About Launceston and the NorthLaunceston & the North blends history, scenery, adventure, and the superb flavours of fine food & wine. Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city. It is compact & pretty with colourful Victorian & Edwardian homes lining the hillsides along the river banks. From here, the broad Tamar River valley opens north to Bass Strait 50 kilometres (31 miles) away. The Tamar Valley Wine Route is Tasmania’s most productive and best-established wine region. Vines grow on gentle, sloping hills and long mellow autumn days ripen the grapes, adding unique cool-climate flavours to the widely acclaimed wines. To the south is the historic Heritage Highway pioneered in 1807. These days, you can drive from Launceston to Hobart in a couple of hours, But you’ll be missing some of the most stunning pastoral scenery and bypassing colonial towns & villages, where sandstone church spires overlook English oak, elm & chestnut trees, Georgian cottages line quiet streets, and stone bridges are reflected in leaf-dappled water.