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Located less than three hours’ drive from Hobart, Launceston is one of Australia’s oldest cities and the largest city in the region. A picturesque, bustling hub of food, wine and culture, Launceston provides the perfect balance of city and country charm and is a must-visit for the cultured traveller.
When your days are filled with sightseeing and adventures, and your nights are spent experiencing all the incredible food, wine and entertainment Launceston has on offer, you’re going to need somewhere to rest and recoup, and the Lesiure Inn Penny Royal is the place to stay.
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Cataract Gorge Cliffgrounds and Reserve
Known locally as ‘the Gorge, this unique natural formation is a little slice of wilderness solitude hidden just a 5 minute drive from Leisure Inn Penny Royal or a 15 minute walk from Launceston’s city centre. With beautiful Victorian gardens, exotic plants, scenic hiking trails, a gorge climbing chairlift and a swimming hole surrounded by bushland, Cataract Gorge is the perfect day trip for those looking to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of city life and explore one of Launceston’s best natural offerings.
Penny Royal Adventure Park
As Tasmania’s only theme park, Penny Royal Adventure Park is a must-do for families, thrill-seekers and culture enthusiasts alike. There are plenty of activities on offer for kids, as well as attractions for adults including a barge ride, which takes passengers through the venue’s history, a gondola-style chair lift and ten different rope walks suspended over towering cliffs. A premium, locally-made ice creamery and multiple restaurants and bars are also available on site – the perfect pick-me up for busy adventurers. Penny Royal Adventures is located directly next door to Leisure Inn Penny Royal, making it the perfect activity for those looking to explore closer to home.
Experience Tasmania’s Most Famous Views
There are few landscape backdrops that can compare with Cradle Mountain, which explains its position as one of Tasmania’s most famous natural icons. The greater Launceston region’s picturesque Cradle Mountain sits amongst the world heritage listed national parks, rich with geological features dating back to the Jurassic period including everything from deep, lush valleys and glacial lakes, to intricate cave networks.
Hiking enthusiasts will fall in love with the world-famous Overland Track, a 6-day journey that takes you deep into this spectacular Tasmanian wilderness. Looking for something a little less strenuous? Those seeking a day trip can depart from Launceston for a day tour of Cradle Mountain and its standout features including tumbling waterfalls, native wildlife and the Dove Lake plateau.
Eat and Drink Your Way Through the Tamar Valley
Renowned for its stellar wine and raw food production, the greater Tamar Valley is a must-do for any food and wine enthusiast exploring Tasmania. With a wide selection of wineries to choose from, we recommend taking the scenic route.
Starting at Tamar Valley in Launceston, indulge in a drive that weaves through orchards, pastures and forests, finishing up in Narantawpu National Park, offering unrivalled views of the region. This unique experience includes both a variety of food and wine destinations and plenty of opportunity to stop and take in the serenity. We guarantee there is no better way to explore Launceston’s best food and wine region.
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
For those looking to deep dive into Launceston’s local history and character, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) is Australia’s largest regional museum. Earning itself a national profile for its collections of Australian colonial art, decorative arts and design, and Tasmanian history, QVMAG is undoubtedly Launceston’s cultural heartbeat.
The QVMAG is located on two sites: the 1870s era railway workshop at Inveresk and the 1891 Royal Park Art Gallery building on Wellington Street. For family holiday makers, the Inveresk site is home to The Phenomena Factory, a free-entry interactive science centre providing hands-on educational fun for kids of all ages. Stargazers are sure to enjoy the Launceston Planetarium, where you’ll see astronomical concepts demonstrated in a way that is both theatrical and technical, also located at Inveresk.
Get Up Close with Native Wildlife
Tasmania Zoo is a local family-run zoo located just 20 minutes’ drive from the Launceston CBD in the picturesque Tamar Valley. Dedicated to continuous contribution to wildlife conservation in the region, Tasmania Zoo is passionate about educating visitors on Australia’s native wildlife, and rare and exotic species from around the world.
Showcasing more than 100 rare, critically endangered, exotic and native species, it’s an excellent opportunity for international and Aussie travellers alike to broaden their knowledge of Australia’s wildlife. Tasmania Zoo is the only zoo in the Asia-Pacific where visitors can see the incredibly rare Celebes Crested Macaque, also known as the Crested Black Macaque.
Celebrate Abundance in Launceston
Immerse yourself in the culture of Launceston by exploring the array of local markets – farm fresh produce, fashion, jewellery, timber wares and so much more. The Evandale and Esk markets are a must for farm-fresh enthusiasts looking to pick up locally grown produce from Tassie farmers. Looking for a bargain? The Boardmills Market in Avalon Estate is the perfect opportunity to browse timber and fine craftsmanship using Tasmania’s natural assets – if you’re up for a haggle, this is the place for you.
Get Lost in a Sea of Purple
Running over 260 acres, Bridestow Lavender Estate is the world’s largest privately owned lavender farm and is one of the region’s most breathtaking sights. Bridestow grows true French lavender, which is the only variety suitable for perfume and cooking. Guests are encouraged to get lost amongst the purple flowers (photo opportunities are encouraged), before indulging in a little retail therapy at the Bridestow Lavender Estate gift shop, which sells products made from their premium lavender oil and flowers including soaps, skin creams, teas, their famous Bobbie Bear heat packs, and so much more.