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I can’t say that Launceston, Tasmania would have been a place I’d have visited without the Australian Football League (AFL) being played down there. In fact I’m sure many fellow Hawthorn supporters would say the same thing. Until the Hawthorn Football Club partnered with the Tasmanian Government to ensure a boost to Tasmanian tourism, Tasmania’s top end would not have been on the travel list next to Paris and New York.
Having been there close to seven times now, I’ve always found it an exquisite little trip, a great break from the busy, bustling mainland, that most Australians are a part of. With the football and dirt-cheap flights down there, I make it a yearly occurrence – that I can’t recommend enough.
In central Tasmania, there’s Launceston, or ‘Launnie’. Launnie isn’t a bustling metropolis. With quiet streets, it certainly is at its populous with the football on. It’s a town where you can walk the whole city centre block in less than 30 minutes.
One of the focal points of this Northern Tasmania town is Cataract Gorge. With majestic cliffs that back onto the river… It really is something to walk over it and just take in the whole Gorge, with all the wallabies and peacocks walking around. Launnie has a nature sanctuary in the middle of it.
There are a couple of different nature walks throughout the Gorge. However, I have never felt the urge to go on an extended hike. That is something I should do when I go back later this year. I blame my inability to go on one on my extreme laziness. Don’t let that stop you.
Most Tasmanians I communicate with don’t rate Launnie very highly. This is ludicrous. It’s a town with a lot of quirky little lane-ways and shops to poke around in. There are always plenty of characters around when the football is on of course. However I think that if more Tasmanians actually took a step back and looked at Launceston, surrounded by the Tamar Valley, they would see how beautiful Launnie really is.
Although as I’ve recently discovered, there’s more natural wonders up the north-west coast.
Burnie, one of the larger towns down the coast, has much more to it than the name being ‘punny’. (Now you see it don’t you? I found it quite humorous the first time I worked it out.) Although a small coastal town, its idyllic coastline is really something to marvel at.
Although I wouldn’t fancy taking a swim at any point during winter, the coast coupled with the foliage really do make the North-West coast wonderful to drive along. Penguin hunting was a personal favourite – despite the fact I think we blinded them with our invasive lights.
Further up the coast, you can visit towns like Wynard or Boat Harbour Beach. Both of which are sensory overload. The little cafe at Boat Harbour is great to just sit down and watch the tide lap up against the cliffs. I would highly recommend the food at Boat Harbour, as we probably ate more chips than the seagulls down there.
Although quaint, Tasmania’s top end is one of those smaller, cheaper holidays that more Australians should invest in and would thoroughly enjoy.
By Olivia Clarke