Launceston Things to Do

  • Chapel - Entally House
    Chapel - Entally House
    by al2401
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    Endangered green and gold frog
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Most Recent Things to Do in Launceston

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    Cataract Gorge Reserve: The First Basin

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    FirstBasinSwimmingPools

    This is where most folks will end up in - the pool! I was in the Gorge on a Sunday. The city itself was as dead as a catacomb and wham! we ran into the entire populace of Launceston here.

    The landscape around the Basin features picnic spots, a restaurant, cafes, souvenir shops and surprise, surprise, peacocks!! I thought I was dreaming to see them here in the Gorge.

    There is a carpark here as well for folks who do not wish to enter the reserve via walking. It has been advised that you could enter the carpark from the city by following York Street, Hillside Crescent, Broughham Street and then Basin Road. Parking fees apply.

    There is a Chair lift here which crosses the basin in about 6 minutes. Imagine yourself walking on air for A$5 adults (circa 2001) There is also a concrete causeway for crossing the river. It's closed during flooding.

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    Cataract Gorge Reserve:Alexandra Suspension Bridge

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Upsteam of the First Basin is the Alexandra Suspension Bridge. If you are feeling a little adventurous, cross the Gorge on what is known locally as "the swinging bridge"! This masterful piece of 19th century engineering was opened in 1904. It was washed away by the Great Flood of 1929 but restored a few years later. The bridge was named after Queen Alexandra, consort to King Edward VII. Crossing it will provide you with fine views on both sides of the gorge. From near the bridge, you can make your way up to either the Alexandra Lookout or the Cataract Lookout for a birdeye's view.

    For those still keen to walk on, it is possible to continue on walking tracks to reach the Second Basin further up in the gorge, as well as Duck Reach. 45 minutes each way. (Duck Reach is the site of the first municipal hydroelectric power station in Australia and had provided power from 1895 to 1955)
    I did not do this section.

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    Cataract Gorge Reserve: Zig Zag Track

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    ZigZagTrack

    This is the other track in-and-out of the reserve. This southern trail has some steep climbs as it passes along the top of the cliffs and so is the more difficult of the 2. The journey takes 60-90 minutes to complete but you are handsomely rewarded with great views of the city of Launceston as well as that of the Tamar River.

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    Day trip to Beaconsfield & Grubb Shaft mine museum

    by al2401 Written Apr 2, 2011
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    The mine at Beaconsfiled was one of the richest in history. 21 tons of gold has been taken from it. By the late 19th century there were 32 companies operating here. The mine was closed in 1889 due to flooding. A huge pump was brought from England and the mine re-opened in 1897 but flooding was still a problem as the miners went deeper. The mine was forced to close. It re-opened again in 1999 until the disaster on April 25 2006, where three miners were trapped in a mine collapse. One miner lost his life and the other two survived underground for 2 weeks before being rescued on May 9th 2006.

    In 1972 the local people founded the Grubb Shaft Gold & Heritage Museum. The Beaconsfield Gold Mine donated the ruined Grubb Shaft engine house as a home for the museum in 1982. The name was changed to the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre in 2008.

    The heritage centre is very interesting and, when I visited in November 2006, was being updated to include interactive exhibits.

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    Tamar River and Batman Bridge

    by al2401 Written Apr 2, 2011
    Vineyards and the Tamar River
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    The Tamar River is a 70km long estuary formed by the meeting of the North and South Esk Rivers where Launceston is situated. The resulting valley is extremely fertile and produces many crops - arguably the most important being some of Tasmania's famous wines.

    The scenery of the valley is beautiful. You can drive along the banks or take a boat. There are many restaurants and galleries to visit as well.

    A great day trip from Launceston.

    The Batman Bridge

    This amazing road bridge was the world's first cable-stayed truss bridge when built in 1968. It is located 30km north of Launceston and worth a visit on your Tamar Valley trip.

