Your insider guide to Launceston CBD

This riverside city is a gateway to some of the best food and wine experiences in Tasmania. But with an alluring blend of culture, culinary delights and shopping, it's a destination in its own right.

  • Melanie Tait
  • November 2018

If you find yourself in the pretty town of Launceston opens in new window for the weekend, hold off on heading straight to the nearby wineries – stay a while and discover the unique history of the place and treat yourself to some of Tassie’s most delicious produce.

Harvest Market

Breakfast with the locals on fresh bread and snacks like Afghani bolani (pita-style flatbread stuffed with vegetables) at the farmers' Harvest Market opens in new window in the CBD. Plus, you can stock up on everything from local salmon to Tasmanian cheeses while chatting with producers.

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG)

The QVMAG opens in new window is the custodian of Tasmania’s history. There are rolling exhibitions by local artists, while the permanent collection showcases the fascinating zoological history of the state – think taxidermied Tasmanian tigers and trays of bugs and birds. Ask nicely, there’s usually a keen scientist on site who will be happy to show you around.

This inspiring museum melds together art and science
This inspiring museum melds together art and science.

Mission on George

You’ll find everything at this charmingly eclectic op shop, from that vintage winter coat you didn’t know you needed during a summer trip (Tasmania!) to the mug you’ve always wanted commemorating the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Who knows what treasure you’ll dig up at Mission on George opens in new window.

Black Cow Bistro

At this upmarket eatery, it's all about Tasmanian steak – local, grass-fed and hormone-free. It’s so fabled that when Nigella Lawson visited earlier this year, this was where she tucked into her very first meal. Even if you’re not a carnivore, you’ll be well catered for with the best local produce that can be sourced on the day at Black Cow Bistro opens in new window. Dishes such as white fish sashimi or roasted broccoli with lemon beurre noisette and grana padano are on offer.

Premium steak is a must try at Black Cow.

Inside Café & Store

Set within the CBD’s new tech precinct, this locavore's paradise has a cool industrial feel. It’s all local – from the coffee to the pickled fennel they serve with the eggs Benedict. The Inside Café opens in new window also houses a store filled with tempting homewares and quirky souvenirs.

Peppers Silo Hotel & Day Spa

In an exemplary act of creative repurposing of space, Peppers opens in new window has transformed an unused riverside grain silo into designer accommodation. Even if you don’t stay, book in at the day spa for a Shearer’s Crook Back Massage.

Industrial meets elegant at Pepper's Silo Hotel.

Pinot Shop

This boutique riverside wine shop is devoted almost entirely to the finest local reds. Pinot Shop opens in new window Proprietor Michele Round is always on hand to recommend exquisite drops to go with your dinner or to take home as Tassie souvenirs.

Beyond the CBD: Evandale

Located just a 20-minute drive from the Launceston CBD, Evandale is a carefully preserved historic village that is now home to a collection of cool galleries and cafés. The Handmark Gallery opens in new window showcases some of Tasmania’s hippest artists, the Ingleside Bakery Café opens in new window offers a delicious ploughman’s lunch celebrating local produce and the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company opens in new window is great for a delicious lesson in condiment-making… and topiary!

Evandale oozes vintage charm
Evandale oozes vintage charm