About Launceston

Established in 1806, Launceston is the nation’s third oldest city and Tasmania’s second largest.

Penny Royal Windmill

The Gateway To Tasmania


Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest centre. With a population of 106,153 in 2010 (it has nearly doubled in the last twenty years) it has changed from being little more than a large country town to becoming an important centre with a thriving tertiary education population.

It is an ideal starting point for any tour of Tasmania being close to Cradle Mountain, the island’s beautiful north coast, the historic and charming towns of Evandale, Longford and Perth, and containing an extraordinary number of elegant nineteenth century buildings.

It has been suggested that Launceston has the greatest concentration of large nineteenth century buildings of any city in Australia. Certainly it has a distinctive ambience and charm and its major attractions – Cataract Gorge and the beautiful City Park – are unique and memorable

Business Opportunities

If you’re looking for a lifestyle change and want to run your business from Launceston, start a new business in Launceston or relocate your existing business; Business Launceston has all the information you need.

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Launceston lifestyle

Launceston’s lifestyle is gaining in reputation, evidenced by the growing number of visitors to the city and region each year.

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Study Launceston

City of Learning

A Unique Partnership between Learning Institutions in Launceston and Business. We undertake the administration for the City of Learning Partnership and the campaign slogan ‘Love Launceston’.

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Location

Launceston is just 50 minutes by air from Melbourne. Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas all fly into Launceston Airport which is approximately 15 minutes drive from the centre of the city.
Launceston is situated at the head of the beautiful Tamar Valley and the city’s unique lifestyle is a blend of culture, history, nature, creativity, adventure and entertainment.

Launceston is compact and easy to navigate, with the charm and pace of a regional centre, yet with the facilities of a larger city without the crowding or traffic. Launceston city and its immediate suburbs are served by the City of Launceston.

Launceston’s many special attributes include elegant historic streetscapes, century old parks and gardens, river activities, innovative design and galleries and the premium food, wines and ales that have made Tasmania famous.
Launceston’s central location makes it the ideal base to explore the many attractions of Northern Tasmania.

Climate

Launceston has a cool, temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. Surrounded by many large hills and mountains, Launceston’s weather patterns can change considerably in a short period. The warmest months are in January and February with an average air temperature range of 12.2 °C (54 °F) to 24.4 °C (76 °F).

Winters are cool with minimum temperatures dropping below 2 °C (36 °F) an average of 61 days a year. The coldest month is July, with an average temperature range of 2.2 °C (36 °F) – 12.5 °C (55 °F).

There is an average of 663.4 millimetres (26.12 in) of rain a year (676.6 millimetres (26.64 in) at the airport). Cold fronts in winter account for much of this precipitation, with mountains surrounding Launceston regularly receiving snow in autumn, winter and spring.[7] Launceston annual rainfall is somewhat lower than that of surrounding areas, particularly further north in the Tamar valley. This is due to the rain shadow effect of the Western Tiers located West of the city.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology – Launceston Forecast

History

Launceston is Australia’s third oldest city. Launceston was proclaimed a municipality by an Act of Parliament on October 30, 1852. Launceston has a rich heritage and an intriguing story. Known by some as the “city of firsts”, there is much to learn about Launceston. 

For more on the history of Launceston, please visit:

Government

  • Launceston, in its majority, is contained within the City of Launceston local government area. Some suburbs of Launceston lie within neighbouring local government areas of West Tamar Council and Meander Valley Council.
  • Launceston sits within both the federal and state lower house division of Bass. 
  • For the State Upper House, Launceston is trisected by the electoral divisions of Paterson, Windermere and Rosevears.

Historic Downtown Launceston

Launceston has a rich and vibrant heritage and one of the most intact early cityscapes in the county. It’s early Colonial and Victorian buildings – some dating back to 1824 – give the city a wonderful historic character. Our historic buildings are kept alive to this day, busting with social and commerce activity.

