Nestled in a fertile agricultural basin where the South Esk and North Esk rivers join to form the Tamar, the city of Launceston (pronounced Lon-sess-tun), or Lonie to locals, is the commercial centre of Tasmania's northern region. Its abundance of unusual markets and shops is concentrated downtown (unlike Hobart, which has most of its stores in the historic centre, set apart from the commercial district).
Launceston is far from bustling, and has a notable number of pleasant parks, late-19th-century homes, historic mansions, and private gardens. The sumptuous countryside that surrounds the city—rolling farmland and the rich loam of English-looking landscapes—set off by the South Esk River meandering through towering gorges, is also appealing.
There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, fish, or birds in the lovely countryside surrouding Launceston and the Tamar Valley.
Nightlife and the Arts
The local Examiner is the best source of information on local nightlife and entertainment, but be warned: no one goes to Launceston to party.
Launceston is a convenient place for a little shopping, with most stores central on George Street and in nearby Yorktown Mall.