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Launceston

About

Launceston is a city in the north of Tasmania, Australia at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart and the Thirteenth-largest non-capital city in Australia.

Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is one of Australia’s oldest cities and is home to many historic buildings. Like many Australian places, it was named after a town in the United Kingdom – in this case, Launceston, Cornwall. Launceston has also been home to several firsts such as the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, the first Australian city to have underground sewers and the first Australian city to be lit by hydroelectricity.The city has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Local government is split between the City of Launceston and the Meander Valley and West Tamar Councils.

People

Launceston is a city of Tasmania. Launceston has an estimated population of over 66,000 people, which accounts for 0.36% of Australian population. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart. The city is also one of largest 50 cities by population in Australia. It is located 198 km from Hobart.

Local Food

Aromas. Packed with workers from the nearby Launceston General Hospital. On weekends heavily packed by cycle riders. Good coffee and light meals.
Fish and Chips at the end of the Wharf, past the end of the flood barrier when walking from town. Possibly the best fish and chips you’ll ever have. Prices depending on fish and season.
Exeter Bakery about 25 minutes out of town up the West Tamar Highway in the town of Exeter, on the right as you come into town. Lovely sandwiches but bakery treats as never including a range of reasonably priced meat pies in a variety of flavours. Dessert items of course also. Fantastic. A second location is in Launceston downtown also, Exeter Bakery Too.

Culture

Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. In fact, the whole region is packed with city and country charm, gorgeous old towns, excellent food and wine and beautiful scenic highlights.

One of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston has one of the best-preserved early cityscapes in Australia with its elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks.

Just a short walk from the city centre, Cataract Gorge is a slice of wilderness right in the heart of town and Launceston’s star natural attraction.

There’s also plenty of culture on offer at art galleries, museums and design studios. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is the largest regional gallery in Australia.

History

The first inhabitants of the area of Launceston were largely nomadic Aboriginal Tasmanians believed to have been part of the North Midlands Tribe.

The first white visitors did not arrive until 1798, when George Bass and Matthew Flinders were sent to explore the possibility that there was a strait between Australia and Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania). They originally landed in Port Dalrymple (the mouth of the Tamar River), 40 kilometres to the north-west of Launceston.

The first significant colonial settlement in the region dates from 1804, when the commandant of the British garrison Lt. Col. William Paterson, and his men set up a camp on the current site of George Town. A few weeks later, the settlement was moved across the river to York Town, and a year later was moved to its definitive position where Launceston stands.

Initially the settlement was called Patersonia; however, Paterson later changed the name to Launceston in honour of the New South Wales Governor Captain Philip Gidley King, who was born in Launceston, Cornwall. The name still survives in the tiny hamlet of Patersonia 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-west of Launceston.Paterson himself also served as Lieutenant-Governor of northern Van Diemen’s Land from 1804 to 1808.

By 1827, Launceston’s population had climbed to 2,000 and the town had become an export centre, mainly for the colony’s northern pastoral industry. Small hotels and breweries began to emerge in the 1820s, before larger, more “”substantial”” hotels were built in the 1830s. Sporting groups, political groups, churches and schools were often established in these hotels; however, they also hosted plays, musical soirees and readings, until theatres were built.

Ships from Launceston carried parties of sealers to the islands of Bass Strait early in the 19th century. They also took whalers to the coast of Victoria in the 1820s and 1830s where they established temporary bay whaling stations.Some of these temporary communities, such as the ones at Portland Bay and Port Fairy, were the forerunner of permanent settlement of those places.

Walter George Arthur, who petitioned Queen Victoria in 1847 while interned with other Aboriginal Tasmanians on Flinders Island,lived for several years in Launceston as one of numerous homeless children, before being taken into custody by George Augustus Robinson who sent him to the Boy’s Orphan School in Hobart in 1832.

Newer popular team sports such as cricket and football failed to be sustained in Launceston before the population grew substantially. The sports were initially middle class recreations, as the working class found it difficult to participate after a six-day working week. Nevertheless, a “”demand for facilities”” lead to the upgrade of the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground amongst other sporting facilities in the 1860s. Not long beforehand, Tasmania played Victoria in Australia’s first first-class cricket match at the NTCA Ground in 1851.

Tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff in 1871 in north-western Tasmania, starting a minerals boom. Gold mining commenced approximately 50 kilometres away in Beaconsfield in 1877. During the following two decades Launceston grew from a small town into an urban centre. In 1889, Launceston was the second town in Tasmania to be declared a city, after state capital Hobart.

