I’m a huge fan of Tasmania (see my other Tassie guides here) and love everything about its friendly people, breathtaking landscapes and amazing food. So when an opportunity came to explore its smaller, lesser known city Launceston, I jumped at the chance! Oh and I went to Cradle Mountain too which blew my mind, but I’m saving that for another post :)
Firstly, I shot some footage of Tasmania on the GoPro which involves bushwalking, beautiful scenery and cute native animals. Here’s a short clip from the video!
How to get there
Qantas flies several times a day to Launceston, via Melbourne. Or you can fly direct to Hobart, hire a car and enjoy a scenic drive up to Launceston. It only takes around 2 1/2 hours – the island is small!
Where to stay
Magnolia Garden Pavilion, Hatherley House, 43 High Street Launceston
The Hatherley Birrell Collection is a series of luxury boutique art accommodation located around Launceston.
Our room at the Magnolia Garden Pavilion was large, modern and tastefully decorated. Check out those chairs!
The highlight of our stay was the outside stone carved bath. You better believe I had a hot dip with a glass of wine as the sun was setting. It was absolutely heaven.
Rather than a communal breakfast kitchen, local breakfast provisions were placed each morning in our room. There was a handmade fruit compote, yoghurt, gourmet muesli, local artisan bakery fruit toast, with Tasmanian juice and milk, tea and coffee. This lovely idea really did make Hatherley House feel like a home away from home.
Where to eat
Black Cow, 70 George Street Launceston
Black Cow is an up market steak house set in an old historic art deco butchery shop.
To start we had some local wine and shared an antipasto platter with Ruliano Prosciutto di Parma, grilled Bruny Island ODO cheese, fire roasted red capsicum, Sicilian olives, grilled ciabatta & Lentara Grove olive oil.
And we couldn’t come to Black Cow and not order the steak! I got my steak medium rare with bintje potato galette and peppercorn demi glaze, with a side of housemade kimchi in the background.
Despite being stuffed to the gills, I couldn’t say no to dessert (thank goodness for my second dessert stomach!) We had a dark chocolate fondant, caramelized pear, honeycomb, toasted milk skin & vanilla ice-cream and a vanilla crème brûlée with lemon sable biscuit & poached rhubarb.
Alchemy Bar & Restaurant, 90 George St, Launceston
It was late by lunch standards and we were hungry and cold. We stumbled upon Alchemy and promptly entered it’s warm and welcoming interior.
Everything on the $14 Lunch Menu looked delicious, and the bar staff highly recommended the lamb souvlaki wrap. The wrap was huge and filled with succulent pieces of meat, and came with a generous serving of salad and shoestring fries. What a bargain!
Sweetbrew, 93 George St, Launceston
These guys offer great coffee and a huge array of pastries and other baked goods.
Amelia Espresso, 56 George St, Launceston
This place was a great way to escape the cold for a while, read the newspaper and enjoy a big coffee. The perfect thing to do on a Wintery Launceston day.
Cafe Mondello, 242 Charles St, Launceston
The breakfast menu compiled of Tasmanian produce at Cafe Mondello looked impressive and I was disappointed I had already eaten. Thankfully I still had room for a coffee and pastry!
Levee Food Co, 27 Seaport Blvd, Launceston
Lunch was at the marina and featured spaghettini with mussels steamed with onions, garlic, chilli, butter & white wine and the Levee Chilli Burger which came with MSA Tasmanian grass fed beef with tomato, lettuce & tasty cheese with chips and a spicy chipotle mayo & tomato relish.
The Pizza Pub, 111 Wellington Street, Launceston
We briefly considered the Tasmanian Wallaby Pizza before settling on old favourites – a thin crust Salsicce (Tasmanian pork sausage, fresh garlic, fresh oregano & mozzarella cheese) for me, and a thick crust Pizza Pub Super (mild salami, cheese, ham, pineapple, mushroom, capsicum, onion, olives, prawns & tomato base) for him.
What to do
Harvest Market, 71 Cimitiere St, Launceston
The Harvest Market is held every Saturday from 8.30am—12.30pm and sells a huge range of products from Tasmanian farmers, producers and providers including meat, cheese, bread, fresh fruit and vegetable and much more.
James Boags Brewery, 69 The Esp, Launceston
Tasmania is home to the James Boags Brewery, possibly one of it’s most famous exports. If you’re a beer fiend, do the brewery tour for $30 per person.
Josef Chromy Vineyard, 370 Relbia Road, Relbia
Around a 20 minute drive later you will find yourself at the gorgeous Josef Chromy vineyard, with a stunning cellar door and restaurant set amongst lake and vineyard views. We enjoyed the wine tasting and picked up a few bottles to take home.
The Design Centre Tasmania offers contemporary craft and design related exhibitions and projects and a fantastic shop filled with design wares, art, plants and more.
Admire the architecture
I was truly blown away by the architecture in Launceston. Sometimes I felt like I was in England, then Bavaria, then Sweden and back again!
Inside Home & Gifts, 10-14 Paterson Street, Launceston
This store has a huge array of gifts, design items and bric a brac to browse. The perfect place to pick up a present or buy a new addition for your home.
Launceston Seaport Marina
The Seaport has a very Scando-vibe about it and the dreary weather added to the atmosphere. After going for a walk, grab a drink or bite to eat along the water.
The Mill Providore, 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston
This shop is filled to the brim with locally sourced produce, ceramics and art. It’s the perfect place to buy some edible souvenirs from Tasmania (my favourite).
Launceston City Park
This city park has to be one of my favourite I’ve ever visited. It almost reminded me a bit of Mary Poppins, and the autumnal leaves, historic fountain and gazebo added to the effect.
And randomly.. there is a Japanese monkey enclosure in the middle of Launceston! City Park has a long history of exhibiting animals, and these Macaque monkeys were a gift from Japan in 1980. I spent way too long staring at these guys play, they were a lot of fun to watch!
It’s hard to believe that only a 5 minute drive from downtown Launceston is the stunning area of Cataract Gorge. Here you can go on bushwalks, take a scenic chairlift over the area, picnic and interact with the animals. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
I hope I’ve piqued your interest in discovering this gorgeous city in Tasmania, stay tuned for my post on Cradle Mountain!
Love Swah + 1 travelled, ate & stayed courtesy of Qantas and Tourism Tasmania