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    Launceston on the Tamar River

    by al2401 Written Apr 1, 2011
    Old Launceston Seaport Precinct
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    The original old seaport of Launceston has been developed into a fantastic marina complex. It boasts a 90 berth marina, apartments and restaurants. There is an extensive boardwalk. connecting all the facets of the precinct.

    Spend some time wandering around on the boardwalk taking in the atmosphere, dine in one of the restaurants or get some fish and chips to east while walking to board yu River Cruise boat.

    http://www.oldlauncestonseaport.com.au/

    Tamar River Cruises is one of the companies that offer a selection of cruises on the river. I enjoyed a cruise that included some city sights, a sail past the larger vessels in the function seaport and a trip up Cataract Gorge. It was a very wet day and some images are scanned from old negatives.

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    Woolmers Estate and National Rose Garden

    by al2401 Written Apr 1, 2011
    Woolmers Estate
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    Woolmers Estate hasn been continuously owned by the Archer family from 1817 to 1994. It is also the home of the National Rose Garden. The large central garden is known as the George
    Adams Memorial Garden. Adams, the founder of Tattersall's (Australia's lottery and gaming organisation) was a major sponsor.

    There is self contained accommodation availble on the estate in several cottages built by convicts in 1840.

    The Estate and Rose garden are open from 10am to 4.30pm every day except Christmas Day.

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    Clarendon

    by al2401 Written Apr 1, 2011
    Clarendon
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    Clarendon - known as the 'grandest' colonial house in the colony is set in 7 hectares of parkland. It was the centre of the large pastoral business of James Cox and the house was built in 1823.

    The house, servants quarters and grounds are open from 10am to 4pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.

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    Entally House

    by al2401 Written Apr 1, 2011
    Entally House
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    Entally House was built in 1819 by Thomas Reibey, the eldest son of Mary Reibey. Mary, a former Convict transported for horse-stealing disguised as a boy, married an officer and became one of Australia's richest women.

    The house takes its name from a suburb in Calcutta, India.

    The house is richly furnished and has extensive grounds and gardens. In the grounds there is an original cricket pitch.

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    Launceston City Park

    by al2401 Written Apr 1, 2011
    John Hart conservatory - Launceston City Park
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    This beautiful parkland was established in the 1820's and is situated in the centre of Launceston. It has mature trees and shrubs and themed gardens as well as the traditional display of annual flowers. It has a Japanese Macaque monkey enclosurewhich has been there for over 20 years. The John Hart conservatory has a display of more warm climate plants.

    There is a little 'train' which travels the paths and for a couple of dollars you can get a guided tour of the park.

    The Macaque Monkey Enclosure is open from 8.00am - 4.00pm (April - September) and 8.00am - 4.30pm (October - March).

    The John Hart Conservatory is open weekdays from 8.30am - 4.30pm and weekends from 9.00am - 4.30pm (April - September) and from 9.00am - 5.30pm (October - March).

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    Cataract Gorge

    by al2401 Updated Apr 1, 2011
    Cataract Gorge
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    Cataract Gorge is on the west side of the Tamar River and a short walk from the centre of Launceston. The First Basin has hiking trails, a swimming pool, places to eat, and extensive gardens where peacocks roam. You can cross the gorge by either the suspension bridge or the chairlift which has the longest single span in the world.

    There is a well constructed walking trail which goes from the mouth of the South Esk River and follows the north side. An easy walk of about 15 minutes takes you to the First Basin. There is a hiking track along the south side which takes you all the way to the top of the gorge to Trevallyn, site of the hydro dam.

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    THE BEAUTIFUL LIFFEY WATERFALLS

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2010

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    One part of Liffey falls.

    In my opinion, these were the MOST BEAUTIFUL FALLS IN TASMANIA

    Liffey Falls State Reserve is a World Heritage listed Park.
    The Liffey River rises on the northern edge of the Great Western Tiers, flowing through dense cool-temperate rainforest before plunging over spectacular waterfalls.

