To Linger in Launceston. Chapter 2.
Despite the fact this town shuts down at 9.00pm at night, day time Launceston has a lot of charm, unexpected surprises and the Boags Brewery.
For the second largest town in Tasmania the city centre is pocket-sized and easily walkable in a day. Based in the Tamar Valley Launceston is the gateway to a large wine growing region and Ben Lomond national park. Delve into this city and you will come up with a fistful of surprises.
The first surprise was when I decided to walk to Coles through the City Park to buy some food for breakfast and found Japanese Macaque Monkeys.
Flowers I expected, quaint cottages and botanical wonders were anticipated
but the monkeys were an unusual addition.
Now in yesterdays post I mentioned that the hostel we stayed in had an interesting history and one that I only found out about when I hung around the lobby waiting for people to turn up so we could go explore the city.
How about that Melbourne City sprung from a meeting in this hotel – heady stuff indeed.
First call of the day was to the information centre to purchase a national park entry ticket – 60 dollars for the car and passengers for two months (entry to all national parks in Tasmania). Definitely the way to go as an individual park entry fee is 24 dollars per time. I then decided to walk down to the river to Queen Victoria Museum because and this was the second surprise of the day the museum and art gallery were free. On the way I passed colonial buildings and the Boags Brewery (which has tours). Under the old signage I met a stranger from Melbourne who was drunk, very happy and extremely chatty.
He informed me that he loved Tasmania and had come over to live because he had “had to get out of Melbourne”. I decided not to pursue that line of questioning, move on and miss out on sampling some of the local brew in the specialist pub we were also standing outside of because I had a feeling that he would follow me in and tap me up for a beer.
The walk along the river was delightful, the boardwalk was the old railway line and I mooched along in the sun watching the black swans dip and sway gracefully in the shallows and checked out the scenery.
Now for the third surprise – the Moscow State Circus was in town and some of its star performers were chilling out in the field next to the museum.
The museum is centered in and around in the old working factory that produced steam engines. It has a free bus that will take one back to town to the other part of the museum which is an art gallery (also free of charge).
All this tramping around was exhausting so we caught the free bus back and headed for the nearest coffee shop. In my next post I will take you to the stunning Cataract Gorge, just a 10 minute walk away from Launceston town centre.