Shopping

Tasmanian Wool Products: Waverley Woolen Mills, The Sheep’s Back
The Tasmanian Devil as soft toys, hand-puppets etc
Design Centre Tasmania, Cnr Brisbane St and Tamar St, City Park. Australia’s only museum collection of contemporary wood design, they run exhibitions and tours of crafts, design and art, nationally and internationally. A not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and sustain design.

Thing to do

Cruise the Tamar River
Tour the surrounding wineries of the Tamar Valley
Boag’s brewery, 39 William St. Tours leave weekdays from the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers located in the Tamar Hotel in the heart of Launceston. Bookings and fully enclosed footwear are essential. Boag’s Brewery on Wikipedia Boag’s Brewery
Launceston Ghost Tour, 14 Brisbane St, Starts 8:30PM nightly at the Royal Oak. Fun night walking around one of Australia’s oldest cities. Unearth the eerie side of Launceston in the 19th century. Fascinating for history buffs. Bookings required. $24/person or $20 with a voucher from the local hotels.
York Park (known commercially as University of Tasmania Stadium, formerly Aurora Stadium), 2 Invermay Rd, Invermay. Tasmania’s largest sporting venue with a maximum capacity of 21,000.

At night

Launceston has several “olde worlde” UK style pubs, including The Cock and Bull and Irish Murphy’s. In the city centre there are pubs on many of the street intersections.

How to get here

By plane:
Launceston is approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne on the mainland. Daily flights fly from Launceston to Melbourne with Virgin Australia, Qantas Link and Jetstar. Direct flights to Sydney are available daily and direct flights to Brisbane are available on selected days. Jetstar from Sydney can be only 1 hour 20 minutes.

The terminal itself has recently undergone a major facelift. The interior has a modern check in area, with comfortable waiting lounges and a few airport shops and coin operated internet terminals. There is in-terminal car hire and hired cars can be easily walked to. Everything is very compact and coming and going from the terminal is easy. Taxis are usually available right out front. There are no jetways at Launceston Airport, the plane stops outside the terminal building and you depart the aircraft on stairs and walk into the terminal from outside.

The terminal building itself opens at 04:30 for early morning departures.

The importation of fruit into Tasmania is strictly controlled and travelers from the mainland should expect to be met by fruit sniffing dogs or other authorities when making their way through the hallways to baggage claim.

By car:
Launceston is a hub of the highway system in Northern Tasmania. From Hobart, Devonport, or Burnie just stay on Highway 1, and make sure you are heading the right way. The main point of entry for drivers from the mainland will be in Devonport offloading from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry arrivals. It’s about a one hour drive to Launceston from Devonport, mainly all on divided highway with many services and shopping en route.

Launceston is a city of Tasmania. Launceston has an estimated population of over 66,000 people, which accounts for 0.36% of Australian population. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart. The city is also one of largest 50 cities by population in Australia. It is located 198 km from Hobart.
Aromas. Packed with workers from the nearby Launceston General Hospital. On weekends heavily packed by cycle riders. Good coffee and light meals.
Fish and Chips at the end of the Wharf, past the end of the flood barrier when walking from town. Possibly the best fish and chips you’ll ever have. Prices depending on fish and season.
Exeter Bakery about 25 minutes out of town up the West Tamar Highway in the town of Exeter, on the right as you come into town. Lovely sandwiches but bakery treats as never including a range of reasonably priced meat pies in a variety of flavours. Dessert items of course also. Fantastic. A second location is in Launceston downtown also, Exeter Bakery Too.

Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. In fact, the whole region is packed with city and country charm, gorgeous old towns, excellent food and wine and beautiful scenic highlights.

One of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston has one of the best-preserved early cityscapes in Australia with its elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks.

Just a short walk from the city centre, Cataract Gorge is a slice of wilderness right in the heart of town and Launceston’s star natural attraction.

There’s also plenty of culture on offer at art galleries, museums and design studios. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is the largest regional gallery in Australia.

The first inhabitants of the area of Launceston were largely nomadic Aboriginal Tasmanians believed to have been part of the North Midlands Tribe.

The first white visitors did not arrive until 1798, when George Bass and Matthew Flinders were sent to explore the possibility that there was a strait between Australia and Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania). They originally landed in Port Dalrymple (the mouth of the Tamar River), 40 kilometres to the north-west of Launceston.

The first significant colonial settlement in the region dates from 1804, when the commandant of the British garrison Lt. Col. William Paterson, and his men set up a camp on the current site of George Town. A few weeks later, the settlement was moved across the river to York Town, and a year later was moved to its definitive position where Launceston stands.

