Historic Launceston and the Cradle Coast

Saying goodbye to Cradle Mountain

This morning I packed up and got ready to move on to the next leg of my trip.  Before setting off, I enjoyed one last breakfast at the lodge and was able to catch up with the hiker I met from Perth to compare notes on our upcoming travels.  This morning was quite rainy and even some snow showed up.  There were some children at breakfast seeing snow for the first time and they were very excited.

Today is a travel day to Launceston where I’ll fly out the next morning to Christchurch, NZ.  There is no set plan and so I decided to head up to the northern coast to Devonport before heading to Launceston.  The drive to Devonport took me through farm country where the soil was a deep brown and the farmers were in high gear to plant the many produce items this area is known for… carrots, onions, broccoli to name a few.  This area is also known for its poppy industry.

Devonport’s coastal beauty

Devonport is a small town on the coast and is where mainland Australia connects to Tasmania with the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.  The coastline was breathtaking and the city has a public park all along the coast for its people to enjoy.  The Mersey Bluff Lighthouse has been in operation since 1889.  If you have the time, stop by Devonport and see the coast and do some shopping at its pedestrian mall.

Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail

There are numerous places to stop along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail for local tastings.  I passed up the chocolate tasting but couldn’t resist the cheese tasting.  I pulled off for the cheese tasting (which I did) at Ashgrove Cheese factory and ended up getting the honey ice cream as well.  It was delicious.  If you have the time, take the time to stop and try the local cuisine.

Historic Launceston

I had never heard of Launceston until my friends told me to fly out of Launceston after my time at Cradle Mountain.  I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to this small city (second largest city after Hobart in Tasmania).  The architecture was magnificent as much of the historical buildings and churches have been well-preserved alongside a touch of modern buildings.  The James Boag brewery is based in Launceston and offers daily brewery tours.  Be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss it.

Before heading into the city center, I checked out Launceston’s #1 attraction being  Cataract Gorge Reserve with its own scenic chairlift across the gorge.  It was just 5 or 10 minutes from the city center and seemed to be a nice place to bring the family or partake in some leisurely hikes.  It’s best to take the chairlift one way and then walk back to take in the views along the trail and suspension bridge back.

After about an hour at the gorge, I headed to the city center and set out on my exploration to see the sights.  As I said earlier, the architecture was phenomenal.  Here are a few (a lot) of my favorites.  The sunlight was perfect.  Be sure to visit Prince’s Park where most of the churches are located.  There are plenty of shopping spots and restaurants in the city center too.

I hadn’t expected to be impressed by the spring flowers on this trip but I have been and can’t stop taking pictures of these spring blooms.  The public parks are well taken care of throughout Tasmania and it certainly seems like great pride is taken in the variety of flowers grown.  Here are some flower pictures from the day between Devonport and Launceston.

Next stop is Christchurch, NZ

After a week in Tasmania, I leave for Christchurch on a very early flight (6:20 am… ouch!)  Tasmania has been great and has exceeded my expectations every step of the way.  If you’d like to find out more about Tasmania, here are some links I used to prepare for my trip.  If you can, plan to spend two weeks in Tasmania.  There’s so much more to see.

Discover Tasmania

Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail

Categories: Australia

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