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Top Ten Things to do in Launceston with a Campervan

Coles Bay, 175 km southeast

A stone’s throw from Freycinet, this gorgeous seaside hamlet overlooks the sparkling Great Oyster Bay. For more epic coastal scenery, head east to Friendly Beaches.

Freycinet National Park, 176 km southeast

One of Tasmania’s most sought-after national parks, Freycinet is a dreamscape of cragged granite boulders and sparkling turquoise coves. Scale the summit of Mount Amos for sweeping views, and then scramble down to Wine Glass Bay to wash off the sweat.

Bicheno, 160 km southeast

A classic Tasmanian beach holiday destination, Bicheno is where the locals go to soak up some sunshine in the summer months. Beautiful beaches, stellar seafood, and bellowing blowholes keep punters coming back year after year.

The Bay of Fires, 190 km east

The orange lichen-cloaked boulders at this breathtaking coastal park feature in every Tasmanian tourism campaign. No need to visit on a rushed day trip. Mesmerising free campsites line its pristine shores.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate, 51 km northeast

At Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Instagrammers can snag an enviable happy snap among a sea of purple floral hues. Once you’ve scored the perfect profile pic, pop into the on-site shop to devour lavender-flavoured ice cream and other themed treats.

Evandale, 18 km south

Tasmania is flush with charming, colonial-era towns, but few are as endearing as Evandale. Just 20 minutes from Launceston, this magnificent historic village highlights the architectural elegance of yesteryear.

Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre, 40 km north

Hear the incredible story behind Brant Webb and Todd Russell, a duo of brave local miners who spent two weeks trapped underground. The 2006 Beaconsfield gold mine collapse dominated headlines at the time, and this informative museum provides a comprehensive timeline.

The Tamar Valley, 40 km north

A fertile food-producing valley straddling the sparkling Tamar River, this scenic region makes for a brilliant road trip. Wineries and farmyard stalls litter the route, and you’ll find historic towns and lofty lookouts at every turn.

Cataract Gorge, 2 km west

Just 15 minutes walk from the city, this cragged forested canyon has long been a favourite among Launceston locals. Meander the Cataract Walk, then pop into Penny Royal Adventures for some old-fashioned fun.

Swansea, 136 km southeast

Spectacular Swansea offers some of the finest coastal scenery in the state. Despite being Australia’s third oldest municipality (after Sydney and Hobart), this tiny little town still only houses about a thousand inhabitants. And that’s just the way we like it.

The Launceston Experience

Launceston’s bucket-list attraction is Cataract Gorge, a gorgeous natural canyon formed by the shimmering South Esk River. A slew of scenic walking trails winds through the rugged ravine to afford panoramic views—try the Duck Reach Track. If you’re not up for a hike, hop on the chairlift or picnic on its luscious lawns.

Families, or the young at heart, should visit Penny Royal Adventures, a popular Cataract Gorge theme park with rock climbing, zip-lining, and rides.

Launceston’s tightly-packed CBD houses many of its main sites.

City Park is the premiere green space and a great place to seek quiet respite (Prince’s Square is another serene spot). Across the road, historic Albert Hall puts on artisan markets and expos. Art aficionados should pop into the Queen Victoria Art Gallery for its respectable collection of contemporary works. To taste Tasmanian retail heritage, browse hand-crafted souvenirs at the Old Umbrella Shop.

Just north of the CBD, the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk has Tasmanian history exhibits and an interactive science centre. Automotive enthusiasts will prefer the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania.

On the outskirts of town, Franklin House showcases the extravagant lifestyles of the early 19th-century elite.

A whole host of worthwhile sites reside within easy reach of Launceston.

The Tamar Valley

Stretching from Launceston to the Bass Strait, this fertile valley is famous for top-notch produce and world-class wine. Epicureans should follow the Tamar Valley Wine Route, a scenic 172 km circuit passing 32 vineyards on both sides of the river. Pro tip: try the Pinot Noir and Sparkling Whites.

On the west side of the river, nature lovers will adore spotting birdlife at the Tamar Island Wetlands Centre. Other worthwhile reserves include Notley Fern Gorge, Holwell Gorge, and Narawntapu National Park. Hit Bradys Lookout for sweeping Tamar River views.

In Beauty Point, Seahorse World is a popular spot to marvel at strange aquatic creatures. Nearby, the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre outlines the sombre survival story of two local fellows who spent 14 days trapped underground.

Across the Batman Bridge, sea-faring enthusiasts will relish a visit to George Town’s Bass and Flinders Maritime Museum. Low Head has a photogenic lighthouse and a fascinating Pilot Station Maritime Museum.

The pretty Lilydale Falls has a lovely free camp for overnight stays. Further east, the Bridestowe Lavender Estate is a photographer’s dreamscape during the blooming season (Dec-Feb).

Launceston Highlights

Historic estates and old-timey villages surround Launceston.

The tiny towns of Longford and Westbury ooze quaint countryside vibes. But the prettiest regional village is Evandale, which retains its original 19th-century charm. Chic boutiques and eateries give cause to linger a few hours or more. Check out the Evandale Market for fabulous local produce.

A trio of elegant rural estates offer insight into the lives of the colonial-era bourgeoisie. Woolmers Estate is the most magnificent for its stately manor house and well-kept rose garden. Clarendon Estate and Entally Estate are only marginally less ostentatious.

On the Midlands Highway towards Hobart, Campbell Town, Ross, and Oatlands are lovely little historic towns for you to break up the drive.

The Northeast Coast

The northeast coast boasts the state’s most scenic beaches, while gorgeous reserves reside inland.

Hikers will find a stunning ensemble of trails in the Blue Tier Forest Reserve, Weldborough, Mount Victoria Forest Reserve, Evercreech Forest Reserve, and Douglas-Apsley National Park (the latter is the pick of the bunch). Hikes range from tranquil rainforest strolls to steep mountainous summits.

A worthwhile inland attraction is the Legerwood Carved Memorial Trees, which pays homage to fallen Aussie soldiers. The Pub in the Paddock is a characterful spot serving frothy beers since 1880—camping is available here, too.

On the northeast coast, The Bay of Fires delights visitors with its bright white beaches, clear blue waters, and vibrant orange lichen-cloaked boulders. Check out nearby Mount William National Park for hikes and more spectacular coastlines.

The tiny town of Binalong Bay has restaurants and shops, plus its own beautiful turquoise-tinged beach. Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area is a hit among bushwalkers.

Further south, St Helens is the most sizeable northeast coast town and a mecca for game fishing. Bicheno is a popular summer beach resort with coastal hikes and red lichen-smothered granite outcrops.

Next up is Freycinet National Park, the glimmering jewel in the east coast’s gem-studded crown. Chock full of secluded white sand bays and pink granite peaks, Freycinet is a place of wild, untamed beauty.

Fit travellers should summit Mount Amos for sweeping views of the iconic Wineglass Bay. Most folks base themselves in the gorgeous nearby town of Coles Bay, although Friendly Beaches is hard to beat.

Opposite Freycinet, Swansea is a historic seaside village with awe-inspiring ocean views.