Cheap direct flights to Launceston leave from Melbourne and Sydney. Ironically, cheap direct flights to Launceston from the Tasmanian capital of Hobart are not available. Launceston Airport is 15km south of the city. The Airporter Shuttle Bus Service operates from the Launceston Airport to the Launceston CBD and surrounding regions. Fares are around $15 one-way. Group prices are available. A taxi into the CBD will cost more than $30. Many visitors also catch the ferry from Melbourne which crosses the Bass Strait and dock at Devonport, an hour’s drive to Launceston.
One of the best ways to explore Launceston is on foot or bike. There are many walking paths that will take visitors to the main attractions and the city boasts many bicycle hire centre. Hire a car of motorbike is also an option for those who want to travel further afield. The city has a cheap public bus service, which is regular and convenient and there is a free tourist bus which takes in many of the attractions.
Launceston and the surrounding Tamar Valley is renowned for wine and fresh produce. There are more than 20 cellar doors open for tastings. There is also a diverse range of natural attractions, with the most famous being the Cataract Gorge Reserve. Walking trails are popular. Try the one along the boardwalk through Royal Park and the Seaport, through Inveresk out to Heritage Forest, or through to the Black Bridge Trail. Tasmania is famous for its wilderness and this region boasts Tamar Island Wetlands, Brady's Lookout, Notley Fern Gorge, Hollybank Forest, Supply River Mill Reserve, Lilydale Falls, Liffey Falls, Meander Falls, Narawntapu National Park, Ben Lomond National Park, Mount Barrow, and the Alum Cliffs. History also grabs its fair share of attention with the Launceston Tramway Museum, the George Town Heritage Trail, the York Town Historic Site, and Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre worth a visit. For lovers of adventure and sports choose from Hollybank Treetops Adventure, Cable Hang Gliding, Skiing on Ben Lomond, hiking, cycling and mountain bike riding. For a more relaxed pace, try golfing, fishing or trailriding.
The Launceston area is a treasure trove of hand-made wares, shops full of boutique designs and stores of antiques. The area is full of shops filled with an assortment of cheap local and hand-made Tasmanian wares. Launceston’s dining options range from award-winning restaurants to family dining, relaxed, cheap pubs and funky cafes. The Seaport waterfront precinct is a focus for great dining. Stroll along the boardwalk and take your pick of gourmet delights including succulent seafood, tasty tapas, perfect pastries and cheap fish and chips. Many pubs have live entertainment on a Friday and Saturday night. Check out Gates Bar at the Royal on George.