If you're looking to visit one of the coolest cities in Tasmania, you have to come to Launceston. That's not just my opinion, but also the consensus of many Tasmanians who voted Lonnie (that's what they call Launceston) as the most liveable city on the island. 

Launceston, the second largest city in Tasmania, is simply an amazing gem. Here, you'll experience a super laid-back vibe, awesome restaurants and bars, rich culture, and breathtaking nature all around. 

I'm here to help you find the perfect place to stay on your next visit. In my where to stay in Launceston guide, I'll show you the coolest areas and selected hotels in what could be your new favorite city in Tasmania.

Best areas to stay in Launceston

Launceston may be smaller than Hobart, but it has some amazing spots that will surely meet your needs. These are my four favorite areas in Launceston for you to stay:

If you're a first-timer, you can't go wrong with staying around Launceston CBD (center of Launceston). It has everything from bars and restaurants to parks, and it's well-connected to other neighborhoods.

For families with kids, I recommend staying in South Launceston. It's a bit further from the city center, but you'll find some great holiday homes and apartments there.

For couples, East Launceston is perfect if you want to be close to the action but not right in the middle of it all.

Last but not least, nature enthusiasts will love West Launceston. It's the ideal spot for outdoor activities, with hiking trails and other nature attractions nearby.

1. Where to stay in Launceston for the first time: Launceston CBD

where to stay in launceston - cbd

If you're visiting Launceston for the first time, I highly recommend staying in the CBD (central business district). It's the heart of the city and has everything you need right at your doorstep – restaurants, bars, shops, you name it.

Furthermore, you will also find most of Launceston's hotels, offering a great variety of options from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels.

Staying in the CBD also gives you easy access to other neighborhoods and most of the city's attractions, and the best part is that everything is within walking distance. While I usually suggest having a car to explore the region, when you're staying in the CBD, you can easily get around on foot without necessarily needing a car.

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Couples

  • Easy accessibility

Things to do in Launceston CBD

The CBD is the area that is most packed with attractions and things to do, so I'm sure you won't run out of things to do during your stay. For a relaxing afternoon, head to the Royal Park or Citypark and have a picnic while enjoying stunning views of the Tamar River. You can also take a leisurely stroll by the river or even rent a bike and explore the area.

One absolute must-do when you're here is taking a boat tour with Tamar River Cruises to explore the Cataract Gorge. You'll get to see the gorge from a new perspective and learn about its history and wildlife.

If you're a culture enthusiast or need a rainy day activity, you will love visiting the Queen Victoria Art Gallery, which features both local and international art exhibitions. And if you're a car lover, visit the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, where they have some rare old-timer cars.

For even more culture and history, make sure to visit the Queen Victoria Museum. It's split into two locations – one in the CBD and the other at Inveresk – and together, they offer a very interesting display of Tasmania's natural and cultural heritage.

If you're in Launceston on a Saturday, there's no way around visiting Harvest Market, a vibrant and bustling weekly event, showcasing the region's diverse and fresh produce. I love a good market and browsing artisanal goods, and Harvest Markt has some nice local crafts and a lovely community-focused atmosphere.

After all that exploring, you'll surely work up an appetite. Make your way to the James Boag Brewery and try some of their craft beers while learning about the brewing process. Finish off your day at my favorite riverside restaurant, Mudbar, where you most definitely will need to try their oysters.

Best hotels to stay in the CBD

($$$) Peppers Seaport Hotel

The best hotel in the city center is undoubtedly the Peppers Seaport Hotel. Located right on the waterfront, this modern riverside hotel offers spacious and luxurious rooms with stunning views of the Tamar River.

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($$) The Grand Hotel Launceston

For another one of the best hotels in Launceston, check out The Grand Hotel Launceston. It offers modern and luxurious rooms in a historic building, with a fantastic central location and an on-site restaurant and bar.

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($$) Hotel Verge Launceston

A fantastic mid-range option in the CBD is Hotel Verge Launceston. It's located within walking distance of most attractions and offers cozy and modern rooms at a reasonable price.

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($) Pod Inn

For budget travelers, the Pod Inn is a great choice. It offers basic but clean and comfortable dorm rooms at an affordable price, and its central location makes it easy to explore the city on foot.

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2. Where to stay in Launceston for families: South Launceston

where to stay in launceston - south

If you're traveling with your family, South Launceston is an awesome area to stay in.

