Launceston – Tasmania
The first inhabitants of the area were largely nomadic Aboriginal Tasmanians believed to have been part of the North Midlands Tribe.
The first white visitors did not arrive until 1798, when George Bass and Matthew Flinders were sent to explore the possibility that there was a strait between Australia and Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania). They originally landed in Port Dalrymple (the mouth of the Tamar River), 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the north-west of Launceston.
The first significant colonial settlement in the region dates from 1804, when the commandant of the British garrison Lt. Col. William Paterson, and his men set up a camp on the current site of George Town. A few weeks later, the settlement was moved across the river to York Town, and a year later was moved to its definitive position where Launceston stands.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. In fact, the whole region is packed with city and country charm, gorgeous old towns, excellent food and wine and beautiful scenic highlights.
One of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston has one of the best-preserved early cityscapes in Australia with its elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks.
Just a short walk from the city centre, Cataract Gorge is a slice of wilderness right in the heart of town and Launceston’s star natural attraction.
There’s also plenty of culture on offer at art galleries, museums and design studios. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is the largest regional gallery in Australia.
And for a little ‘home away from home’, why not catch a game of AFL at Aurora Stadium?
From Launceston, you can follow the Tamar River north through Tasmania’s premium wine-growing region, past forested hills and farmland, lavender fields, vineyards, orchards and pretty riverside towns. Historic villages are found around every corner, from Longford on the outskirts of Launceston to Evandale, Ross and Campbell Town along the Heritage Highway south.
For those interested in wildlife, nearby Narawntapu National Park provides many opportunities to see Australia’s unique animals.
Launceston’s history began in 1804 when the commandant of the British garrison Lt. Col. William Paterson, set up a camp at Port Dalrymple, now known as George Town. A few weeks later, the settlement was moved across the river to York Town and in 1806 they finally settled in Launceston.