Launceston, Tasmania – Australia

Now heading off from Coles Bay and back inland towards Campbell Town was my pick on the day for the drive to Launceston. As you travel on the Lake Leake Road, the views are sensational from the ridges above looking back toward the Hazards and the peninsula.

Excellent opportunities to stop and take a few photos of the peaceful scenery.

Typical farming landscape makes it feel very much like my own home town with very friendly people to have a chat with and a well-earned coffee break at Campbell Town.

Now I’m feeling tempted … Some fabulous buys with antiques calling my name to go inside and make my acquaintance – and take them home.

Continuing onto Devonport from Coles Bay may be a bit longer in terms of driving times, but considering it was a better road with some interesting sights to stop and visit, it seemed to be a better choice on the day.

So if you’ve been to Launceston before this water mill is not new to you as it’s one of the most recognised landmarks. My car is parked right under it for free being a guest at the Leisure Inn Penny Royal! For bookings see as this property is also part of the TasVillas Group.

The Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel and Apartments offer various categories of accommodation and facilities. It caters well for families and has self-contained apartments too – not everyone wants to eat out every night and it’s a big save when travelling with children.
Additionally for further information and bookings see

Queen-size bedroom with kitchenette – spacious and comfortable with fast wifi. Free parking as a guest and is perfect for couples on the go who want to stay in and enjoy feeling like they’re at home.

Rooms at the hotel are comfy and spacious with a rustic framework which feels very much in the era they were built. Warm and cosy with a great restaurant and bar within the complex makes it easy to access with no driving involved if having a couple of bevvies. It’s one of the most popular hotels to catch up with friends with a lively atmosphere and vibe.

Just a short walk up the road is the Penny Royal Adventures Theme Park and Attractions‎. If you’re staying at the hotel and apartments like me, it’s the perfect location to just soak up some sun while people watching and enjoying a cuppa with a friend.

After two years in development the run-down Penny Royal location was transformed to a modern welcoming tourist complex officially opened in 2016. It offers rides, cellar door, dining and boat rides for the young ones. A favourite of many local families who had grown up with the park in their youth – and it seems everyone’s really pleased with the outcome.

Oh, did I say zip lining is here as well?

And again just a little further up and over the bridge is Cataract Gorge and a must see.

Walk along the pathway which overlooks the South Esk River and it’ll take you to the Gorge Restaurant as well as the lake area which is really worth the walk.

There was plenty of seating to relax and enjoy the views. If you wanted to, bring your lunch as well and soak up some warm sunshine – it’s just a perfect day out.

The First Basin on the southern side features a swimming pool, two cafés, a funicular railway and an open area surrounded by bushland. The chairlift was built in 1972 and it’s total span is 457 metres – which is the longest single-span chairlift in the world.

A walk over the Alexandra Suspension Bridge will take you over to the opposite side which is a steeper walk back to the main entrance.

Undoubtedly this fella has seen a few changes over the years …

Afterwards, keep meandering along towards the city and you’ll find the most frequented park. Officially named Royal Park in 1912, it’s originally the site of a military barracks which was developed as parkland in the late 1800s. It’s also where Launceston’s Cenotaph can be located.

And if you’ve walked all that way during the day, might as well keep going and make way to the mall whereby you’ll see some of the best early Australian architecture. Oh yeah shopping too …

Incidentally, I’ve not really needed my car today at all as the location of my hotel has made it an easy day out with everything being within walking distance. So might as well buy some Tassie apples to take with me for my next day’s drive to chomp away on – crisp, sweet and simply delicious.

Local street art near the Tourism office in Devonport – think this is where to have some lunch on my way to Strahan. Parking is metered here and no free spots anywhere central.

The Spirit of Tasmania is docked here also and passengers with cars from Melbourne have opted to drive around the state with their own vehicles. Good idea to compare prices against hiring a car – in particular if you’re an Aussie.

Next stop Strahan, west side of Tasmania.

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