Launceston Off The Beaten Path

  • Beautiful tree ferns at Mole Creek
    Beautiful tree ferns at Mole Creek
    by balhannah
  • Copperhead's idea of lunch
    Copperhead's idea of lunch
    by iandsmith
  • Tasmanian pademelon
    Tasmanian pademelon
    by iandsmith

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Launceston

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    Narawntapu (2)

    by iandsmith Written Dec 24, 2011

    This is what the National Parks people have to say about the place: "Narawntapu National Park (formerly known as Asbestos Range National Park) is a place of peace for people and wildlife alike. It stretches from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, and includes an historic farm, a complex of inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, all with an amazing variety of plants and animals.
    Small quantities of asbestos, among other minerals, were once mined in areas beyond the Asbestos Range, but never actually in the Asbestos Range itself - despite the earlier name of the park. Hence the name change.
    Dubbed the "Serengeti of Tasmania", Narawntapu is one of the best places in Tasmania to view wildlife. The park boasts a rich array of easily observed animals that come out in the evening to graze on the grasslands. Some of the animals that you may see include the Forester kangaroo, Bennetts wallaby and common wombat. You may even catch a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil.
    Whether you're here for water activities or wildlife; bushwalking or beachcombing; picnicking or camping, you'll find Narawntapu a special place."
    Now, why they call it the Serengeti is because you will see wildlife here though certainly not in the abundance of Serengeti. Having said that it is the most wildlife I've ever seen in an Australian National Park.
    The view from the top of Archer's Knob, an extra half hour on top of the Springlawn Track, makes the extra worthwhile. Panoramic views over the ocean and way back into the hinterland make this one of the better scenic points in Tasmania.

    Panorama from Archer's Knob Grey fantail Swampland Bridge over the swamp Eastern ringtail damselfly
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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    Narawntapu National Park (1)

    by iandsmith Written Dec 24, 2011

    I decided to do the Springlawn Nature Walk and thus tick my 19th box on the excellent “60 Great Short Walks” brochure. The walk goes to a bird hide deep in a swamp. It states that it “meanders through a paper bark swamp forest along a raised boardwalk”. Turns out the total length of the boardwalk is around 50 metres of the 700 and it’s a sandy but firm trail where wildlife abounds, or should I particularly say “bounds”, because Tasmanian pademelons were everywhere. By the end of the day I’d lost count but I saw well over 30, some tarrying on the trail until you were only metres away before thumping off through indiscernible tunnels in the underbrush.
    But I wanted a picture of a frog because I could hear them and, suddenly, there was one right in front of me, barely moving, legs akimbo. The other end of him was firmly entrenched in the jaws of a copperhead. Actually, it was a toad.
    There was a time when I was a young lad when I would have scarpered at a rate I can only reminisce about these days. Knowledge had taught me not to be afraid and I started shooting, remembering a time when I’d come across a large goanna with a baby wallaby in its throat and I’d stuffed those shots up. This time I had experience and equipment on my side. On a couple of occasions I had to prod the snake with my tripod to entice him to move to a better position, a use not mentioned in the tripod manual, and eventually got enough shots to satisfy my wants.

    Copperhead's idea of lunch Tasmanian pademelon Start of the walk at last Wombat at Springlawn Butterfly on the track

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    LOW HEAD PILOT STATION

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2010

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    The Pilot Station and Maritime Museum are located at Low Head which is on a tip of Tasmania where the Tamar River enters the Ocean.

    The pilot station has been in continuous use since 1807. It's a collection of white painted cottages in a beautiful setting beside the river.

    The Maritime Museum occupies the 1835 Pilots Row, the oldest and largest building on the site. Inside the building, there are 10 rooms of maritime and communication memorabilia, including a complete deep diving suit, air pumps and artefacts recovered from wrecks. and stories of shipping on the Tamar River, and relics of the days of sail and steam.

    It is Australia's oldest continuously used pilot station, and is still being used today.

    Further on is Australia's third oldest light station, with its light house and the only operating G-type fog horn in the Southern Hemisphere whhich sounds at noon each Sunday.

    The Pilot Station and Maritime Museum is approximately 45-minutes drive , 58kms from Launceston.
    Open Daily 10am - 4pm
    ENTRY IS $5

    399 Low Head Road, Low Head, Tasmania

    Pilot station at Low Head
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    MOLE CREEK CAVES

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2010

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    Mole Creek has Caves which we intended to visit, but found out the last tour had just begun, we were a fraction too late, so what to do.....Well, we admired the fantastic
    Tree ferns, in the 30 minute return Fern Glade Walk.
    The walk starts at the Marakoopa Cave ticket office and leads to the cave entrance, following the creek as it tumbles down the hillside from inside the cave itself.

    In case you would like to visit the caves, the times & info are.....

    Marakoopa Cave
    Underground Rivers and Glow-worms Tour (10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm daily, plus 4.00 pm from 1 Oct - 31 May)
    Visit the lower chamber with its crystals, reflection pools, stalactites and stalagmites and wander down abandoned river passages. An easy tour.

