Last weekend I decided that I needed a getaway, a little escape from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. I figured that Launceston, Tasmania would be perfect:
- It’s around an hour flight from Melbourne
- Flights are cheap
- The landscapes are incredible
- There are countless hikes & places to explore
I picked up a cheap flight from Jetstar for $35 each way (bargain I know), I didn’t need any luggage. The idea was to just take the bare essentials and only have carry on. So with this in mind I packed very lightly, everything managed to fit in my trusty Country Road Tote bag (nearly 6 years old now).
I found a nice little hostel near the city centre – The Arthouse Hostel. It was around $19 Aud a night (Shared room). The hostel was very clean and the staff were incredibly friendly, which makes all the difference. They were all too happy to talk about cool little locations and listen to you talk about the things you have seen, even though I wouldn’t be able to guess the number of times they have heard the same experiences from other travellers. I highly recommend this place to stay if you are looking for a hostel.
I knew I was going to do a bit of driving, so I did splurge on a slightly more comfortable car to rent, but it was certainly worth it. The car (Mitsubishi ASX) was around $65 a day with the excess reduction and unlimited km’s.
The saturday morning I woke up nice and early to fly out from Melbourne and arrived in Launceston shortly after. The airport is quite small, but seems perfect for the location. Within 20 minutes I had picked up the car and was in the city looking for breakfast.
I stumbled across the Harvest Markets which were small, but there was a funky food place where I picked up a Chorizo and Haloumi roll, and was it super tasty!
My first stop was City park, I had read on trip advisor about some Macaque monkeys in the middle of the park. This was one things I certainly didn’t expect, it was something fairly unique and easy to see. It would certainly be a hit for the family.
Next stop was Marakoopa Cave, it was a little over 1 hour drive from the city and situated in the middle of a beautiful nature park.
There are two caves in the vicinity that offer public tours, I chose to do Marakoopa cave as I really wanted to see the underground rivers and the glow worms! The tour was $19 and went for 45 minutes, it would be an easy tour for anyone and the caves were very open (in case you are claustrophobic). The mix of the stalactites, Stalactites and rivers was incredible and it was certainly something I will remember for a long time, but the thing that I loved the most was seeing glow worms for the first time.
In one of the areas the guide will turn off all the lights for about 5 minutes, after some time your eyes begin to adjust and little dots of light begin to appear everywhere. According to the guide there were about 400+ glow worms.
There were plenty of other little creatures around the cave, but I won’t spoil the surprise. You don’t need to book the tours, but in the busier months get there a bit earlier than the tour. There is a hike you can do before hand if you are very early. There were also BBQ’s and toilets, but remember to take a rubbish bag as there are no bins up there.