The Tamar Valley – Launceston


At the end of our stretch of the Heritage Highway we planned to camp up for a good week, cleaning, organizing and restocking. Launceston was the obvious choice, but not a lover of crowds we decided to stretch our toes instead at the very mouth of the Tamar River, at Low Heads near George Town.low-head

After checking out the few freecamps, not all legal, we decided on a stint in a caravan park and found a great little park at the end of the road at Low Head, in ‘Fog Horn’ reach of the historic lighthouse. The owners were great, truly welcoming and offering a rate for self contained vans that competed with the donation point on many National Parks. Fully serviced with laundry, dump point and bathroom block we decided to take a week and really explore.

Tassie’ is not that big really, but there is always lots to discover and after a trip to the local info centre we settled on a number of great local places to explore and a few spots further afield. George Town, believe it or not, was the first colonial settlement outside of Sydney Town… this befor they moved the settlement hollus-bollus further down the Tamar River to what became the major settlement of Launceston (pronounced Lorn-ces-ton), as we were commonly reminded by the locals.

cataract-gorge-launcestonLaunceston sits at the end of the navigable section of the Tamar River, and I do mean ‘sits’. She is like a bustled lady, seated at the foot of the hills with her bustle firmly situated into the beautiful Cataract Gorge and the First Basin, which is the source of the Tamar River. From here she spreads out her legs and arms, spilling over the hills and reaching into the two sides of the valley. The gorge is stunning, and very much accepted as Sydneysiders accept Hyde Park and the Domain. It is where the locals go to swim, to trek and to play. There are plenty of things to see along the Tamar River as well, such as the delightful Sea Horse World at Beauty Point, and the Platypus and Echidna House found on the Western side of the river.

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The best thing about Launceston though is the ‘Tiger Bus’… this is the free bus that services the city circuits and manages to move the population around the central points of the city… all for free. Parking in Launceston is something of a challenge, plagued by metres as it is. However you can park up just outside of the city rim at the old tram terminal in the city suburb of Inveresk for $3-$4 a day (depending on the park area you choose) and here the Tiger Bus will pick you up and take you to any section of the city you like. We loved it

colonial-buildingWe also spent time exploring George Town and its local attractions, the museums and history houses. The one thing we have enjoyed about our travels up the Heritage Highway, has been the colonial architecture. Those beautiful stone building of yesteryear, some that are slowly crumbling into history, while others are lovingly restored. It has been a real delight while travelling between Hobart and Launceston and on up to the mouth of the Tamar at Low Head.

pancakesIt has been a great leg of our journey through Tasmania, one of the most memorable and one where we have taken away with us many good memories. Not to mention that it is berry and cherry season here and I have never eaten such gorgeous and luscious cherries as we found at the local farms… a real treat for the taste buds and one I will not forget.


Travel Well

Jan is a Traveller and an Author. You can find out more about her books on travel on the page dedicated to Oldies at Large, where you will also find a list of her blog postings in topic.

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1 thought on “The Tamar Valley – Launceston

  1. Pingback: It’s all in the Planning… Making the most of Travel | Jan Hawkins Author

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