When many people think about Tasmania, the first (and only) city that usually comes to mind is Hobart. Famous for the yearly Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the state capital gets much of the attention from tourists. However, there is a city in the north that is just as beautiful and historic – Launceston.

What you might not know about Launceston is that it is one of Australia’s oldest cities – settled by Europeans in 1806. Now, with a population of just under 90,000, it’s the ideal starting point for your Tasmanian road trip. So, after you pick your vehicle up from Launceston Airport, what the best spots to visit around the region?

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

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Dec 11, 2016 at 11:44pm PST

Launceston has the honour of being the first Australian city across a few interesting areas. It was the first urban hub to be lit by hydroelectricity, while anaesthetic was used for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere here.

To learn more about Launceston’s fascinating history, you should head to Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery – located just over the North Esk River in Invermay. Here you’ll find displays around Tasmania’s contribution to The Great War as well as the natural history of the region and the famous, but sadly extinct, Tasmanian Tiger.

If you have a little extra time to spend here, be sure to check out the adjacent Art Gallery. Opened in 2011, the gallery is designed to showcase both contemporary and historic artists and artworks from around the Launceston region. Take a quiet wander around the galleries, enjoying the vibrant and emotional artwork on show. Guided tours are available on Sundays between 12 noon and 2 p.m. where a local can explain what some of the more special pieces mean to the grand city of Launceston.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

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Dec 12, 2016 at 2:29am PST

Although Tasmania is certainly part of Australia, its landscape is truly unique. Around the Launceston area, the best place to experience this is the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. This national park is situated in the Central Highlands, around two hours west along the National Highway 1 from Launceston.

Remember to bring your walking shoes as there are a number of epic walking trails and hikes within the park – the most famous of these being the Overland Track. Linking Cradle Mountain and St Clair, the 65 kilometre walk takes a good couple of days and winds past cascading waterfalls, alpine plateaus, crystal-clear lakes, meandering rivers and icy mountains. If you are lucky, you might spot a wombat or a pademelon along the way!

Greens Beach

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Dec 6, 2016 at 10:57pm PST

As Tasmania is an island, there are more than a couple of beaches that you can venture to during your road trip in the southern state. From your base at Launceston, the closest and most spectacular one is Greens Beach – located around an hour due north of the city. Facing northwest towards Melbourne and the Bass Strait, the beach is well protected from the wind which means you can simply pick a spot and relax in the sun.

While Greens Beach is pretty remote from civilisation, during the summer, the crowds arrive to enjoy the settled surf and adjacent forest land. Be sure to get some dinner from a local takeaway and make your way back to the beach for the red sunset – it is definitely worth the wait!

To get your Launceston road trip started, get in touch with the team at East Coast Car Rentals today!