Sunday, March 4, 2018

Exploring Launceston

This was our third visit to Launceston for the annual Seniors' Cricket match between Victoria and Tasmania. We arrived on the Monday afternoon and returned home on Thursday afternoon. This provided plenty of time to explore. Launceston is a compact city which is easy to navigate on foot so we did a lot of walking.
View from hotel bathroom window
Next to the Colonial Hotel, where we stayed, is St John's Church on the corner of Elizabeth and St John Street. There has been a church on this site since 1824. From the outside it is an impressive building and I am sure that it is equally impressive inside. However as the doors were always shut when we passed we did not have the opportunity to see inside the building. I did find these pictures online.
Fountain in Princes Park
Across the road from the church in Elizabeth Street is Princes Square. In the centre of the park is this fountain commemorating the installation of the Launceston water supply in 1857.
A statue on the steps at one corner of the park is of William Russ Pugh - the first doctor to use ether during surgery in Australia in 1847.
Elizabeth Street streetscape
One of the features of Launceston is the architecture. The city has retained many of the older buildings creating interesting streetscapes.
Elizabeth Street
More views of Elizabeth Street.
Elizabeth Street
The interesting architecture continues in the city centre. Below are just a few examples.
Holyman House
Holyman House is an art deco style building on the corner of George Street and Brisbane Street.
The interesting architecture continues in the smaller streets and arcades.
Former Bank of NSW building
The former Bank of New South Wales building on the corner of Brisbane Street and St John Street  dates back to 1817.

Of course we did more than look at buildings.
On the Monday night, after drinks and the welcome get together at the hotel, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Charles Street (near Elizabeth Street corner).
After the walk to the Cataract Gorge on the Wednesday we needed a quick lunch as we needed to get back to the hotel before it started to rain, so we called into Banjo's Bakery in Brisbane Street for a couple of sausage rolls.
We noticed that Launceston has a large number of coffee shops, especially in Brisbane Street and George Street. The test for any place we visit, however, is to find a good chocolate shop and on the Thursday morning I enjoyed a good hot chocolate at Cocobean Chocolate in George Street.

I also visited a Petrarch's Bookshop in Brisbane Street which has a good selection of books about Tasmania, particularly Tasmanian history, and  left with another book for my collection.

On Thursday morning we visited the Queen Victoria Art Gallery in Wellington Street (near Royal Park). Downstairs was an exhibition from the Eskleigh Art Collection containing paintings from 25 years of the Tasmanian Art Collection. There was also a display of student art. Upstairs the main gallery contains a collection of nineteenth century portraits capturing a little of what life was like for some people in the growing colony. Perhaps on the next visit we will have time to visit the museum
Before leaving Launceston there was one more surprise. At the airport was a painted model cow similar to ones we saw when we visited Perth in 2016. Life is full of surprises.

Further posts on this adventure:
Launceston - Victoria v Tasmania 2018
Launceston - Colonial Hotel
Launceston - Cataract Gorge
Launceston - Cataract Gorge wildlife

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