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11 BEST Things to Do in Launceston, Tasmania

11 BEST Things to Do in Launceston, Tasmania

From exploring the Cataract Gorge to epic day trips, here are the best things to do in Launceston, Tasmania.

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!

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

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 the 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.

Location: End of Basin Rd, West Launceston

Cataract gorge - best things to do in launceston
Cataract gorge in launceston

2. Visit 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.

Old macs farm in launceston tasmania
Yes, there are llamas at Old Mac's Farm!

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 start at less than $40!

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

What to do in launceston tasmania

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!

Autumn in launceston

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:

  • Lunch
  • Hotel pickup/dropoff
  • Entrance fee
  • Water and snacks
  • Lunch
  • The Dove Lake circuit walk
  • A visit to the Waldheim Chalet
  • The Weindorfers forest walk
Cradle mountain 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.

Lilydale falls tasmania

7. Visit the Tamar Valley Wine Region

Would it be a trip to Launceston without tasking some iconic Tasmanian Pinot Noir?

I highly recommend booking a Tamar Valley wine tour, which includes a stop at 5 of the most picturesque estates in Australia. T

This Tamar Valley Wine Region tour, includes tastings and lunch, and has some of the top reviews in Launceston!

Wine tasting tour

8. Stock up on Adventure Gear in Launceston

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.

Hiking in tasmania

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 offers 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.

Zip lining at hollybank

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 a complementary beer.

Cycling tour launceston

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 amazing hiking trails in the region. Otherwise, below are 3 trips that try their best to squeeze in the very best of Freycinet National Park in a single day.

This is perfect, and a cost-effective way to see the coast if you are planning to head to the capital anyway!

Orange rocks and blue water at bay of fires tasmania
Bay of Fires
Sunrise at mount amos summit
Wineglass Bay

Where to Stay in Launceston

Tasmania's second-largest city is well worth a visit and serves as an excellent base for day trips to the central region and the East Coast. For a quintessential Launceston experience, I recommend basing yourself in the Inveresk precinct, a hub of culture, cafes, and history, all within a stone's throw of the scenic Tamar River.

Below are my handpicked hotels and accommodation choices for various budgets.

Waterfront hotel peppers silo, tasmania

1. Peppers Silo Luxury

This riverside, historic building has been revamped with modern interiors accommodating travelers looking for a luxury experience. The hotel is conveniently located near many attractions including the Victoria Museum and the James Boag Brewery.

Hotel verge bedroom with view in launceston, tasmania

2. Hotel Verge Mid-Range

In terms of location, this one is spot on. You'll get access to a restaurant, free parking (a big plus in Lonnie), a fitness center, and even a garden all for a reasonable price. Bread + Butter Bakery is next door with the best donuts in town!

Pod inn capsule styled bed, launceston

3. POD Inn Budget

Capsule hostels are more popular than ever. For those on a budget & looking for a cheap, convenient, and comfortable stay in Launceston, consider checking out the Pod Inn. A large communal area and fully equipped kitchen is offered and the Village Cinemas is just 100 m away.

And that wraps up my guide to what to do in Launceston

Make sure to check out some of my other posts below. I've spent several months photographing and documenting the best in travel for Tasmania to help make your trip as memorable as possible!

Sunrise at mount amos tasmania

The Ultimate Tasmania Travel Resource

Looking for more Tasmania travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Your feedback & updates are crucial to keep my guides factual & current. Got new info or updates? Drop a comment below or contact me directly.

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