Think you’ve seen Australia? Well, hold on just a minute, because you haven’t seen anything, until you’ve visited Launceston, Tasmania.
Don’t let the size of this tiny city put you off, with a population of only around 106, 000 you’ll still find plenty of fun free things to do. So bring your friends, bring your family but don’t worry too much about the cold, hard cash.
With this delightful list of free activities, Launceston presents a show-stopping array of fabulous experiences.
If you adore nature and wildlife, you must not miss a trip to the Launceston Cataract Gorge. Created around 65 million years ago, the Gorge is one of Launceston’s most popular, free, tourist attractions. Boasting a swimming pool, natural rock pools, an eye-watering 19 metres in depth, you’re sure to stay cool in summer. A children’s playground is available for the little ones, many attractive, natural bush tracks, and some resident peacocks and peahens. You’re sure to see plenty of Australian wildlife, wallabies, potoroos and you’ll even hear the kookaburras with their inimitable and noisy laugh. For those who are extra daring, or simply love waterfalls, you might like to cross the Alexandra Suspension Bridge or take a challenging walk to the Duck Reach Power Station.
In the epicentre of the CBD you’ll find the Launceston City Park. Rated as one of the top-ten parks in Australia, you’ll be surprised to see the hilarious and quirky Japanese macaques. It’s easy to spend hours simply watching their delightful, monkey antics. With free Wi-Fi, a children’s playground with a real steam train, a classic Victorian conservatory filled with elegant and delightful blooms, there’s something for everyone. With fish in the pond, a massive chess set and some friendly local ducks, you can easily while away a whole day, leaving more refreshed for the experience.
If farmer’s markets are your idea of a dreamy Saturday morning, you can visit the Harvest Farmer’s Market each week. No need to spend any money, there’s music and local talent everywhere. Brighten up your early morning with a wander around the stalls, letting your eyes, ears and nose take in the sights, sounds and smells.
The QVMAG-Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is free to visit. Whether you want to observe the path of the stars in the planetarium, see the myriad of Tasmanian birds and animals in the main hall, or the latest art and sculpture hung to perfection in the art gallery. Perhaps you’d prefer to see some wild and crazy science in the Phenomena Factory; you’ll be amazed that this fantastic place charges nothing.
Prince’s Square is a beautiful bijou park in the centre of Launceston, established in 1858 from a disused brickfield. Boasting a stunning water feature, (originally destined for Launceston in the UK) as well as immaculate, symmetrical gardens combined together with statues of Tasmanian historical significance, this peaceful green space is a haven for those who like the quiet, amid the bustle.
The Tamar Island Wetlands, are a bird lover’s heaven. Situated a short drive from the CBD, this nature reserve has a lagoon featuring a hidden bird watching cabin. You can take a two kilometre easy walk along the boardwalk out to Tamar Island. You’ll walk across the river channel, through wetlands to get out to the island. Take a barbecue, a picnic or that very special person for a nature experience that’s hard to improve.
Convinced yet? Launceston comes to life with a bold, natural edge. It’s a place for those who love to relax, and want to take the hectic out of life. Launceston comes in with a whisper, but leaves with a shout. Unforgettable.
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