Tasmania’s Northern Midlands makes a fantastic getaway, and all within easy reach of Launceston.
There’s something for everyone: wander the historic villages, visit Heritage-listed convict sites, relax on a winery tour, get your adrenaline pumping at the raceway, explore an epic national park with skiing (during Winter) and alpine walks (every other season), try your luck fly fishing, or ride in a hot air balloon.
We’ve put together some travel tips to help you craft the perfect itinerary. Opening hours vary, so please check directly with the operators for current information.
1. Wander the heritage villages
The 19th-century villages along the Heritage Highway are well-preserved, retaining much of their original charm. Pop into the Visitor Information Centres and take a self-guided walking tour around each town to admire quaint cottages, heritage buildings, historic watering holes, and convict-built landmarks.
Be sure to stop in at one of the many great cafes and bakeries in the villages to refuel after all your discovering. To help decide on your next foodie stop, visit our Eat & Drink page.
2. Visit historic estates & convict sites
Delve into Tasmania’s convict history at Northern Tasmania’s historic estates. Together, Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, near Longford, make up one UNESCO World Heritage Convict Site, as one of the finest examples of a 19th-century rural farming settlement. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and admire the original outbuildings. The heritage gardens are a delight, and Woolmers boasts the acclaimed National Rose Garden.
Clarendon (c. 1838) is set amongst parkland on the banks of the South Esk River at Nile, near Evandale. The estate features a grand three-storey Georgian house with servants’ quarters, a heritage walled garden, farm buildings, and a rare avenue of elms. Visitors can explore the gardens and take a guided tour of the house (check the National Trust for opening times).
The Ross Female Factory Historic Site is a unique site in the Northern Midlands. Constructed in 1833, the site was operated as a probation station for female convicts between 1847 and 1854. When in Ross, visit the Overseer’s Cottage and look at the displays, including a model replica of the Female Factory as it was in 1851.
You may have noticed the many amazing bridges the grace the Heritage Highway. The most impressive is the Ross Bridge (c. 1836) at Ross and the Red Bridge (c. 1838) at Campbell Town. Both bridges were built by convict labour and have remained mostly unchanged since.
3. Tour the Relbia Wine Region
The Relbia Wine Region is part of the famed Tamar Valley Wine Route, just a short drive south from Launceston. Wineries include Josef Chromy Wines, Sharmans Wines, and Jinglers Creek. Get some good friends together and relax at their lovely cellar doors. Enjoy scenic vineyard views, sip award-winning wine, and indulge in fresh and tasty seasonal platters and dishes.
4. Head to the Symmons Plains Raceway
Get your adrenaline fix at the Symmons Plains Raceway, Tasmania’s premier motor racing facility. The circuit at Perth has hosted rounds of the Australian Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercar Championship Series since 1969, including the Falken Tasmania Challenge since 2005. The circuit is a short yet fast lap, known for Brambles Hairpin, an extremely tight hairpin bend at the end of the old front straight.
Please check Motorsports Tasmania for info about upcoming events.
5. Explore the Ben Lomond National Park
The Ben Lomond National Park, 60 km east of Launceston, is home to some of Tasmania’s most impressive scenery (Parks Pass required). Entry is via Jacobs Ladder; a steep, snake-like road surrounded by epic cliffs. There are challenging rock climbing and abseiling routes, as well as a ski field—choose from skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including cheeky wombats.
During the warmer months, explore the alpine walking tracks. Hikes include the Ben Lomond Summit Link Track (30 mins/1 km); the Alpine Village to Little Hell Track (1.5 hrs/5.5 km return); and the Carr Villa to Alpine Village Track (2–3 hrs/5 km one way). Please check current safety information before you go.
6. Go fly fishing
Tasmania is a world-class fly fishing destination with quality trout waters and premium stock. Northern Midlands locations on the Tasmanian Trout Trail include: the South Esk River, the North Esk River, Brumbys Creek at Cressy, the Macquarie River, Lake Leake, and the Elizabeth River.
There are guided tours available to suit all levels of experience and skill—get in touch with Peter Hayes Fly Fishing or Trout Territory to learn more. You might also enjoy a visit to the Australian Fly Fishing Museum at Clarendon.
More info: 7 Places to Go Fly Fishing
7. Ride in a hot air balloon
If a hot air balloon ride is on your bucket list, you can experience it in beautiful Tasmania. Hot Air Balloon Tasmania and Liberty Balloon Flights offer magical hot air balloon tours across the skies of the Northern Midlands. It truly is a special experience.
8. Discover the arts
There is a vibrant creative community in Tasmania’s Midlands, so check out the local art galleries, exhibitions, competitions, markets, and craft and gift shops. Pick up a special handcrafted keepsake to remind you of your trip.
The small town of Poatina is particularly known for its thriving Arts Collective. Resident and visiting artists can explore their creativity with a range of studios, workshops, and other events on throughout the year, including an annual Summer School.
9. Browse the local Markets
The Northern Midlands has a great range of local markets. The most famous of them all is the Evandale Sunday Market. Running every Sunday the market offers a range of new and refurbished furniture, plants, crafts, and a great range of food to enjoy.
The Longford RSL Market has a range of great finds and bargain pieces. The market runs on the last Saturday of each month.
For local handicrafts, fresh produce, and tasty locally-made treats, be sure to visit the Ross Village Market. This country market takes place on the third Sunday of each month.
Bargain hunters will love the Campbell Town Market. Browse the great range of bric-a-brac, second-hand items, cakes, plants, and much more. The market is held on the last Sunday of each month.
For a market, sausage sizzle, and dog-friendly outing, be sure to visit the Community Market at St Andrews Inn in Cleveland. Held on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month the Inn becomes a bustling market and Doggies Day Out. You will find stalls, car boot goods, buskers and a good old fashioned barbeque.
For travel tips from the friendly locals, pop into the region’s Visitor Information Centres.
Launceston to Hobart: The Heritage Highway Road Trip
6 Historic Places to Enjoy a Tipple
25 Romantic Date Ideas in Tasmania’s Midlands
6 Best Bakery Cafes in Tasmania’s Midlands
Story Time: Where to Hear Tales of Days Gone By
45 Things to Do with Kids in Tasmania’s Midlands