The riverside city of Launceston is the gateway to a number of historic and natural wonders that northern Tasmania has to offer.
A relatively small city in terms of the rest of Australia, it’s still the second-largest in Tasmania.
Built predominately in the late 1800s, Launceston has a very British countryside feel with the Victorian and Georgian style architecture that makes up much of the city.
Where To Stay Launceston
I know I mentioned it before, but Launceston isn’t a huge city. That said, the city does offer a good range of accommodation options that are all fairly centrally located.
The pick of the premium accommodation options is around the river, along the waterfront. I would particularly look at either the Peppers Seaport Hotel or the new Peppers Silo for that more top tier experience.
Personally, I prefer something a little more middle of the range and both Hotel Launceston and Adina Place Motel Apartments fit the bill nicely. They are also within a just couple of minutes walk from the centre of the city.
For something a bit different, and a bit cheaper, check out the Pod Inn. I haven’t stayed there personally, but a friend has and said it was a good alternative. Also, the concept of pod hotels does intrigue me.
Getting To The City From Launceston Airport
Launceston is serviced by a very small regional airport about 15 kilometres out of the city.
That said all the major airlines offer flights there from most cities around Australia (possibly with a connection through Melbourne).
Now, public transport really isn’t Launceston’s strong point, but in reality, if you’re exploring all of what the city and the region have to offer, you’ll probably want to rent a car anyway. But I’ll get to that shortly.
In terms of getting to and from the airport as cheaply as possible, there is a shuttle bus service that you can book for about $15, all of the details can be found here.
However, given the city’s proximity and access to the motorway, I’ve found Ubers and Taxis pretty reasonable too. Between $35-$40 roughly depending on where in the city I’ve been staying.
Pro Tip: I’ve already mentioned that Launceston Airport is small, in fact it has only got four gates.
Inside there is a cafe, a bar and magazine store, and that is about it. It’s not the airport that you want to get to super early before your flight.
It’s also worth noting that the airport only operates in the morning and the afternoon, closing in the middle of the day and again overnight. So it’s a fair bit different to other airports you might have experienced. Just something to keep that in mind.
Getting Around Launceston
I just made mention of it before, but there is not much in the way of a public transport system in Launceston.
Tasmania does run a limited public bus service through Metro Tas that does service some routes through Launceston. The free Tiger Bus service interlinks a few key attractions within the city that can be handy if the times and days line-up for you.
What I’ve found, that within the city itself it’s just easier to walk everywhere. There are good walking paths all around the city, and the walk from the CBD to Cataract Gorge will only take you about 20 minutes.
Being a small city, nothing is ever too far away and parking can be a bit of a pain within the city, so walking is a really simple option. Personally, I find that walking is the best way to discover a city anyway.
Getting Beyond The City
As I mentioned in the airport section of this post, Launceston, in fact all of Tasmania, is one of those places that you really want to rent a car.
For most of the best of what the region has to offer, especially the natural wonders, you will want the freedom and flexibility of driving there yourself.
If I’m brutally honest, the roads around Tasmania are a lot of fun. Driving to places is half of the adventure, and with the well speed-limited roads, it makes for an outstanding driving experience.
Just do yourself a favour and make sure you rent a car while you are there so you can really make the most of your time in Launceston.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of the Google Maps (or your favourite maps application) offline maps feature. In the city, mobile phone coverage is good, but it can get a little spotty in the remote, regional areas.
What Should You Do In Launceston
I’ve actually put together a whole dedicated post on the best attractions and experiences that Launceston has to offer which you can read here.
Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?
Launceston is know for two things, its seafood and its pub grub.
Unfortunately, I’m allergic to seafood, so I really can’t offer recommendations on that front. The said some fancier restaurants do cater to that down by the river.
Now, pub grub is my jam, and there is no shortage of options with a pub on nearly every street corner around the city. Just look out for the Boag’s signs, they are effortless to find.
My personal picks would be either the Jailhouse Grill or the Royal Oak Hotel depending on which side of the city you happen to be on at the time.
That all said, there is no shortage of food options around the CBD, particularly near the Brisbane Street Mall area. It is well worth just taking a stroll around and seeing what grabs your interest. Asian, Indian, Italian, Greek, allsorts of tastes are catered for.
If you’d like to get some more information to help in planning your trip to and around Australia… I’ve got a whole series of blog posts with all sorts of tips and advice for you.
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