    There are four sets of falls along the 45-minute walk from the picnic ground down hill to the majestic Victoria Falls (commonly referred to as Liffey Falls) and return, all of which can be viewed from observation decks. The falls are very pretty, set in amongst the most beautiful, rainforest setting.
    Don't misss the short walk that leads from near the toilet block to the "Big Tree", a huge Tree that you must see!

    There are toilets with disabled access and sheltered picnic areas and gas barbecues at the upper end of the reserve.

    How to Get to Liffey Falls
    To reach the waterfalls, either turn off the Bass Highway (A1) at Carrick and take the C513 through the townships of Bracknell and Liffey to the Liffey Falls State Reserve, or turn left in Deloraine on the Lake Highway (A5) then take the Riversdale Road to the Liffey Falls Forest Reserve.

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    CATARACT GORGE

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2010

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    Cataract gorge

    This is what they call "Launceston's own piece of wilderness!"

    We have done a few things here, one of them is following the pathway (built in 1890) along the cliff face, beside the South Esk River, another time, we caught the chairlift........an excellent way to view the Gorge.
    Fares in 2010... $12 adult one way....$15 return
    OPEN.....From 9am till 4.30pm winter....5pm..spring & autumn
    and.......5.30pm or 6 pm in summer.

    The First Basin, on the southern side, features a swimming pool and an open area surrounded by bushland and the north side is the Cliff Grounds, a Victorian garden where ferns and exotic plants are growing. There's a Restaurant and kiosk, lawns and a rotunda, a pub with a view, a footbridge and chairlift across the river, peacocks, and wallabies at dusk.

    Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre.

    It is located only about 5mins from Launceston city centre.

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    Bridestowe Lavender Farm

    by balhannah Updated Jan 3, 2010

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    The lavender farm was established in 1922, and is renowned the world over for the quality of its true perfumery lavender.
    Lavender flowering is in December & January and it was in full bloom when we visited, very picturesque!

    The farm consists of 120 acres of rolling lavender fields and is considered one of Tasmania's most spectacular sights. The five-week harvest begins in early January with the distillation and processing of the lavender in full swing.
    Guided tours can be taken of the farm during December and January. If you are visiting outside these months, an informative video is screened detailing the farm's history and the harvest and distillation process.

    The visitors centre has all different kinds of Lavender products, including LAVENDER FUDGE!
    I tried it, and it was very nice!
    The cafe has light refreshments and LAVENDER ICECREAM, with a tasting area to experience the use of lavender as a subtle flavouring in foods.
    Sit and enjoy a coffee in the Bridestowe cafe or picnic under the century-old oak trees and stroll through the fields and smell the Lavender!

    It really is stunning in December/January!

    Bridestowe Estate is 40-minutes’ drive 50 kms north-east of Launceston.

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    WOOLMER'S ESTATE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 3, 2010

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    This Estate is one of the most intact 19th century homesteads in Australia. It was continously farmed by 6 generations of the Archer family since 1817, until the death of the last Heir, in 1994. It remained in the same family for 170 years.

    The estate also employed convict labour in exchange for labour for the settlers, and food & clothing for the convicts. The government thought this was a good way to develop colonial infrastructure, assist settlers to develop their land, and to reform convicts through hard and constant work.

    As well as the main house, which has interesting pieces inside, there is a woolshed, blacksmith shop, stables, gardens, paddocks and the former chapel.

    We did the tour and it was very good, real interesting hearing the history of the family and seeing different ornaments, furniture etc. of the day that we had never seen before, and as others on our tour, had no idea what they were either.
    One such outside building was the Smoke House (photo) The men would go in it, then would be towed out into the middle of the river so they could smoke.

    Recommend visiting.
    The Estate is open daily to the public from 10 -4.30pm.
    Tours are at.......11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, daily......
    The duration of each tour is approximately 45 minutes
    (Extra 10am tour October to April)
    Accommodation is also available here

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