Initially the settlement was called Patersonia; however, Paterson later changed the name to Launceston in honour of the New South Wales Governor Captain Philip Gidley King, who was born in Launceston, Cornwall. The name still survives in the tiny hamlet of Patersonia 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-west of Launceston.Paterson himself also served as Lieutenant-Governor of northern Van Diemen’s Land from 1804 to 1808.

By 1827, Launceston’s population had climbed to 2,000 and the town had become an export centre, mainly for the colony’s northern pastoral industry. Small hotels and breweries began to emerge in the 1820s, before larger, more “”substantial”” hotels were built in the 1830s. Sporting groups, political groups, churches and schools were often established in these hotels; however, they also hosted plays, musical soirees and readings, until theatres were built.

Ships from Launceston carried parties of sealers to the islands of Bass Strait early in the 19th century. They also took whalers to the coast of Victoria in the 1820s and 1830s where they established temporary bay whaling stations.Some of these temporary communities, such as the ones at Portland Bay and Port Fairy, were the forerunner of permanent settlement of those places.

Walter George Arthur, who petitioned Queen Victoria in 1847 while interned with other Aboriginal Tasmanians on Flinders Island,lived for several years in Launceston as one of numerous homeless children, before being taken into custody by George Augustus Robinson who sent him to the Boy’s Orphan School in Hobart in 1832.

Newer popular team sports such as cricket and football failed to be sustained in Launceston before the population grew substantially. The sports were initially middle class recreations, as the working class found it difficult to participate after a six-day working week. Nevertheless, a “”demand for facilities”” lead to the upgrade of the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground amongst other sporting facilities in the 1860s. Not long beforehand, Tasmania played Victoria in Australia’s first first-class cricket match at the NTCA Ground in 1851.

Tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff in 1871 in north-western Tasmania, starting a minerals boom. Gold mining commenced approximately 50 kilometres away in Beaconsfield in 1877. During the following two decades Launceston grew from a small town into an urban centre. In 1889, Launceston was the second town in Tasmania to be declared a city, after state capital Hobart.

Tasmanian Wool Products: Waverley Woolen Mills, The Sheep’s Back
The Tasmanian Devil as soft toys, hand-puppets etc
Design Centre Tasmania, Cnr Brisbane St and Tamar St, City Park. Australia’s only museum collection of contemporary wood design, they run exhibitions and tours of crafts, design and art, nationally and internationally. A not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and sustain design.
Cruise the Tamar River
Tour the surrounding wineries of the Tamar Valley
Boag’s brewery, 39 William St. Tours leave weekdays from the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers located in the Tamar Hotel in the heart of Launceston. Bookings and fully enclosed footwear are essential. Boag’s Brewery on Wikipedia Boag’s Brewery
Launceston Ghost Tour, 14 Brisbane St, Starts 8:30PM nightly at the Royal Oak. Fun night walking around one of Australia’s oldest cities. Unearth the eerie side of Launceston in the 19th century. Fascinating for history buffs. Bookings required. $24/person or $20 with a voucher from the local hotels.
York Park (known commercially as University of Tasmania Stadium, formerly Aurora Stadium), 2 Invermay Rd, Invermay. Tasmania’s largest sporting venue with a maximum capacity of 21,000.
Launceston has several “olde worlde” UK style pubs, including The Cock and Bull and Irish Murphy’s. In the city centre there are pubs on many of the street intersections.
By plane:
Launceston is approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne on the mainland. Daily flights fly from Launceston to Melbourne with Virgin Australia, Qantas Link and Jetstar. Direct flights to Sydney are available daily and direct flights to Brisbane are available on selected days. Jetstar from Sydney can be only 1 hour 20 minutes.The terminal itself has recently undergone a major facelift. The interior has a modern check in area, with comfortable waiting lounges and a few airport shops and coin operated internet terminals. There is in-terminal car hire and hired cars can be easily walked to. Everything is very compact and coming and going from the terminal is easy. Taxis are usually available right out front. There are no jetways at Launceston Airport, the plane stops outside the terminal building and you depart the aircraft on stairs and walk into the terminal from outside.

The terminal building itself opens at 04:30 for early morning departures.

The importation of fruit into Tasmania is strictly controlled and travelers from the mainland should expect to be met by fruit sniffing dogs or other authorities when making their way through the hallways to baggage claim.

By car:
Launceston is a hub of the highway system in Northern Tasmania. From Hobart, Devonport, or Burnie just stay on Highway 1, and make sure you are heading the right way. The main point of entry for drivers from the mainland will be in Devonport offloading from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry arrivals. It’s about a one hour drive to Launceston from Devonport, mainly all on divided highway with many services and shopping en route.

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