming and educational encounter.
A knowledgeable guide will lead the way on the tour, offering fascinating insights into the behaviour, biology and conservation efforts of the little penguins. You’ll also get to hear about the maritime and colonial history of the area. The tour only takes on small groups of 10-15 people so everyone has an up close and personal experience with the penguins. Wildlife lovers won’t want to miss this extraordinary encounter.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) the Low Head Penguin Tour costs $40 per adult and $20 per child. If you don’t want to drive out to Low Head, there is a bus service that runs from Launceston to Low Head. If you do make the drive please be careful of wildlife on the roads while driving back, slow down and if you see an injured animal call Bonorong Wildlife Rescue on 0447 264 625.
35. Lose Yourself in History at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre
Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, situated just 35 minutes away from Launceston, offers a captivating journey into the region’s rich mining history. A visit to this iconic site not only allows you to delve into the depths of a historic mine but also to explore the cultural heritage that shaped the town of Beaconsfield.
Fascinating for visitors of all ages, majority of the displays are interactive. From gold panning activities to immersive exhibits that transport you back in time, the centre ensures an engaging and educational experience for everyone. Lose yourself in the many personal stories, interesting artefacts, intriguing personal memorabilia, incredible mining equipment and historic buildings.
One of the most compelling chapters in the mine’s history is the Beaconsfield Mine rescue of 2006. Learn about the dramatic events that unfolded when miners were trapped underground and the remarkable rescue efforts that captured global attention.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry fees are $21 per adult, $8 per child and children under 5 years old are free of charge. They also offer family passes at $52 for 2 adults and children. They are open everyday from 10am-4pm.
36. Soar Amongst the Trees at Treetops Adventure Hollybank
For thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike, Treetops Adventure at Hollybank delivers an exhilarating experience that combines the beauty of the Tasmania’s forests with the adrenaline rush of high-flying adventures. Located just a short 20 minute drive from Launceston, this treetop park offers a unique perspective on the region’s lush landscapes.
For those seeking a hands-on adventure, the courses at Treetops Adventure present an exciting array of obstacles suspended high in the trees. The perfect fun thing to do near Launceston. Test your agility, balance and courage as you navigate wobbly bridges, tightropes and other challenges. The courses cater to various skill levels, ensuring an adventure suitable for everyone, young and old.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) zipline tours are $139 per adult and $99 per child (3-17 years). Tree ropes courses are $59 per adult, $49 per child (8-17 years old) and $32 per child (3-7 years).
37. Browse a Lively Country Market – Evandale Market
Nestled in the charming town of Evandale, just a short 20 minute drive from Launceston, is the Evandale Market. Ran every Sunday from 8am-1:30pm, the lively country market gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture, shop premium produce and explore an array of handcrafted treasures.
Indulge your taste buds and buy some of the fresh produce or artisanal goods that define Tasmania’s culinary excellence. Shop fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread, pastries, jams, honey and other gourmet delights.
Wander through the stalls and be captivated by the diverse array of unique items on display. Handcrafted jewellery, art, books, woodwork, clothing, accessories, crystals, collectables, plants and more. The market is a haven for those seeking unique and one of a kind items. If you’re looking for something to do near Launceston on the weekend make sure to pop by the market.
38. Wander Around the Tamar Island Wetlands
Tamar Island Wetlands, a unique wetland reserve, sits just 10 minutes north of Launceston. With an abundance of wildlife, beautiful landscapes and peaceful walking trails, the Tamar Island Wetlands have become a popular attraction for locals and tourists.
As you step into the wetlands you’ll find yourself surrounded by a diverse ecosystem of wetlands and thriving birdlife. The elevated walkways allow you to traverse the wetlands without disturbing the delicate ecosystems below, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fresh air and keep your eyes out for the resident birds and wildlife that call the wetlands home.
Enhance your visit by stopping at the Tamar Island Interpretation Centre, where informative displays and exhibits unravel the secrets of the wetlands. Gain insights into the cultural and natural significance of wetland ecosystems and the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry is by a small donation of $3 per person, making this a relatively cheap thing to do near Launceston.
39. Make Memories at Tasmania Zoo
Housing the largest collection of native and exotic wildlife in Tasmania, a visit to Tasmania Zoo promises an enriching wildlife experience like no other. The zoo’s commitment to conservation and education is evident in its diverse array of exhibits, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom.
