The City of Launceston is located in northern Tasmania, about 200 kilometres north of the Hobart CBD. The City of Launceston is bounded by the George Town Council area and the Dorset Council area in the north, the Break O'Day Council area in the east, the Northern Midlands Council area and the Meander Valley Council area in the south, and the West Tamar Council area and the Tamar River in the west.
The City of Launceston includes the suburbs and localities of Bangor, Blessington (part), Bridport (part), Burns Creek, Dilston, East Launceston, Golconda (part), Invermay, Karoola, Kings Meadows, Lalla, Launceston, Lebrina, Lilydale (part), Lower Turners Marsh (part), Mayfield, Mount Direction (part), Mowbray, Myrtle Bank (part), Newnham, Newstead, North Lilydale (part), Norwood, Nunamara, Patersonia, Pipers Brook (part), Pipers River (part), Prospect, Punchbowl, Ravenswood, Relbia (part), Retreat (part), Rocherlea, South Launceston, Springfield (part), St Leonards, Summerhill, Swan Bay, Targa, Tayene (part), Trevallyn (part), Tunnel, Turners Marsh, Underwood, Upper Blessington (part), Waverley, West Launceston, White Hills (part), Windermere, Wyena (part) and Youngtown.
The City of Launceston features both urban and rural areas, with the urban areas located in the west, and the rural areas in the north, east and south-east. The urban areas include residential, industrial and commercial land use. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly sheep grazing and apple growing) and forestry, with some viticulture. Tourism is also an important industry. The City encompasses a total land area of 1,420 square kilometres.
The City of Launceston is named after the Cornish township where Governor Philip King was born.
The original inhabitants of the City of Launceston were the Palawa Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from 1806, when settlers, soldiers and convicts moved upstream from Port Dalrymple. A military town was set up, with land initially used for wheat farming, then sheep grazing for wool. Population was minimal until the 1820s, with Launceston developing as a commercial, industrial and service hub for Tasmania, becoming an export centre for the mainly pastoral industry. By 1827 the population had reached about 2,000, rising to more than 10,000 by 1861. Rapid growth took place during the late 1800s, largely due to the mining boom in the 1870s and 1880s. By 1888 the population had grown to about 17,000. Growth continued during the early 1900s. Expansion took place during the post-war years, with growth spreading outwards from the central city. The population grew to about 63,000 by 1976, with little growth during the 1980s. The population declined slightly during the 1990s, and then increased slightly in more recent years.
Major features of the City of Launceston include the Launceston CBD, Cataract Gorge Reserve, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and Planetarium, Design Tasmania, James Boag's Brewery, National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, Launceston Tramway Museum, Hollybank Treetops Adventure, Waverley (Woollen) Mills, Albert Hall, Launceston General Hospital, Tamar River Cruises, University of Tasmania Stadium, Churchill Park Sports Complex, City Park, Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre, Launceston Golf Club, Mowbray Golf Club, Launceston Racecourse, Silverdome, Northern Tasmania Netball Centre, TasTAFE (Alanvale, Inveresk, Launceston and Launceston Drysdale Campuses), the University of Tasmania (Newnham Campus), Australian Maritime College, the Tamar River, the South Esk River, the North Esk River, various wineries and vineyards and numerous state forests.
The City of Launceston is served by the Bass Highway, the East Tamar Highway, the Midland Highway, the Tasman Highway and the West Tamar Highway.
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