More and more people are realising that Launceston is only a short flight away making it a great option for a weekend break away from the hustle of Melbourne or Sydney.

With the feel of a big country town, Launceston is a great base from which to explore the Tamar Valley wineries. Here are our tips for an indulgent weekend: 

Stay

Relax at chic, boutique accommodation like TwoFourTwo boutique apartments or the Hartherley Birrell Collection

Friday evening

For a very casual meal among the locals, head to St George’s Square in  High Street park where food vans like Turkish Tukka and Burger Junkie serve up tasty nosh in a beautiful park setting.

For a more glamorous experience, try drinks and dinner on the river: Pop in for a drink at Stillwater’s wine bar with a great selection of local drops then wander along the river and dine at the excellent Hallams Waterfront Seafood restaurant

Saturday morning

Hit the Harvest Market, a terrific farmer’s market and the place to be seen in Launceston on a Saturday morning. Pick up excellent coffee and breakfast; read the paper and enjoy the buskers. Stock up with supplies for a picnic later on- bread, cheese, fresh fruit & veg.

Tour the Tamar Valley Wine Route

There are more than 25 cellar doors in the Tamar Valley and quite a bit of distance between the east and west sides so don’t try to do too much in one day. If you’re not keen on driving yourself, hire a car with a driver or book a tour with a local tour company.

If you are a sparkling fan, Jansz, Delamere and Bay of Fires on the East Tamar/ Pipers River area are must visit cellar doors and a god place to start

Then it might be time to head to the western side of the valley. Pick a picturesque spot near the Batman Bridge and stop for a picnic lunch.

Spend the afternoon enjoying the wines at two family-owned vineyards, Holm Oak Vineyards and Moores Hill.  Both cellar doors stock a range of Tasmanian goodies here if you need snacks.

Saturday night

After all that wine, palate re-calibration may be required. Choose from a regularly changing beer selection at Saint John Craft Beer Bar. Then wander through the beautiful Prince’s Square to dine at Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant.

Sunday

Breakfast at Bryher café or Blue cafe then take a refreshing walk in the amazing Cataract Gorge.

For those with an adventurous spirit, visit Penny Royal, for rock climbing or the exhilaration of the zipline.

Go for lunch at Timbre Kitchen, co-located with Velo Wines at Legana, 15 minutes drive out of Launceston.

If you have time before your flight, the Relbia cellar doors are on the way to the airport- Jinglers Creek, Josef Chromy and Sharmans Wines.

Travel Lightly with the Tamar Valley Vineyards Dozen

Top Tip: A lot of the wines you’ll enjoy in the Tamar Valley are made in small quantities and can be hard to find on the mainland so its best to buy while you are here.

Simply purchase the bottles you like as you visit the cellar doors then the last cellar door you buy from will pack them up and send them home for you, just for the cost of the freight. You get a unique collection of wines delivered to your door without the stress of excess baggage charges.