ABSOLUTELY AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDE & DIRECTORY

Launceston, in Tasmania's North, is at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River and is the gateway to the Tamar Valley and is Tasmania's second largest city and a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. The Tamar Valley is also Tasmania's premier wine-growing region where cellar doors, vineyard restaurants and farmers' markets of Launceston and the north offer some of the best gourmet experiences in Australia.

The valley was formed by volcanic and glacial forces over 10 million years ago and is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of the Bass Strait, with its closest neighbour-city being Devonport, approximately 99 kilometres (62 mi) to the north west. Launceston combines steep (originally heavily wooded) ridges and low-lying areas which can make Launceston subject to landslip problems.

The Tamar River estuary is used for commercial and recreational shipping and boating. In earlier years, ocean going shipping used the river to obtain access to the Port of Launceston wharves located in the city centre and Invermay. The Port for Launceston is now located at the George Town suburb of Bell Bay, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) downstream on the east bank of the Tamar estuary, close to the river mouth. The South Esk River is the longest river in Tasmania. It starts in the North East Mountains near Roses Tier and flows through the Fingal Valley where it passes through the towns of Fingal and Avoca before flowing into the Northern Midlands where it flows through the towns of Evandale, Perth, Longford and Hadspen before finally reaching Launceston via the Cataract Gorge.

Launceston serves as the commercial hub for the north of Tasmania. Cataract Gorge is Launceston's largest tourist attraction and is in close proximity to the city centre. It is home to the longest single span chairlift in the world, stretching 308 metres (1,010 ft) across the gorge.

The Launceston General Post Office dates back to the 1880s, with a clock tower added in the early twentieth century. The GPO clock chime chimes every quarter-hour. Tasmania Zoo, which is known for its wildlife conservation work, including a breeding program for Tasmanian Devils, is located near the city

Located on Tasmania's central north coast is Narawntapu National Park that stretches from Greens Beach on the mouth of the Tamar River to Bakers Beach in the west.

Rosevears Drive, Rosevears - "Ninth Island vineyard offers tastings and sales of Pipers Brook, Ninth Island and Kreglinger wines. Strathlynn Restaurant offers tne of the finest dining experiences on the island; the excellent cuisine is matched by a sensational view of the Tamar River below."