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Explore Australia's second-oldest capital city
Gateway to the Tamar Valley, Launceston presents a picture-perfect landscape we have come to expect from stunning Tasmania. Stately streetscapes are graced with architecture dating back to the early 19th century and valleys are dappled with lush forests against neighbouring farmland. Spend a weekend in Launceston getting back to nature and exploring the scenic Cataract Gorge Reserve – only a short walk from the city, hiking trails and a steep chairlift will lead you to breathtaking views. Families and couples can be seen enjoying a picnic on the lawns while adventurous travellers are often spotted tackling the cliffs on the zig-zag path or abseiling for hours on end.
If you prefer to keep the pace steady, cruise the Tamar River and drink in the views of surrounding wine country. Book a guided tour or go your own way by following the yellow and blue signs along the Tamar Valley Wine Route. Over 30 wineries produce quality Chardonnay, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and more, most offering tasting plates at local cellar doors. Remember your day trip to Tamar with a handy send-home service for your favourite drops. Launceston is filled with gourmet delights boasting chic restaurants and street-corner cafes all over town. Visit the Seaport district for waterfront dining and a taste of quality Tasmanian seafood.
History buffs and lovers of the paranormal will get goosebumps on a Launceston Ghost Tour before retiring to their hotel to shake off any jitters. Launceston sits at the junction of the North and South Esk Rivers where the Tamar River begins, snaking its way to the Bass Strait in the north. Ideal for a short break from Melbourne, Launceston is less than an hour's flight from Victoria's capital or about two and a half hours drive from Hobart if you're a local to the Apple Isle.