A useful travel guide for those looking for things to do in Launceston, Tasmania. Find out what to do, what to see and make the most of your trip to beautiful Lonnie!
Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city and is commonly rated as one of the most liveable cities in Australia. Lonnie, as Taswegians call it, is a hub of history, culture, food and nature.
If you’re visiting Tasmania and planning a trip to the city, then I’ve got you covered with this quick guide to help you plan what to do in Launceston. At the bottom of this blog post, I’ve also included a quick guide with some recommendations for where to stay too! Enjoy.
11 Awesome Things to do in Launceston
1. Visit the Cataract Gorge
If you ask anyone what the best thing to do in Launceston is, I’m sure a lot will tell you to check out the Cataract Gorge. This beautiful river and gorge is the number one attraction in Launceston and features hiking trails, the world’s longest single span chairlift and a riverside swimming pool.
You’ll also find an awesome suspension bridge and scenic trails that transfer you from the heart of the city to pristine Tasmanian wilderness.
You can reach the Cataract Gorge on foot from the city in about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, there is a large car park if you want to drive, or even a free bus from town.
2. Check out (Or Stay at) Old Mac’s Farm
Old Macs Farm is a unique, private caravan and motorhome park located just minutes from Launceston CBD! While this Launceston activity might be better suited to those exploring the state in a van or camper, the farm is open to anyone who wants to pop in.
Old Macs have a variety of activities that are great for families, including animal petting, restaurants and a scenic lake.
3. Enjoy a Scenic Cataract Gorge Cruise
Are you in Launceston and searching for what to do? Don’t go past a Cataract Gorge cruise! This is one of the top-rated attractions in Launceston and costs less than $35!
Cruises depart from the ferry terminal and all include guided commentary as you cruise past some of Launceston’s most historic and iconic sites. The cheapest cruise takes roughly 50 minutes. However, you can also book a 2.5 hour cruise that also includes afternoon tea and a beer and wine tasting.
Book best price onine: 50-minute Cataract Gorge Cruise
Book best price online: 2.5 Hour Cataract Gorge Cruise
4. Discover the Tamar Island Wetlands
Just north of Launceston is the wild and beautiful Tamar Island Wetlands Area. This is an estuarine wetland ecosystem abundant with native Tasmanian plant and animal life.
There are trails, boardwalks and scenic footbridges over the kanamaluka/River Tamar where nature-lovers can spot diverse birdlife and scenic lookout spots. If you’re up for a bit of nature, I highly recommend getting out to the Tamar Island Wetlands when planning your things to do in Launceston, especially if you are travelling with kids!
5. Go On A Day Trip to Cradle Mountain
This one is for those of you who have come to Launceston for a quick visit. Did you know that you can actually get out to Cradle Mountain, arguably Tasmania’s most popular nature attraction, on a day trip from the city?
There are several organised trips that depart from Launceston to Cradle Mountain. Most will stop off at the Visitor Centre and take you out on some of the best day-walks in the park. The one I’m recommending below is a whole-day tour of around 10 hours. It’s also the best-rated in Launceston and includes:
- Hotel pickup/dropoff
- Entrance fee
- Water and snacks
- The Dove Lake circuit walk
- A visit to the Waldheim Chalet
- The Weindorfers forest walk
Book the best-value and top rated: Cradle Mountain day Tour from Launceston
6. Unwind at Lilydale Falls
If you’re after a quick waterfall trip, then one of the closest that you will find near Launceston is Lilydale Falls. This awesome little set of two waterfalls is just 25-minutes from the city.
The walk to Lilydale Falls is very easy and sealed for the entire way. What’s great about this spot is that you can even camp at the trailhead overnight. There is a cleared, dedicated park area which is a popular spot for caravaners and van-travellers.
RELATED POST: 26 Incredible Waterfalls in Tasmania
7. Check Out the Josef Chromy Winery
Would it be a trip to Launceston without tasking some iconic Tasmanian Pinot Noir? One of the best vineyards in the region is known as the Josef Chrome Winery.