It's a bit further from the city center, but don't worry, you'll find spacious holiday homes and apartments where you'll have more than enough space for your family or bigger groups.

South Launceston also has some lovely parks and playgrounds, perfect for kids to run around and play. And if you're up for more outdoor fun, you can easily head to the nearby hiking trails around Cataract Gorge Reserve.

However, to have a good time in South Launceston, having a car when you're staying here, especially with kids, is a good idea. While public transport does exist in Launceston, it's a little limited. Luckily, many of the holiday homes here also offer free parking, which is always a win!

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Peaceful neighborhood

  • Proximity to nature attractions

Things to do in South Launceston

South Launceston might be a little further from the busy city centre, but there's still plenty to do in this neighborhood. You should spend some quality time with your family at Punchbowl Reserve, where they have waterfalls and a playground that the kids will love.

For more family fun, I recommend visiting Arnon Ashford Alpacas if you want to hug a fluffy alpaca or stop in at Big Ears Animal Sanctuary. They're both amazing animal sanctuaries with a focus on educating people about wildlife and animals in the region.

And if you're up for some outdoor adventures, don't miss the nearby hiking trails in the Cataract Gorge Reserve.

Best hotels to stay in South Launceston

($$$) Country Club Tasmania

For one of the best hotels in Launceston, check out Country Club Tasmania. It's located on a golf course and offers elegant rooms and suites, Country Club villas, as well as great amenities like free parking, an indoor pool, a tennis court, and a spa.

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($$) Olde Tudor Hotel

One of my favorite family-friendly Launceston hotels is the Olde Tudor Hotel. They have spacious and comfortable family rooms, a kids' playground, free wifi, and a heated swimming pool to keep everyone entertained.

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($$) Youngtown Executive Apartments

For a homier stay, check out the Youngtown Executive Apartments. They offer spacious and fully-equipped apartments for up to seven people, providing everything you need for a comfortable family stay.

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($) BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park

And of course, you can't go wrong with a family stay at the BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park. They offer various accommodation options, from cabins to powered sites for caravans or tents, and have great facilities for families, such as a playground, games room, and BBQ area.

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3. Where to stay in Launceston for couples: East Launceston

where to stay in launceston - east

East Launceston is quite similar to South Launceston. It's not quite in the city centre, but it's close enough to take a stroll to join all the action while staying in a more peaceful area. 

If you're a couple looking for a recommendation, I'd suggest East Launceston. You'll find some cool boutique hotels here and the neighborhood is filled with charming Victorian and Edwardian houses, making it a picturesque setting for lovely walks around the area.

Best area for:

  • Couples

  • Romantic atmosphere

Things to do in East Launceston

While East Launceston may not be packed with activities, you're so close to the CBD that it doesn't have to be. But don't worry, you'll still find some great things to do in this neighborhood. If you're a foodie, you have to visit the Harvest Market on Saturday mornings for some fresh and local produce.

For all you adrenaline-seekers out there, check out Revolution Paintball. It's the perfect place to battle it out against your partner or other couples in a fun and challenging game.

If you're in the mood for a romantic breakfast or brunch, head over to Maple Cafe on Abbott Street. Romantic or not, they offer the best brekkie and coffee in town. My personal favorite here is the Eggs Benedict and the homemade Banana Bread.

And of course, don't forget to visit the picturesque Launceston City Park. City Park is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll or a lovely picnic.

Best hotels to stay in East Launceston

($$$) Kurrajong House

For one of the most romantic hotels in Launceston, I highly recommend Kurrajong House. With its elegant rooms, beautiful gardens, and delicious breakfast, it's the perfect spot for a couple's retreat.

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($$) Windarra on High

Another fantastic choice for couples is Windarra on High. This charming and cozy boutique hotel is nestled in an old heritage building that has been beautifully refurbished. It now offers lovely rooms and a delicious breakfast in the morning.

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($) Elphin Serviced Apartments

And finally, for a more budget-friendly option, check out the Elphin Serviced Apartments. They offer modern and comfortable apartments with all the necessary amenities for a great stay in East Launceston.

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4. Where to stay in Launceston for outdoor activities: West Launceston

where to stay in launceston - west

Lastly, my absolute favorite area to explore everything that surrounds Launceston is West Launceston.

Here, you can find the perfect base to discover nearby nature reserves and hiking trails, as well as take road trips to other beautiful regions and national parks in Tasmania.

The area itself is pretty quiet, but it's still located within walking distance of the CBD.

