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Historic Towns From Launceston

By Viator, March 2011

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Launceston is surrounded by a ring of historic colonial towns, their sleepy main streets lined with intact Georgian architecture. The pace of life is tranquil in these colonial country towns, and the sense of history is tangible.

If you’re heading north from Launceston, follow the Tamar Valley wine route and drop into the riverside hamlet of Rosevears to taste wines at Ninth Island Vineyard or relax at a waterfront tavern.

On the coast at the mouth of the Tamar River, the historic cottages in George Town date back to the 1830s. Explore the mix of colonial and maritime history at nearby Low Head, on a sandy spit of land just north of George Town.

West of Launceston, colonial buildings circle the village green at Westbury in traditional English style. Time seems to have stood still here, as the village was laid out in a style designed for a much bigger town that never eventuated.

The most famous old home in Westbury is the White House, open to the public and operated by the National Trust. The green is also overlooked by the village church of St Andrews and the Georgian Fitzpatrick’s Inn. Kids will love getting lost in the Westbury Maze, while parents will enjoy relaxing in the tearooms here. Steam engines and colonial relics are displayed at Pearn’s Steam World nearby.

Also west of Launceston in the Meander Valley, the tiny town of Hadspen was established in 1820 on the banks of the South Esk River. While you’re here, visit the little bluestone church, historic Red Feather Inn and colonial-style Entally House homestead. Hadspen’s neighbor is Carrick, with its typical colonial inn on the highway.

Longford is crammed with colonial buildings built between 1830 and the 1850s. Historic buildings to look out for include the sandstone Christ Church and cemetery, and the colonial Queen’s Arms Hotel and Blenheim Hotel. Australia’s longest-running racecourse is also at Longford.

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