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.
- November 2018
- Updated January 2021
If you find yourself in the pretty town of Launceston 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.
Breakfast with the locals on fresh bread and snacks like Afghani bolani (pita-style flatbread stuffed with vegetables) at the Saturday morning Harvest Market 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 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. If you ask nicely, there’s usually a keen scientist on site who will be happy to show you around.
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.
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, this was where she tucked into her very first meal. Even if you’re not a steak lover, you’ll be well catered for with the best local produce that can be sourced on the day at Black Cow Bistro. Dishes such as Kingfish sashimi, crispy pork belly, and house-made kimchi are also on offer.
Inside Café & Store
Set within the CBD’s tech precinct, this locavore's paradise has a cool industrial feel. It’s all local – from the milk in the coffee to the pickled fennel they serve with the eggs Benedict. The Inside Café 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 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.
This boutique riverside wine shop is devoted almost entirely to the finest local reds. Pinot Shop 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 galleries and cafés. Handmark showcases some of Tasmania’s hippest artists, the Ingleside Bakery Café offers a delicious ploughman’s lunch celebrating local produce, and the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company is great for a delicious lesson in condiment-making… and topiary!