|Posted on 8 November, 2017 at 19:00|
Latest news suggests tourist numbers to Northern Tasmania are expected to double in the next three years. That is a big call, and along with this prediction is the question - Is the north of the state equipped to handle the expected influx of local and international tourists in terms of accommodation and infrastructure? Time will tell I guess.
I hope that the prediction comes true, and I hope it starts this year. I hope it starts this week!
The heart of the north of Tassie is in Launceston. It is a beautiful little city and very few leave here not wanting to return and see, feel and taste more of Lonnie. Visitors have a few options when it comes to how they are going to see Launceston or its surrounding countryside.
Getting out to our local vineyards is a popular choice with some great vintages produced in relatively young vineyards. The Tamar wine growing region is already creating waves internationally with its cool climate whites and reds which can vary taste wise from winery to winery as each has its own 'micro-climate'. Wine tasting tours are very well patronised and with other venues to complement the wineries - cheese makers, chocolate makers and salmon ponds - they can be a full day of tasty decadence.
The out of town tours are fun and expensive. If you are on a budget, and wine, cheese and chocolate is not on your menu, but you would like to take away some wonderful memories of Launceston there some worthy alternatives.
The City of Launceston is quite small, so you can actually get out and see what Lonnie has and you dont need a bus to get around, because everything is within walking distance of most of the major hotels. You do not need a bus! You do not need to pay for a bus! Now tour operators heading out of town to the wineries generally have a pick up service where they will go from hotel to hotel picking up bookings and then head out and do the tour. Then at end of day, they will drop everyone off at their hotel or in the city if required.
Doing a local, 'walking' tour, a bus is redundant. Even the pick up service is redundant as most of the city hotels are within cooee of the city centre. So a bus would be wasted, and why pay for something you don't need.
There a number of walking tours available to visitors to Launceston. The Launceston Ghost Tour is very popular and takes you to some of the city's allegedly haunted locales. For the foodies, there is the Taste, Walk, Talk tour which will take you around some of the interesting eateries in town. But if you like the historically preserved aspect of Launceston. If you would like to be towed around the city on foot to see and hear how many of the buildings have contributed to the ambiance that is Launceston, then Launceston Up Close has two tours that will take you around the city.
Our knowledgeable tourist guide will escort you from Prince's Square to City Park, or from the city and back via the rivers and Kings Bridge. On each tour there are uniquely interesting pieces of Australian history that predates anything that happened in Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth and that are as old as Sydney or Hobart. Each tour has a refreshment stop at an iconic location, and both are not so long as to exhaust you, but long enough to feel like you have seen a good chunk of Lonnie! Your guide will tell you stories that will colour your morning or afternoon and you can ask anything. If he or she does not know, he will find out by the end of the tour, or he will make something up!
Launceston is a wonder of a place. The buildings here are a time capsule of the 19th Century that have been preserved by circumstance rather than by management. The town had its boom time in the late 1800's when it was the food basket of Australia. Tassie was feeding not just Tassie, but the Victorian, South Australian, and Swan River colonies and their gold rushes. You will see evidence of the money that was flowing through Launceston.
After 1900, things slowed down big time. WW1 and WW2, and the Great Depression, saw Launceston lose its pre-eminence as the rest of Australia caught up and industry and grain and wool and minerals were all sourced from the mainland. The money stopped, and as the years rolled on, as businesses rose and fell and new facilities were needed, rather than knock down the colonial buildings, they were gutted and repurposed. Many Launceston 'Georgian' and 'Victorian' buildings have had many lives having been repurposed more than once. Warehouses became office blocks or accommodation or a retailer. Mills became offices and restaurants. But the buildings remained and now they have historical significance and are on the national register.
On a Launceston Up Close heritage walking tour, you will hear about this repurposing and you will hear how the city has kept its heart and the heritage of each building.
If you would like more information on the morning or afternoon heritage walking tour hosted by Launceston Up Close, or if you would like to book a spot on our schedule, please call us - 0414 749 626, or check out our web site - www.launcestonupclose.com.au -
or even have a look at our facebook page - https/www.facebook.com/Launcestonwalkingtours/
Discover Tasmania, discover Launceston and discover Launceston Up Close, hear the stories, see the historic sites!