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Launceston and its river valley blend history, scenery, creativity, adventure, entertainment and the superb flavours of fine food and wine.

It is a city of contrast, a short walk from the graceful Victorian and Edwardian era facades is the rugged beauty of Cataract Gorge Reserve with its steep rock face, manicured lawns, tree rhododendrons and peacocks.

To the north, the Tamar Valley opens out as it reaches Bass Strait. Here you will find Tasmania's most productive wine region that extends from Rosevears to Pipers River.

The city's rich wheat and wool merchants once built their mansions and villas where you can now enjoy bed and breakfast. It is a city proud of its free settler beginnings, its skilled craft workers and big vision.

Nearby historic towns such as Evandale and Longford preserve the architecture and community spirit of a 19th century village but are also very much of today.

The Tamar Valley has boutique cool climate wineries, and elegant vineyard restaurants where you can meet with the growers and the makers.

Excellent restaurants, boutique wineries and roadside stalls ensure every appetite is indulged and this idyllic setting will satisfy other interests too, from history enthusiasts to nature lovers. You can explore by road or cruise the long curve of the Tamar River.

The Wood Design Collection has gathered together the works of some of the best wood designer/makers and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk holds a fine collection of colonial and contemporary art.

Winding 40 kilometres north from Launceston to Bass Strait, the Tamar River's quiet waters are navigable for its entire length, while its sheltered shores are a perfect environment for many species of waterbirds.

At George Town, at the river's mouth, you will find a classic example of an 18th century signal station. The Tamar has a rich heritage - the historic buildings of Beaconsfield recall the boom days of gold mining.

Today, the Tamar Valley's brightest gold is a swirl of delicious Sauvignon blanc or Riesling or a crisp sparkling wine, while some of the future's rich heritage rests in cellars, as precious bottles of pinot and cabernet age gracefully.

North east of Launceston is Scottsdale with its Forestry EcoCentre, en route to the popular port and seaside town of Bridport, famous for fishing

By Car

From Hobart 199km , via the Midlands Highway, it will take around 2.5 hours to launceston. From Burnie 143km it takes about the same time. From the east coast (St. Helens) via Scottsdale, the trip is again around 2.5 hours.

By Bus

Redline coaches operate a Hobart/Launceston and Launceston/Devonport, Burnie, Wynyard and Smithton service.

By Ferry

Spirit of Tasmania passenger/car ferry operates between Melbourne and Devonport with Redline coaches running a service from Devonport to Launceston. The DevilCat Express catamaran passenger/car ferry operates Port Welshpool, Gippsland, Victoria to George Town with a coach to Launceston.