Launceston is a brilliant example of repurposing, we have hotels that were once school campuses, wheat silos and flour mills, a restaurant that used to be home to the city’s busiest butchery, and a historic house that now accommodates high-tech working space for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Wine Country

Jinglers Creek Wines

On both sides of the Tamar Estuary and south of the city, you’ll find vineyards producing award-winning cold-climate wines. If you enjoy a Pinot Noir, a Pinot Gris or a glass of Riesling, you can’t go past a Tamar Valley Wine. Not to mention our Sparkling which has been compared to the best the french can offer.

Cellar door sales and tastings are available at many of the vineyards in Northern Tasmania.

Many vineyards offer opportunities to enjoy a long lunch or cheese platter while enjoying a glass or two of your favourite drop.

Attractions & Accommodation

One cannot visit Launceston without a trip to the Cataract Gorge – a stunning piece of wilderness just a short walk from Launceston’s CBD. Here you’ll find walking and hiking trails, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a cafe and kiosk, peacocks that enjoy nothing more than showing off their stunning tail feathers, friendly wallabies, beautiful gardens, a suspension bridge, and the world’s longest single-span chairlift. Take your camera, your walking boots, your bathers and enjoy Launceston’s jewel in the crown.

Launceston’s oasis in the middle of the city is City Park. City Park is home to the Jubilee Fountain, City Park Radio Museum, a conservatory, and the famous City Park Monkeys (a small collection of Japanese macaques)

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, split over two campuses, is a must-visit for local history, Australian and international art. You’ll find the museum in Inveresk, which is a short walk from the city. The Art Gallery on Wellington Street is just 2 minutes from the CBD. 

if you’re looking for the freshest produce, including breads, fruit and vegetables, and freshly roasted coffee. Saturday Morning’s Harvest Market is just for you. Find them on Cimitiere Street – just follow the “crowds”.

Shopping

Launceston’s Central City is a mix of national retails, boutique offerings, and locally handmade wares.

Shopping in Launceston is relaxed with plenty of options for a coffee break along the way.

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Living Here

Launceston is situated at the head of the beautiful Tamar Valley and the city’s unique lifestyle is a blend of culture, history, nature, creativity, adventure and entertainment.

Launceston is compact and easy to navigate, with the charm and pace of a regional centre, yet with the facilities of a larger city without the crowding or traffic. Launceston city and its immediate suburbs are served by the City of Launceston.

Launceston’s many special attributes include elegant historic streetscapes, century old parks and gardens, river activities, innovative design and galleries and the premium food, wines and ales that have made Tasmania famous.

Launceston’s central location makes it the ideal base to explore the many attractions of Northern Tasmania.

Parks & Recreation

The City of Launceston manages more than 148 recreational areas including parks, gardens and playgrounds. Search for a site near you or use our Dog Walking Areas and Park Amenities map, use this interactive map to view the Parks Levels of Service, re-hydrate when you’re out and about using this interactive map to find the nearest water fountain and drink refill station, or learn about some of the city’s Memorials here

Weddings are welcome in the City of Launceston’s public parks.  Popular venues include City Park, Cataract Gorge, Princes Square, Punchbowl and Royal Park Regatta (including Kings Park), please contact us for more information.

Education

A range of high-quality Primary, Secondary and Tertiary educational institutions combine to make Launceston a truly unique study destination.

Launceston is home to three excellent private schools which cater to students from Kindergarten to Year 12 and a number of independent private primary schools for students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

A number of Catholic Primary Schools that feed into a Catholic Secondary School which caters to students from Year 7 to 12.

Launceston is the northern Tasmanian home to the University of Tasmania & Australian Maritime College, the Big Picture School and TasTafe.

All these education options within one of Australia’s most charming cities – a 50 min flight from Melbourne and a 50-minute drive to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, mountains and wilderness areas.

For more information, please visit the Study Launcestom website.