    Great Cathedral and Glow-worms Tour (11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm daily)
    The large cavern is known as the 'Great Cathedral'. The Gardens' feature delicate formations and beautiful colours. Medium fitness levels are required to ascend the stairway to the 'Great Cathedral.

    King Solomons Cave
    Tours 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm daily, plus 4.30 pm from 1 Dec - 30 Apr

    Cave tour ticket holders do not require a valid parks pass whilst visiting King Solomons Cave and Marakoopa Cave

    PRICES 2008 $16 Adult per cave tour

    Drive west from Mole Creek on road B12 until you see the sign for Marakoopa Cave and drive up to the ticket office. About 15 minutes from Mole Creek.

    Beautiful tree ferns at Mole Creek
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    DEVIL'S GULLET

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2010

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    Devils Gullet Track is a short 20 minute climb and is regarded as one of the best places to view of Tasmania’s highest mountain, Mt. Ossa at 1640m, Barn Bluff 1559m, Cradle Mt. 1545m and Mt. Pelion East 1461m.

    There is a car park at the lookout with a track to the cliff face. An easy walk, and we were at the viewing platform that overhangs the 200 metre high sheer cliff. The cliffs channel south westerly winds up into the gullet. Quite impressive and can be quite windy!

    Devils Gullet is reached via C38 west of Mole Creek and then the Lake Mackenzie Road.
    The road to Devil's Gullet and on to Lake McKenzie is gravel but quite good.

    Devil's Gullet
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Design Centre of Tasmania

    by xuessium Written Dec 19, 2008

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    Folks who love carpentry and design, this is your Mecca.

    I dropped in to take a quick look around, since it was just next to City Park and entry is free.

    It is not that big a place but what it can house, the showroom certainly houses a good collection of wood carved design, from photo frames, tables and chairs to salt and pepper shakers.

    Not a place I would bring kids to, less they break something, but worth a look if you are furniture hunting or nurse a genuine interest in designs.

    Opening Hours:
    9:30 - 5:30, Monday – Saturday
    10:00 - 4:00, Sunday

    DesignCentreOfTasmania
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    A few more obscure "To-do"(s)

    by xuessium Updated Dec 19, 2008

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    DISCLAIMER:
    I did not try both activities.
    These are merely for info.

    BOAG & SONS BREWERY TOUR
    Beer lovers, fret no, go learn something and enjoy something frothy after.
    The Brewery is along the Esk River.

    NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM OF TASMANIA
    Car and automobile lovers - here is your heaven.
    The museum is at the Northeastern part of town, close to the City Park.

    Boag&SonsBrewery NationalAutomobileMuseumOfTasmania
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beer Tasting
    • Singles

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    MOUNT BARROW

    by balhannah Written Sep 23, 2008

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    Mount Barrow is 46ks north east of Launceston. Take the A3 highway, then turn-off onto the Mt. Barrow road (c404), this road is gravel. The road is very steep, with lots of "s bends" It is not for the faint hearted. In winter, it may be closed because of snow. The view from the top is fantastic, you can see forever.

    The road up to the top of Mt. Barrow. Great views Great views
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hang Gliding
    • Hiking and Walking

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    NOTLEY FERN GORGE STATE RESERVE

    by balhannah Written Sep 21, 2008

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    At Legana not far from Launceston is the turnoff to this Gorge. Turn off the West Tamar Highway onto the C732. A tall canopy of Eucalypts make a cover for a rainforest. Here, you will find a burnt out large tree which is known as Brady's tree, he was a Bushranger, who in the 1820's used this forest as hideout with his gang. A 1.5km track takes you to the tree and past mosses, tree ferns and pure creeks.

    About Matthew Brady Brady's Tree
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    A High-Light of your trip to Launceston

    by ATXtraveler Written Sep 8, 2005

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    Tasmania has a long history of ship wrecks, primarilly because of its rocky coast, and alignment with heavy trade winds. When shipwrecks begin occuring, lighthouses go up!

    LowHead Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in Tasmania, and the third oldest in all of Australia.

    LowHead is located just north of GeorgeTown, which is on the east bank of the Tamar Valley at the northern portion of Tasmania.

    It was a nice hour drive from Launceston.

    Sarah at LowHead

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    Head up to the coast

    by kooka3 Written Jul 22, 2003

    Take a day trip from Launceston up along the river to the coast. There is a lot to do including:

    Swiss Village: Kind of touristy, but fun. There are lots of stores to look in (including one that has a huge selection of swiss chocolate!). Has a definitely European feel to the village.

    Wineries: There is some beautiful wine made in this region. I especially liked the Rieslings I tried. You can stop for tastings and for tours.

    Weekend Events: I went to a jazzfest on a Saturday afternoon which was so much fun! It was outside and we sat on the lawn and had a picnic while we listened to music. Check newspapers, youth hostel bulliten boards, etc for current events going on in the region.

    You can easily rent a car to go around this region or hook up with a tour.

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