One of the highlights at Tasmania Zoo is the series of engaging keeper talks and feedings held throughout the day. Knowledgeable and passionate zookeepers provide valuable insights into the behaviour, biology and conservation status of various species. From the charismatic Tasmanian devils to the comical meerkats, these talks not only entertain but educate.
Beyond the included keeper talks and feedings, Tasmania Zoo have a range of wildlife encounters on offer. These allow visitors to get up close and personal with a variety of native and exotic animals. If you want to see the iconic Tasmanian devils near Launceston this is the place to visit.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry fees are $35.50 per adult, $21 per child (2-15 years) and children under 2 are free. The zoo also has a family pass at $103 for 2 adults and 2 children. The zoo is open daily from 10am-4pm.
40. Walk Through an Abandoned Train Tunnel
Go off-the-beaten-path and venture into an abandoned train tunnel, just 30 minutes away from Launceston. Walking through the abandoned tunnel is not only an eerie experience but a fascinating historical journey, as you witness the remnants of a track that was part of a once bustling railway history.
Originally constructed as part of Launceston’s railway network, this tunnel served as a vital transportation link, echoing with the sounds of trains and the comings and goings of goods and passengers. Today, the tunnel stands silent and dark, creating an eerie experience. Grab a torch and enjoy wandering through the tunnel.
Visiting the tunnel does not have any fees, making this a great free thing to do around Launceston. If you’d like to learn more about the history of the tunnel make sure to ask about it at the Launceston Visitor Centre or Scottsdale Visitor Centre.
41. Get a Glimpse at 19th Century Architecture at the Historic Franklin House
Built in the 1830s, Franklin House stands as living testament to the colonial architecture that shaped early Launceston. An 1838 convict built home that became one of the colony’s leading private schools, it has now been restored and is a historic site managed by National Trust Tasmania. After just a 10 minute drive from Launceston you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time, immersed into the lives of early settlers with a glimpse into 19th century architecture.
Enjoy wandering around the house on a self-guided tour, looking at its grand interior and traditional furnishings. The surrounding gardens, meticulously restored to reflect the style of the 19th century, provides a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls. Appreciate the beauty of the manicured lawns, vibrant flower gardens and 180 year old oak tree that evoke the timeless elegance of the estate.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry fees to this iconic attraction are $12 per adult, $5 per child (7-16 years old) and children under 7 years old are free. They also have family entry available for $30.
42. Visit the Charming Hazelbrae Hazelnut farm
Located just 20 minutes west of Launceston is popular attraction, Hazelbrae hazelnut farm. Not just a working hazelnut farm; Hazelbrae is a captivating destination open to visitors. Nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Western Tiers, Hazelbrae offers more than just scenic beauty. A visit to this farm promises a delightful day out.
Take a self guided tour of the impressive 5000 tree orchard and learn about the history and day-to-day operations of the farm from information boards dotted throughout. Then view their nut cracker collection, browse the hazelnut products they have in store and indulge in a delicious bite to eat at their cafe. If you’re travelling as a family, they also have a fantastic playground for the kids to enjoy. Visit during the right season and you can have fun picking your own hazelnuts.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) entry to the orchard and gardens for a self guided tour is $10 and children under 12 are free.
43. Indulge Yourself with the Best Views of Tamar Valley from Brady’s Lookout
Perched majestically above the Tamar Valley, Brady’s Lookout beckons adventurers and history enthusiasts alike to admire the stunning panoramic views and unravel tales from Tasmania’s past. This scenic spot, located 20 minutes from Launceston, seamlessly blends history and natural beauty, providing visitors with an enriching experience that encompasses convict narratives, panoramic vistas and the tranquil allure of the Tamar River.
Once you arrive take a short uphill walk to the lookout point, known as the best lookout spot of the Tamar Valley. Here you’ll get incredible panoramic views of the vineyards, hills and river that define the Tamar region. The walk to the lookout point has informational signs introducing you to the intriguing history of Mathew Brady. Originally a convict from England, Brady escaped custody and became a notorious bushranger. His gang found refuge in the bush near this very lookout, making the lookout serve not only as a vantage point for breathtaking views but also as a window into Tasmania’s convict-era history.
Featuring undercover BBQ facilities, picnic tables and toilets, Brady’s Lookout is the ideal place to visit to relax for an hour or two with family and friends.
There are no fees for visiting Brady’s Lookout, adding this to the list of free things to do in Launceston.
44. Venture Out to the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area
Nestled on the outskirts of Launceston, the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area unfolds as a vibrant canvas where outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a myriad of activities, all set against the backdrop of Tasmania’s stunning natural scenery. From mountain bike trails to serene walking tracks, Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area offers an array of recreational opportunities that cater to adventurers, nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape.
