- 7 of the best pet friendly getaways
- 10 best last minute European destinations
- Ghan’s glamorous makeover earns an award nomination
Tasmania’s second city is by no means second best. Launceston boasts a rare combination of colonial history and scenic wilderness with a growing number of hot restaurants to complement its cool-climate wines.
The city – one of Australia’s oldest – is also highly accessible. The free Tiger Bus has half-hour City Explorer and River Explorer loops, while the ARTBIKES initiative encourages people to borrow bikes for the day from Design Tasmania gallery to explore Launceston’s arts and culture.
Traversing the heritage streets on foot is also straightforward – and with some of the best produce in Australia around every corner, walking is highly recommended.
- Sofia travelled courtesy of Tourism Tasmania
On August 11, Sydney star chef Mike McEnearney of No. 1 Bent Street and Kitchen by Mike will work with TasTAFE Drysdale students & local producers to create a one-off degustation menu as part of The Great Chefs Series.
- Reservations: greatchefsseries.com.au
Launceston is the gateway to the Tamar Valley wine region, famed for outstanding cool-climate wines. There are more than 32 vineyards and cellar doors (try Goaty Hill, Wines For Joanie and Relbia Estate) and if you’re looking for restaurants, Josef Chromy Wines and Velo Vineyard’s Timbre Kitchen won’t disappoint.
In an 1830s flourmill with exposed beams and a view out to the River Tamar, Stillwater has been a favourite for nearly 20 years.
The wine list and menu reflect the region. Share a 500-gram Flinders Island lamb rack or Mount Gnomon Farm pork belly and don’t miss the providore and gallery upstairs.
If you’re all wined out, head to Saint John Craft Beer Bar. There are up to 14 taps at any one time featuring the best of the area, Australia and beyond, alongside 170 bottled beers, cider, wines and top-shelf spirits. BYO food during lunch, or order a Tassie lamb burger and more from the food van from 5pm.
The Hatherley Birrell Collection is an eccentric collection of suites in a refurbished 1830s mansion, two garden pavilions with luxurious outdoor baths and a self-contained, two-bedroom Chinoiserie city apartment. Each is filled with art and styled differently, cleverly combining history and modern architecture.
Affectionately known as The Gorge, Cataract Gorge is a 15-minute walk from the city centre. Bring your swimming gear for a dip in the First Basin, a swimming pool surrounded by bushland, or soak in the picturesque surrounds from the chairlift or Suspension Bridge.