Tourism Industry Coincil Tasmania

Launceston, or Launnie for short, is more than a gateway: it's a destination goal.

There’s something that lies beneath the surface here that defines us as a city. You may not see it at first, but the moment you step foot here, you feel it. You sense it in the architecture, in the streets, out in nature, between the people — an undercurrent — born from generations of hard-work, curiosity, community, resilience, independence.

You're not a tourist in Launnie. You're a temporary local who's welcome to join in on an early morning cycle, row or yoga class - always followed by coffee somewhere around Charles Street then another brew over in George Street.

Wandering about central town, take time to look up: Launnie's renowned for its built history, much of which was developed during an industrial boom that also saw the rise of timber, wool and beer. We've continued to make the latter: sample small-batch brews and grab some insider tips from the bartenders at Saint John Craft Beer, Tandy's Alehouse and The Royal Oak. Spirit making has made a relatively recent entry here, so you might also like to try our take on botanicals.

Of course, our wine has won award after award across the world. It's largely grown down the road in the Tamar Valley, a snaking trail of vineyards connected by bucolic scenes and estuary banks that you really must hire a car or hop aboard a bus to see. Once back in town, quaff some more at Havilah Wine Bar, Bar Two or Mud Bar.

Onto dinner at another famous spot, Stillwater Restaurant, or fresh Asian fusion at Pachinko or perhaps it's a local spin on Italian at Stelo. Some more casual options include Curry Club, Burger Junkie, Royal Oak, Buddha Thai and Fraggles for the best fish n chips this side of the Hobart border.

Join the weekly bread and gossip run at Harvest Market where you can also grab delicacies to take home then enjoy a Korean pancake, custard-stuffed doughnut or punnet of fresh-plucked berries. Or all three with a side of kombucha. Keep adding to the larder after a visit to Alps and Amici or Trevallyn Grocer.

A good place to picnic - and bathe, explore, hike, climb and breathe - is the Cataract Gorge, a sacred space of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community for tens of thousands of years.

It may surprise, but we do more than eat and drink here. We explore the wild city fringes that are sprinkled with waterfalls and mountain bike trails, paddle or cruise the estuary, cheer on a footy team and find quiet inside galleries. We love Junction Arts Festival and Mona Foma, salsa in the park and comedy at the pub. We were recently named Aussie's Town of the Year, a fact we already knew but were happy to share, just like our recipes, wine and walking trails. Because we’re a friendly, tight-knit bunch that loves to cook and create and explore curiosities alongside those who visit.

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LAUNCESTON ITINERARY

Day 1
>After journeying to Launnie, grab some fresh air in the Gorge: take the Daffodil walking track and wind up the Snake Track (not as scary as it sounds, promise)
>Settle into your accommodation before popping into our Visitor Information Centre to collect a walking guide that'll introduce you to some of the city's renowned built history such as Holyman House, Albert Hall and Ritchie's Mill. Most of our central paths are wide and flat, making the trail accessible by a variety of abilities.
>Stop for coffee and lunch at Sweet Brew along the way.
>Dinner at Pachinko.
>Live gig at the Royal Oak.

Day 2
>The best croissant beyond Paris at Bread and Butter then down St John Street for some boutique shopping at Stockton and Co then onto Petrarch's Bookshop, Hope and Me and Cloth.
>Drive to Clover Hill for a glass of bubbles and view of Bass Strait via Fork It Farm where they raise well-loved pigs that become the most marvelous pancetta.
>Reset with a walk to Lilydale Falls: a short walk to cascades amongst rainforest.
>Back in town, squeeze in to cosy Bar Two for an aperitif before hitting up Stelo for local fare through an Italian lens.

Day 3
>Join the weekly bread and gossip run at Harvest Market where you can also snavel delicacies to take home then enjoy a Korean pancake and fresh brews for brekky.
>Wander down to City Park, a former zoo would you believe?
>Get your hands dirty amid the curative process of ceramics Glazed and Confused.
>Now that you've dipped your toe in the art world, visit the Queen Victoria Art Gallery to view an internationally significant collection of classic and contemporary works. Free entry, also.
>Drinks and snacks at Havilah and if you're still peckish, try supper at Geronimo or Black Cow Bistro.

Day 4
>Weave through the tea tree forest along the estuary's western bank and plunge into the First Basin pool for a truly fresh start to the day. For those less bold but still keen for a dip, do some indoor laps at the Aquatic Centre over on the hill.
>Pack your wicker basket with charcuterie, cheese and treats from Alps and Amici and head to St George's Square for a picnic.
>Catch some Hollywood at the grand old Star Theatre or if you time your trip, take in some local talent at the Princess Theatre.
>Saved the best to last: dine at Stillwater and soak in the estuary one more time.

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