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Launceston, Tasmania

Vestiges of Historic Past

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Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Launceston ... island's northern gateway to the Tassie heartland

Copyright 1997 Australian Tourist Commission

One of Australia's oldest cities, Launceston was officially founded in the first half of the 1850s.

So you'll find many vestiges of its colonial past in Launceston, such as Macquarie House, Franklin House and the Old Umbrella Shop, all built in the 1800s.

But for many visitors, Launceston is not much more than one of the two main gateways (for airlines flying into Tasmania) to the island's mountains and wilderness areas, particularly Cradle Mountain.

It is, too, the first major city you reach if crossing Bass Strait from Melbourne on the overnight ferry Spirit of Tasmania.

City attractions

For all its reputation as a jump-off point into the heartland of Tasmania, Launceston (population: 70,000) has a charm all its own and deserves visiting for its own sake.

Some of its city attractions:

Historic buildings such as those mentioned earlier: Macquarie House in Civic Square, the Old Umbrella Shop on George St, Franklin House on Midland Highway.

Penny Royal World water mills, windmills, shops, tram, boats, paddle-steamer. At the intersection of West Tamar Highway and Bridge Rd.

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery on the corner of Wellington and Paterson Sts at Royal Park. This is one of its two museum sites.

Community History Centre at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery on Invermay Rd, second of its two museum sites, where local history archives are housed.

Design Centre of Tasmania on Brisbane and Tamar Sts. Works by artists and artisans on display.

Cataract Gorge and Launceston's many parks, all within walking distance from the city centre.

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