A small riverside city in Northern Tasmania, Launceston punches way above its weight in terms of activities for kids. An ideal destination for families wanting to explore the great outdoors with kids and teens, there’s also plenty of indoor entertainment and to activities for little ones.
The best place to start your explorations is at pretty City Park, which offers open spaces, playgrounds and a flying fox as well as resident ducks and Japanese Macaque monkeys.
Head just 15 minutes from the City Centre to see the stunning rock formations of the Cataract Gorge Reserve and First Basin, a natural swimming hotspot that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. Cross the iconic Alexandra Suspension Bridge, hike one of the many trails or ride the scenic single-span chairlift, the world’s longest.
If you’re feeling the chill and would rather swim indoors, head to Launceston Aquatic Centre for state-of-the-art heated indoor pools and fun facilities for kids.
Spot a Tasmanian devil in the middle of native bushland, more than 100 rare, exotic and native species or one of 40 life-size dinosaurs at family-run Tasmania Zoo. Immerse the kids in culture at the range of museums and galleries in the city. Experience science hands-on at the Phenomena Factory, race in to see the vehicle packed National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, ride a 1940’s tram at the Launceston Tramway Museum, visit the planetarium or peruse the collections at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum.
From its history, wildlife, abundant parks and walks, Launceston has plenty to do for all ages. Here are ten sights that are a must see.
Home to over 200 parks and reserves, Launceston’s pretty City Park is one of the absolute best. Young ones will love stretching their little legs running about in the expansive green space, playing in the playground or spotting ducks in the pond. There’s also a train ride around the park and Japanese Macaque monkeys to see. If the weather isn’t on your side, Kids Paradise is an indoor playground with a maze and interactive play rooms, inflatables plus a special room for under-fives, where little ones can play and develop their motor skills in a safe space. And Launceston Aquatic Centre is a watery playground with heated indoor pools, BBQ area, a waterslide and a shallow area for little ones. If all that play isn’t enough, head to nearby Evandale Markets on a Sunday for pony rides, face-painting, jumping castles and tasty treats.
With four distinct seasons, there’s never a bad time to explore Tasmania’s second largest city.
During summer, from December to February, the average day time temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius, though it has been known to hit the low 40’s. It’s also Launceston’s busiest time so you may need to book ahead to secure suitable family accommodation.
Autumn marks the close of the summer tourist season and comes with better deals on accommodation. It is actually one of the better times for touring and walking with moderate temperatures and parks, gardens and roadways ablaze with colour as the trees turn from green to vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red.
Winter, while cooler, and a bit wet, is worth rugging up and packing an umbrella for because great accommodation and travel deals can be found during this time.
When spring has sprung, Launceston is lush and lovely, and if you’re lucky, you may still a little hint of snow.
With the changing seasons, the sea nearby and surrounded by fertile farms, the produce in Launceston is fresh, clean and delicious so good food is guaranteed.
Some of our favorites include Maple Café in East Launceston, the Pizza Pub, Levee at Seaport and the matter-of-factly named Fish ‘n Chips. For those visitors with a sweet tooth, a visit to Gourlay’s Sweet Shop in the Quadrant Mall – an old fashioned sweet shop with old fashioned service – is an absolute must.
Food vans are popping up all around Launceston. Head to High Street, which is affectionately known as “Eat Street” to sample wares from vendors including sumptuous Black Angus burgers, great vegetarian variations and delicious sweet treats. Some even provide picnic rugs. There’s heaps of parking, a playground and good coffee. And don’t miss the chance to taste fresh raspberries and all things raspberry-infused at the fabulous Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.
February - Festivale
This celebration of Tasmanian food and wine al fresco style in Launceston's historic City Park offers plenty of fun family entertainment.
February – Evendale Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships
Take a short drive from Launceston for this fun-filled annual event.
September – Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival
Stop and take time to smell the flowers in Launceston City Park.
September – Singfest
Singfest is a choral celebration involving hundreds of primary students from schools in Northern Tasmania.
October – Fiesta on George Street, Launceston City
This one day festival sees the city streets come to life with food vendors and fun.
November – Farmgate Festival
Meet local producers, visit farms, taste the produce and let the kids learn where their food comes from.
December – Kid I Am
This action-packed event is filled with fun and inspiring activities just for families.
December – Christmas in the City
Watch as the Christmas tree light up and enjoy activities and entertainment for the family.
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