It turns out Launceston is known for having one of the finest early Colonial and Victorian cityscapes in Australia with many of the buildings beautifully restored and freshly painted. This week I am going to let my camera do the talking and give you a taste of what you might see if, like me, you find yourself inexplicably in Tasmania's second largest city.
Launceston - a little bit of history
Tasmania, known initially as Van Diemen's Land, is Australia's smallest state. It was the second Australian state to be settled by the British. In 1803, driven by concerns that France might claim the island, the Governor of New South Wales sent a small party of soldiers and convicts to establish a military outpost on Tasmania's south-east coast. They established their settlement at Risdon Cove, a few miles up the river from present day Hobart.
A little more than a year later, in November 1804, Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson, established the first European settlement in northern Tasmania. In March 1806 he moved from his first site at York Town on the west side of the Tamar River, to present day Launceston, which he named 'Patersonia'. He later changed the name to Launceston in honour of the birthplace of the Governor of New South Wales, Philip Gidley King.
Until 1812, Tasmania was two separate administrative districts: Northern Tasmania, centred around Launceston and Southern Tasmania centred around Hobart. Hobart, Tasmania's present day capital, became the seat of government when the two districts were combined.
Today Launceston has a population of about 86,000.
|The Bendigo Bank Building|
|Someone had parked a particularly unattractive truck in front of this building so I had to cut off the bottom.|
|That is David in front. He looks like he is headed inside but he's just trying to get a closer look at the sign near the front door.|
|Launceston Town Hall|
|Another building with a car parked in front.|
|The Post Office Tower|
|This last photo is just to show that Launceston is not all about buildings - and I love the way the church spire has photobombed my picture of the park.|
My tip: -
- The local tourist information centre has an excellent walking tour pamphlet or click here for a printable brochure and map.
As you may have noticed I have no idea what the names of most of the buildings are. If anyone knows which building is which I would love you to comment and let me know.
Other blog posts from our two weeks in Tasmania: -
- The White Wallabies of Bruny Island
- Where to Look for Platypus in Tasmania
- The Little Penguins of Low Head
- Port Arthur - A World Heritage Convict Site.
- Cycling in Hobart
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