Ultimate guide to things to do in Launceston with kids

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.

Launceston was the first City south of the Equator to be lit by electricity, generated by water power. Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Jason Charles Hill

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.

Top things to do in Launceston

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. 

  1. Meet a Tasmanian Devil at the Launceston Zoo.
  2. Enjoy hands-on science at the Phenomena Factory.
  3. Explore spectacular Cataract Gorge. 
  4. Learn about science, art and history at the Queen Victoria Musuem and Art gallery (QVMAG).
  5. Wonder at the night sky at the Planetarium.
  6. Pick raspberries and indulge in ice-cream at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.
  7. Soak up the views on the longest single span chair lift in the world.
  8. Stroll around Grindelwald Swiss Village.
  9. Have a splash at the Launceston Aquatic Centre.
  10. Ride the tram at Inveresk.

Things to do in Launceston with...

Take to the skies in an unforgettable adventure at Hollybank Treetops Adventure. Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Best time to visit Launceston as a family

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.

Tasmania is a walker's paradise and Launceston is a good landing point for world famous iconic walks like the Overland Track around Cradle Mountain. Credit: CRADLE MOUNTAIN HUTS

Family-friendly places to eat in Launceston

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.

Alexandra Suspension bridge at Cataract Gorge's First Basin
Alexandra Suspension bridge at Cataract Gorge's First Basin

Things to do for free in Launceston

  • You don’t need to spend money to enjoy the finest the city has to offer. Enjoy culture and art at the majestic Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum, QVMAG. There are two sites, A museum at Inveresk which is home to the preserved railway workshops and social history and natural science collections, as well an Art Gallery at Royal Park.  
  • Venture to City Park, with its beautiful gardens and grassy lawns that are perfect for a picnic, you’ll find something to keep the family occupied. 
  • Rather than walking everywhere, ride the Tiger Bus operated by the city council. It’s free and it may lead you to another local treasure worthy of exploring.
  • Cataract Gorge and First Basin is a great family space. While there is a charge for parking, the swimming pool is free and there are various walking trails for all sized legs, as well as a suspension bridge and café.
What’s on?

The best annual events for families in Launceston

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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