Back in November 2015, I had booked a weekend trip to Launceston in Tasmania (adorably known as Tassie). But unfortunately, I had to be admitted to a hospital for a toothache (Yes, you heard it right – for just a toothache), and because of which I had to cancel my Launceston trip. In January 2016, we had a long weekend to celebrate Australia Day and hence it was time to book again (I am one stubborn traveler, ain’t I?). But I decided to return to Sydney on Sunday night.
For information on a road trip in the East Coast of Tasmania and on how to plan a travel with your mother, refer Road Trip | East Coast Tasmania.
Launceston is a city in the north of Tasmania. It is famous for its Cataract Gorge and walking trails. The city is definitely one of the beautiful cities that one must visit in Tassie.
Summer is a popular time for people to visit Tasmania. It is the months between December till February that is considered as a peak season. Note: As Tasmania is closer to the southern pole, it is generally cold and even during summer it is freezing at nights.
The best and easiest way to get around in Launceston is by a car. However, there are free tourist buses and public transport in Launceston.
PIN for later reference
I had some tentative plan in my mind and I wanted to cover off the lavender farm and the Cradle mountain mainly. I drafted an itinerary and shared it with a friend. With some changes, we had finalised the plans.
The plan was to head to Bridestowe Estate to look at the pretty lavender farm. And then drive down to Cradle mountain.
Day 1 (Friday)
My friend and I took an afternoon Jetstar flight from Sydney to Launceston, so we can have at least the evening in Launceston.
After picking up the car at the Launceston airport, we headed to the hotel – ‘Olde Tudor Hotel‘. The hotel was huge, with the reception right in front of the parking lot. The lady at the reception was very friendly. She provided us with the necessary information and recommendations on the restaurants and things to do in Launceston. And the room was spacious and clean. I would definitely recommend this hotel – a big thumbs up.
- Accommodation: Olde Tudor Hotel.
- Address: 229-235 Westbury Road Launceston TAS 7250.
As suggested by the lady at the reception, we had our dinner at a Thai restaurant – ‘Star of Siam‘, situated in the city centre. The food was yummy and mouth-watering – I still remember the taste.
- Restaurant: Star of Siam.
- Cuisine: Thai.
- Address: 63 Paterson St, Launceston TAS 7250.
The highlight of the day was the night walk at Seaport Launceston. It was a pleasing walk on the wharf along the river. The walk was complemented by the red moon (still not sure why the moon was red in colour) and the chocolate ice cream.
Day 2 (Saturday)
We started the day by eating the delicious cream rolls and coffee for breakfast at a local bakery. The next stop was at the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. The Bridestowe Lavender Estate is a 265-acre site known for its lavender farms. We were disappointed when we reached the estate as the farms were not purple at all. It was the end of the season. The lavender season is from November to mid-January.
After the disappointment of not seeing the purple flowers, we started our journey for the Cradle mountain. The Tullah Lakeside Lodge, the place where we were staying for the night, was about 30 kilometres from the Cradle mountain.
- Accommodation: Tullah Lakeside Lodge.
- Address: 56 Farrell St Tullah TAS AUS 7321.
On the way, we made two “out of the plan” stops:
- First at Hillcrest Blueberry Farm – Yes, blueberry picking! And it was awesome fun. I learned that only the blue coloured blueberry is picked and not the green or red coloured (as blueberries do not ripe once they are removed from the plant).
- The second stop was at a small town called Sheffield.
- We had our lunch at T’s Chinese restaurant, which is supposedly one of the best Chinese restaurants in Australia. Honestly, I did not like the food that much. I have eaten better Chinese food in Sydney.
- Address: 85 Main Street, Sheffield TAS 7306.
- The interesting shop that we accidentally discovered was an antique shop called ‘The Emporium‘. The shop had a variety of collectibles and the owner of the shop was even more interesting – I think a total must-see in Sheffield.
The drive from the Bridestowe to Tullah Lakeside lodge was picturesque. And with Bollywood music – Nothing more to ask for!
We reached the lodge in the night and immediately after keeping our bags at the room, we headed out to try our luck on the Aurora Australis (also called the Southern nights). Yeah right! Not that easy. It was one day before the full moon, because of which we could not even see the Milky Way (let alone Aurora Australis). We clicked some pictures of the moon and stars, after which we called it a day.
Day 3 (Sunday)
In the morning, we spent time, having our breakfast and by the lake (which was very pretty and delightful).
After the lazy breakfast, we started for Cradle mountain national park. The drive was again amazing and refreshing.
At Cradle Mountain, we bought the entry and the shuttle service to the national park. The shuttle dropped us to the Dove Lake. An Oh My God! It was heaven. After Milford Sound in New Zealand, this is another place that was alluring and seductive. We took many pictures and we definitely couldn’t get enough of the place. Refer Guide to hike the Cradle mountain for details on hiking to the Cradle mountain.
Due to lack of time, with heavy hearts, we started for Launceston airport. On the way, we spotted a cute little echidna at the side of a free-way.
Look out for wildlife on the way. You could spot unique Australian wildlife like Tasmanian devils. No, I have not seen a Tasmanian devil in the wild in Australia yet.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Absolutely! Tasmania as a whole is very safe for solo female travelers. The people are very nice and friendly. And it is definitely one of the safest destinations I have ever traveled to. So I would suggest this location for solo travelers. However, like any other place, I would be cautious especially at nights and trust my instincts.
I ended up having an amazing and memorable trip. Tasmania is truly amazing and is our heaven in Australia. I would definitely recommend visiting Tasmania on a trip to Australia.