I am back in Launceston, Tasmania, again for another house-sit, a long one this time – about two-and-a-half months.
Launceston is the ‘capital’ of northern of Tasmania. It's a medium-size town with a long European history, set in a beautiful rural and natural setting. Launceston has most of the facilities of a city, plus the countryside and natural world within walking distance of the CBD.
I'm here to look after Gwen, a dear old cat that loves a lap to snooze on. Here she is, getting some winter sun in the back yard:
It's always great to come back to a location where I've house-sat before, because I get to revisit my favourite places from previous trips.
Launceston Harvest Market
One of those places is the Launceston Harvest Market in front of the Albert Hall, on Saturday mornings. This is a food-only market with lots of interesting goodies:
My favourite goodie here is the bagels from Sandy’s Sourdough! So many so-called bagels are like a bread roll with a hole in the middle – real ones are dense, with a shiny, thin, and smooth crust, which is what you get from Sandy’s Sourdough!
Another of my favourite places is Cataract Gorge, just outside of the central business district of Launceston, which I’ve blogged about a before.
We had a bit of rain when we first arrived here and that's putting a good amount of water through the gorge. This is Duck Reach, with plenty of water flowing in the South Esk River, which runs through the gorge.
At the end of Cataract Gorge the South Esk River meets the North Esk River, and they become the Tamar River, which runs out to Bass Strait. This is the end of the gorge where it meets the head of the Tamar River.
The confluence with the North Esk River is just out of sight, to the left of the picture.
Right near to our house-sit in Norwood, south of the city, is a small version of Cataract Gorge nestled into the suburbs; it’s called Punchbowl Falls.
The area below Punchbowl Falls gorge is developed into a formal park, called Punchbowl Reserve, with gardens, playgrounds, and ponds; here's one of the resident ducks:
The Japanese macaque monkeys
While I'm in Launceston I make sure that I regularly visit the Japanese macaque monkeys in City Park in the CBD. I've posted about these monkeys previously, but they're always worth another mention because they are always up to something interesting, like leaping around and chasing each other with incredible agility and energy, and doing remarkably human-like things. Here’s a little monkey nuclear family:
Aren't they just so cute and interesting!
Launceston’s historic buildings
Launceston has a lot of lovely old colonial-era buildings. When I was in Southern Tasmania I heard it quipped a couple of times that when all the historic buildings were being knocked down in the 1970s, Launceston didn't have any money so they couldn’t knock theirs down – consequently they still have many of the old buildings that are missing elsewhere in Australia (especially Queensland).
This is Custom House, built in 1885:
This is the Launceston Town Hall, built in 1867:
There’re also some great old commercial buildings; this is the Crown Mills Rolled Oats and Oatmeal building, built in 1897:
This is the Launceston Gas Company on the North Esk River, built from 1860 through to the 1930s:
Launceston has another sort of historic commercial building: churches. So much human skill, design, effort, and community wealth went into old churches that they are nearly always beautiful buildings.
I’ll show you my selection of Launceston’s beautiful historic churches in my next post.
Last time I house-sat in Launceston it was summer, and I was on high ground in the suburb of Trevallyn, with an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. This time, I'm here in the winter and those mountains have a dusting of snow:
Over the next month or so the snow will get heavier and become permanent, and snow skiing will start happening on Ben Lomond. I’m hoping to get up there while I’m here for a snowy bushwalk.
I’ve got lots of other thing that I’m planning on revisiting while I’m house-sitting here in Launceston, but nostalgia isn’t my favourite frame of mind, so I’ve got a list of new things that I want to do while I’m here, too. more on them later.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you can find related posts under these headings:
Share this The Journey and the Destination post using your favourite social media:
Would you like to add something, or ask a question? Add a comment below (you can leave the 'Website' field blank):