This particular winery produces great wines and is one of the most picturesque estates in Australia. They offer a comprehensive 2.5 hour guided wine-tour package that includes:
- Complementary wine tasting
- A two-course lunch
- Guided tour of the estate
- Behind the scenes tour to see how the wine is produced
However, if you’d rather visit more wineries, consider this Tamar Valley Wine Region tour, which includes tastings at four wineries and lunch.
Secure a spot & book in advance: Josef Chromy Winery Tour
8. Stock up on Adventure Gear
Everyone knows that Tasmania is one of Australia’s best outdoor adventure destinations. If you don’t yet have the boots or gear to go out and tackle some world renowned hikes like the Three Capes Walk or the Overland, then you can stock up in Launceston.
Launceston has several great outdoor stores, all of which are located within walking distance of one another on York Street in the CBD. I recommend checking out Aspire, Paddy Pallin or Find Your Feet for quality gear.
9. Go Zip-Lining at Hollybank Wilderness Adventures
Hollybank Wilderness Adventures is Launceston’s very own adventure park. Located just 20 minutes from the CBD in Underwood, Hollybank offer epic treetop adventures including zip-lining, mountain biking, tree lines and even segway tours.
The park is located on the Piper River in a scenic forest setting. By far the most popular activity is the Zipline course, which is one of the longest ziplines in Australia with a total length of 400 metres. What’s great about this particular tour is that it is limited to 12-people in order for customers to get that small-group experience.
Adventurers looking for what to do in Launceston can book a great deal for the zip-line tours with the link below.
Book a deal online: Zip-Lining tour at Hollybank Adventures
10. Join a Beer and Food Cycling Tour
Name a better way to see the beautiful city of Launceston than a beer and food tour on two wheels.
I’m personally a big fan of cycling tours. They’re always fun, informative and a great way to learn about a city’s culture and history. The famous Launceston cycling tour is popular among those that love a good meal. Included in the price is a guide, bike, lunch and complementary beer.
Check price: Cycling Tour: Beer and Food
11. Visit the Bay of Fires & WineGlass Bay
Okay, the Bay of Fires and the iconic Wineglass Bay are not exactly within walking distance of Launceston. However, these two spots on the East Coast are ones that I believe every visitor to Tasmania should experience at least once.
If you’ve got your own car, then I recommend at least planning a day to explore the region. Otherwise, there is one tour that tries its best to squeeze in the very best of Freycinet National Park in a single day. It starts in Launceston and finishes up in Hobart. This is perfect, and a cost-effective way to see the coast if you are planning to head to the capital anyway!
Book Launceston to Hobart via Freycinet: Full-day Tour
Read more: Must-dos in Freycinet National Park
RELATED POST: The Free, Comprehensive Travel Guide to Hobart
Where to Stay in Launceston
That wraps up this quick what to do guide for the best things to do in Launceston, Tasmania. If you’re still in the planning stages of your trip. Make sure to check out some of the below options for where to stay. I’ve hand-picked these hotels and accommodation choices as the best options for various budgets.
Peppers Silo is one of the best luxury options in Launceston. This riverside, historic building has been revamped with modern interiors accommodating to travellers looking for the luxury experience. The hotel is conveniently located nearby many attractions including the Victoria Museum and the James Boag Brewery.
Check price and availability for your dates at the Peppers Silo
Hotel Verge is a conveniently located hotel in the heart of Launceston. In terms of location, this one is spot on. You’ll also get access to a restaurant, free parking (a big plus in Lonnie), a fitness centre and even a garden.
The accommodation is 5-stay but you won’t be paying 5-star prices. This is my best pick for hotels in Launceston.
Check price and availability at the Hotel Verge
Capsule hostels are more popular than ever. For those on a budget and looking for a cheap, convenient and comfortable stay in Launceston, consider checking out the Pod Inn.
I’ve stayed in a few of these capsules before and I always find I get an awesome nights sleep. The location of the Pod Inn is great too, making it a perfect choice for backpackers or quick visits to Tasmania’s second largest city!
Check price and availability for your dates at the Pod Inn Launceston
Other Must-Visit Destinations iN Tasmania
I hope that you have enjoyed this quick activity guide summarising some of the best things to do in Launceston, Tasmania. If you enjoyed this destination guide, make sure to check out some of my other articles. I’ve spent several months photographing and documenting the best in travel for Tasmania to help make your trip as memorable as possible.