Tasmania is Australia’s only island state and is located to the south of the main continent. Tasmania has a wealth of history and a somewhat chequered past, however more recently it has embraced it’s history and uses it as part of its unique tourist attractions. The state’s capital Hobart was founded in 1804 as a penal colony and is the country’s second oldest capital city after Sydney in New South Wales.
The city of Launceston, named after its United Kingdom namesake, is the state’s second largest city and was settled by Europeans in 1806, making it one of Australia’s oldest cities and as can also boast a list of ‘firsts’ including
1814 – First licensed hotel in Australia – Launceston Hotel
1847 – First use of anaesthetics in the Southern Hemisphere for surgical operation
1891 – First Art Society established
1947 – First use of radioactive phosphorous for treatment
1961 – First use of closed circuit television as a security measure
2000 – First multimedia laboratory established
Another attribute that the city enjoys due to its history is architecture that holds historical significance with many of the central business district buildings having been constructed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which includes Victorian, Georgian, Art Deco, and Egyptian Revival style. In order to maintain this character and aesthetic most buildings in this area of the city are less than five storeys in height.
This architecture is also seen in a wide range of homes in the city many of which has been restored to their former glory and used for commercial enterprises such as bed and breakfast accommodations. The perfect place to stay which in Launceston – you get to experience the history first hand.
Some of the other must do things during your stay are:
Visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery – this is actually the location where the above mentioned closed circuit television security was used to assist in the protection of a Dutch exhibition.
Walk through the Cataract Gorge Reserve – approximately 15 walk from the city centre the reserve has a number of easy and difficult trails to explore, or relax in the park-like gardens. There’s also a suspension bridge and the historic hydro-electric station.
Drive the Tamar Valley Wine Route – with many vineyards offering cellar door tastings and a range of locally grown produce by the regions farmers, you’ll experience a wonderful range of Tasmanian wines and fresh produce whilst enjoying the wonderful scenery along the way.