 

 

Law Enforcement, Fire and State Emergency Service

The Tasmanian Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management (DPFEM) provides policing and emergency management services to the Tasmanian community. The Department includes Tasmania Police, State Emergency Service (SES)Forensic Science Service Tasmania (FSST) and the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS), and operates under the core legislation of the Police Service Act 2003, the State Service Act 2000, and the Emergency Management Act 2006.

The Department comprises three geographical police Districts, with five specialised support districts and three SES regional areas, which are supported by a State Headquarters.

For more information, please visit www.police.tas.gov.au

Culture

Inveresk is Launceston’s arts and cultural precinct. You can easily spend a day here viewing exhibitions, visiting an art school, and, at the end of it all, relaxing with a coffee at the Blue Cafe Bar. Further into town, you can check out smaller, independently run galleries. If you’re here in spring, visit the experimental Junction Arts Festival, and in summer, the MOFO festival.

 

Launceston’s galleries and arts festivals

Launceston has a remarkably edgy arts scene, which might make even some sophisticated city folk stand up and take notice.

 
The government-funded Sawtooth Gallery runs a successful experimental program, and the annual Junction Arts Festival gets bigger and better with each edition. 
This large warehouse-like space is filled with natural light and showcases emerging and established artists, both Australian and international. Sawtooth Gallery also features a writers’ program.

 

Level 2, 160 Cimitiere St., Launceston TAS 7250Tel: +61 3 6331 2777

Sawtooth Gallery website

 

Junction Arts Festival

Generally held in early spring, the Junction Arts Festival makes use of under-utilized spaces across the city, turning them into arts venues for 5 days. The program focuses on contemporary visual art and participatory and site-specific performances.

 

Albert Hall, 45 Tamar St., Launceston TAS 7250. Tel: +61 3 6331 1309

 

Junction Arts Festival website

Launceston’s art and education

 

The University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture and Design resides in the cultural precinct of Inveresk. Inside, The Academy Gallery exhibits student and graduate work. A short walk away, there’s more to view at the Inveresk branch of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG).

 

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk

 

Converted from a railway workshop dating from the 1870s, the QVMAG Inveresk branch is worth visiting for its setting alone. On Sundays, you can join the free “Tasmanian Connections” tour, which explains the state’s natural science and history collections.

 

2 Invermay Rd., Inveresk TAS 7248. Tel: +61 3 6323 3777
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk website
Academy Gallery

The Academy Gallery at Tasmanian College of the Arts features exhibitions from established and emerging Australian artists. You can check out fresh talent from the college’s students too.

School of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Tasmania, Launceston. Tel: +61 3 6324 4450

Academy Gallery website

Launceston’s applied arts

In a place with so much history and stately architecture, it’s not hard to see why a strong design culture thrives here. There’s a pleasing aesthetic feel to Launceston, from the grandiose architecture of Holy Trinity Church to the contemporary objects and furniture at Design Tasmania.

Holy Trinity Church

This Gothic-style church stands tall above Launceston. Among its many features to admire are the stained glass windows dating from 1842, quirky gargoyles, and a historic organ.

Corner Cameron and George Streets, Launceston TAS 7250. Tel: +61 3 6331 4460

 
Design Tasmania
Along with changing exhibitions of local and national importance, this venue also hosts the state’s annual design awards. It is located in an old heritage building that has been enlarged with a modern extension and frontage.
Corner Brisbane and Tamar Streets, Launceston TAS 7250. Tel: +61 3 6331 5506
Design Tasmania website

Tasmanian woodwork

Tasmania’s famous forests, with giant redwoods, Huon pines (from the Huon Valley) and ash trees, are one of its most singular assets. This natural wealth has led to a strong tradition in woodwork and carpentry. You can pick up finely made cutting boards, bowls, and other small objects in craft markets, and they make wonderful take-homes. Larger pieces of furniture and sculptures can be seen specialty shops and art galleries.

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