On the one side, you can easily check out the bars and restaurants in the town centre. On the other side, you're just a short walk or drive away from some of the best hiking trails and tourist attractions in Launceston.

Best area for:

  • Outdoor activities

  • Nature lovers

  • Peace and quiet

Things to do in West Launceston

West Launceston is the perfect starting point to explore the incredible outdoor attractions in the region.

One of the most fun things to do here is a visit to Penny Royal Adventures. This awesome colonial-themed theme park offers a wide range of activities for all ages, like rock climbing and zip lining.

If you're into nature, Cataract Gorge Reserve is an absolute must-visit. You can spend hours hiking through the beautiful trails or take a refreshing swim in the outdoor swimming pool. And if hiking isn't your thing, hop on the Gorge Chairlift for breathtaking views of the gorge and surrounding areas.

If you're up for a road trip, make sure to include Cradle Mountain in your itinerary. It's about a 2-hour drive from Launceston, but trust me, it's totally worth the trip. This national park is not only amazing for hiking, but it also has some incredible spas where you can unwind after a day of exploring. Set among beautiful rainforest, Waldheim Alpine Spa is one of the most well-known here.

Last but not least, one of my favorite activities in Tasmania is taking a day trip to the Tamar Valley Wine region. It's such a relaxing experience! Here, you can visit some of the best wineries in Tasmania and try the delicious wines they have to offer.

Best hotels to stay in West Launceston

($$$) Alice's Cottages

For a unique and charming stay, I highly recommend Alice's Cottages. These heritage-listed cottages are beautifully decorated, and each one offers a kitchen and a spa tub, which is perfect after a day of hiking.

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($$) The Dragonfly Inn

Another great option for a cozy and comfortable stay in West Launceston is The Dragonfly Inn. Located on the Tamar Valley Wine Route, this B&B offers beautiful rooms with stunning views and a delicious breakfast to start your day.

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($) Auldington Hotel

Last but not least, for a budget-friendly option, check out the Auldington Hotel. This charming hotel offers comfortable rooms and excellent service at an affordable price.

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Where to stay in Launceston – Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is Launceston worth visiting?

Definitely! Especially when you're traveling around Tasmania or if you're just looking for a base to stay in while exploring, Launceston is worth a visit. The city has it all and is packed with cool things to do, yet still maintains a charming small-town vibe. Personally, I loved it for planning day trips around northern Tasmania. Launceston is the perfect base due to its central location.

📅 How many days should I spend in Launceston?

I recommend spending at least 2-3 days in Launceston to fully experience the city and its surroundings. This will give you enough time to explore the local attractions and try out some of the amazing restaurants. However, if you also want to plan some day trips, such as touring the nearby wineries in the Tamar Valley or taking a trip to Cradle Mountain, I suggest staying for 4-5 days.

🥾 What is there to do in Launceston?

There's plenty to do in Launceston, no matter what your interests are. If you love nature and the great outdoors, you can take a hike at Cataract Gorge or explore the Tamar Island Wetlands. Foodies will love exploring the local restaurants and cafes, while history buffs can visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or even hop on a hot air balloon ride to get a bird's eye view of the city and its surroundings.

🚗 How do I get to Launceston?

You can fly directly to Launceston Airport from major Australian cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Alternatively, you can also drive or take a bus from other parts of Tasmania. Once in the city, getting around is easy by car, public transport, or even on foot if you're staying in Launceston's CBD.  

🏨 Is it better to stay in Launceston or Hobart?

It ultimately depends on your preferences and itinerary. Launceston offers a more laid-back and small-town feel, while Hobart has a bustling city vibe. Both cities have plenty of attractions and activities to offer, so it's worth considering which one suits your travel style best. If you have limited time and want to explore more of the Tasmanian wilderness, I recommend staying in Launceston. If you prefer to experience a bit more city life, then Hobart might be a better choice.

Where to stay in Launceston – Final Words

Launceston is hands down a special spot in Tasmania and it's just incredibly cool. It has everything you could need, from amazing restaurants and pubs to hipster cafes and super chill vibes. It's like staying in a small town with all the perks of a big city.

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, Launceston is the ultimate base for hiking and exploring the breathtaking nature of Tasmania. But hey, even if hiking isn't your thing, Launceston is still a charming and welcoming city that will make you feel right at home, no matter what your interests are.

If you're wondering where to stay in Launceston, I hope my guide will help you find the perfect accommodation for your trip.

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