For those with a love of mountain biking, there’s a network of more than 35km of tracks and trails throughout, including 7km purpose built tracks specifically for mountain biking. Beyond mountain biking, there are opportunities for other fantastic outdoor activities such as orienteering, archery, horse riding, rock climbing and cable hang gliding.
As the warm embrace of summer descends, Lake Trevallyn comes to life with activity as locals and tourists swim, kayak and water ski in the lake. The lake becomes a hub of summertime joy, offering a perfect complement to the land-based adventures the recreation area provides.
A parks pass is required for entry. At the time of writing this (November 2023) a daily pass is $44.75 per vehicle (up to 8 people), 2 month holiday passes are $89.50 per vehicle, an annual pass is $95.30 per vehicle and a two year pass is $121.75 per vehicle. If you’re visiting multiple national parks or spending multiple days at a national park during your time in Tasmania, getting one of the longer passes would be better value.
Enjoy Your Time in Launceston!
Launceston, with it’s charming blend of natural beauty, historical richness, vibrant culture and an abundance of incredible attractions, has quickly become a popular destination that has captured the hearts of many. From taking a ride on the world’s longest single-span chairlift at the breathtaking Cataract Gorge to meeting the Japanese macaque monkeys who call Launceston home, there’s no shortage of unique things to do in Launceston.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff or a food lover, Launceston has something for everyone. Pack your bags and enjoy discovering the best that Launceston has to offer.
We hope that our list of the 44 best things to do in Launceston has helped you plan for an incredible trip. If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Launceston below.
Where is Launceston?
Launceston is located in the north of Tasmania at the juncture of the North Esk, South Esk and Tamar rivers.
What is Launceston known For?
Launceston, besides being known as the second biggest city in Tasmania, is known for it’s thriving agricultural and food scene, historical richness and natural beauty. With it’s sprawling farmlands, sweeping valleys and beautiful architecture capturing the hearts of many.
How Far is Hobart from Launceston?
Hobart is approximately 201km from Launceston, which is about a 2.5-3 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Cradle Mountain from Launceston?
Cradle Mountain is approximately 147km from Launceston, which is about a 2-2.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Devonport from Launceston?
Devonport is approximately 101km from Launceston, which is about a 1-1.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
What is the Population of Launceston?
Launceston has a population of 90,953 (according to the 2021 Census).
What are the Best Things to do in Launceston?
There are loads of amazing things to do in Launceston (and the surrounding area), including:
- Exploring Cataract Gorge Reserve
- Visiting City Park
- Going to Penny Royal
- Visiting James Boag Brewery
- Going on a Tamar River Cruise
- Visiting the Queen Victoria Museum
- Shopping at the Harvest Market
- Going to the Launceston Planetarium
- Going on a helicopter flight with Unique Charters Flight
- Visiting Royal Park
- Going to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery
- Doing an escape room at Entombed Escape Rooms
- Going to Launceston Lanes Bowling
- Visiting the Launceston Tramway Museum
- Attending the Royal Launceston Show
- Going on a hot air balloon flight with Hot Air Balloon Tasmania
- Going to the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre
- Visiting Design Tasmania
- Shopping at the Launceston Esk Market
- Going to the City of Launceston Visitor Information Centre
- Going on a Tamar Valley Wine Tour
- Attending an event at Paint the Town Red
- Kayaking along the Launceston Waterfront and Tamar River
- Playing golf at the Launceston Golf Club
- Visiting local art galleries Gallery Pejean and Greenoaks Gallery
- Going to the Old Umbrella Shop
- Cycling through the city centre
- Visiting Glass Manifesto
- Going to Grindelwald
- Seeing platypus and echidnas at Platypus House
- Going on a tour at Seahorse World
- Visiting Lilydale Falls
- Visiting Bridestowe Lavender Estate
- Going on a penguin tour with Low Head Penguin Tour
- Going to the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre
- Doing a treetop adventure course at Treetops Adventure Hollybank
- Shopping at Evandale Market
- Going to the Tamar Island Wetlands
- Visiting Tasmania Zoo
- Walking through the abandoned train tunnel in Tunnel
- Going to the historic Franklin House
- Visiting Hazelbrae hazelnut farm
- Going to Brady’s Lookout
- Going to the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area
Watch How we Spent 48 Hours in Launceston
If you’d like to you can watch our experience in Launceston in our YouTube video below.