10 reasons why Launceston is the PERFECT study destination University of Tasmania May 17, 2018 Featured, Off Campus To a student looking for a great experience studying abroad, Tasmania is an incredible place to be a student. Think breathtaking scenery, friendly locals, safe cities and a year-round calendar of events around the state to keep you entertained. Our alluring capital, Hobart is increasingly well known and popular with students and tourists alike. But if you’re looking for a truly write-home-about-it study experience, Launceston seriously delivers in its own right. The smaller northern city boasts beautiful heritage architecture, a stunning gorge, unique arts, music and cultural events, not to mention the fact it’s the perfect base to explore the state’s amazing tourist regions – Bay of Fires, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tamar Valley and Heritage Highway. Here are ten reasons why Launceston should be at the top of your list when considering studying a world-class degree abroad. 1. It’s one of Australia’s most affordable cities Let’s get the practicalities out of the way first. You want an awesome study experience, but you know that moving halfway (or all the way) around the world is a costly enterprise. Picking an affordable city like Launceston over Australia’s larger cities like Sydney or Melbourne means that you’ll have more spending money for all of the good stuff that you want to do when living in a new country. Not to mention, the University of Tasmania recently opened a brand-new 120 room apartment complex right in Inveresk – so you’ll have a place in the heart of the city to call home (and fellow students on hand to make friends with)! 2. The architecture is seriously beautiful Wandering the streets of Launceston you can come across old buildings dating back to early colonial, Georgian and Victorian eras. Such intact streetscapes can be hard to find elsewhere in Australia. These buildings do not just maintain their beautiful facades, many are home to the thriving organisations that make Launceston a great city to live in – from cafes and eateries to craft stores and start-up hot-desk spaces. Pic: Rob Burnett/Tourism Tasmania 3. It’s perfectly sized for students Launceston is like the chair in the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: not too big, not too small, just right. Being a city you have all the shops, cafes, restaurants, fitness centres and parks that you need. At the same time, it’s still small enough that you can walk or ride anywhere and people will nod or hello say as you go by. On campus, you will be known by your name, not a number – unlike some of the world’s big universities where you can sit next to someone for most of your degree without knowing their name! 4. A restful natural wonder is located in the city The Cataract Gorge is located a ten-minute walk from the centre of the city. This spectacular natural formation of water, cliffs and forest is a perfect setting for walking, barbecues, jogging or even taking a dip in the pristine pool. Those with a love of heights can take the world’s longest single-span chairlift and float over the idyllic setting. Oh, and there’s peacocks and wallabies (mini kangaroos) – something to suit everyone’s tastes! Pic: Rob Burnett/Tourism Tasmania 5. It’s home to some of Tasmania’s top festivals Launceston is so cool that Tassie’s most trendy yet avant-garde festival – MOFO – run by the equally trendy yet avant-garde Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has relocated to the northern city from Hobart. In fact, some of the events are being held next to the Inveresk university campus because, well, let’s face it, the campus is so damned cool. The festival will kick-off in Launceston for the first time in 2019, so students in Launceston should prepare to immerse themselves in one of Australia’s most sought-after music and arts events. No seriously, you will need to buy your tickets in the pre-sales before all of those pesky mainlanders snatch them up (mainlanders = people from mainland Australia; we’re all Australians but they’re not as cool as us Tasmanians!). If that’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry. There are many more festivals to choose from in and around Launceston. the most well known is Festivale. Combining glorious summer sunshine with an array of live music and local eats, this event is popular with families, students, tourists – everyone! Into films? Check out the BOFA Film Festival. Prefer something a little more cutting edge? Try Junction Festival, a celebration of “extraordinary experiences in unusual spaces”. There’s also extended rock festivals in paddocks (fields) such as the appropriately named Party in the Paddock, or the oddly named A Festival Called Panama. For those with a yearning for the days of yore, there’s the penny-farthing fest in nearby colonial town, Evandale, and if that’s not to your taste, give the Chocolate Winterfest a try. Pic: Tourism Tasmania 6. It’s close to some of Tasmania’s most awesome tourism experiences Launceston is perfectly located for those with a love for exploring. Some of Australia’s ‘must see’ tourist spots are right on Launceston’s doorstep: Australia’s prettiest and most awarded wine trail (you have to see it in autumn when the leaves are turning even if you don’t partake of their produce); gourmet local food, history and wilderness. As a student, you will never be short of things to do on a weekend. The World-Heritage listed and breathtakingly beautiful Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is a two-hour drive from Launceston. On the way there you can discover some of Tasmania’s prettiest countryside and historic townships Pic: Tourism Tasmania 7. Heart pumping adventure If adventure is your thing, then you know it’s not just what you do, but where you do it that counts – and the region around Launceston provides some of the most spectacular and challenging backdrops in which to get your adrenalin shot. Tasmania is a walker’s paradise with world-famous hikes like the iconic Overland Track or Wineglass Bay on the East Coast with its flame orange coloured rocks. Talking of our beautiful coastline, the north of the state has some of Tasmania’s (and Australia’s) best scuba diving sites. Kayaking and white water rafting are also options on the various waterways close to Launceston. If you have a need for speed, try the world-class mountain biking trails at Blue Derby or skiing at Ben Lomond (dodging rocks is part of the fun – and if you’re a cyclist, try getting to Ben Lomond’s peak by riding up Jacob’s Ladder, the lung-searing, seat-numbing terrifyingly steep set of switchbacks – definitely not for the faint-hearted. For those with a head for heights, rock climbing options abound including Cataract Gorge right in the city, Hillwood and the aforementioned Ben Lomond. Grab your activewear and get out there! Pic: Tourism Tasmania 8. You can see the Tasmanian tiger here There are many reasons why one of our Launceston campuses and student accommodations are based at the reinvented Inveresk Railyards precinct, in the heart of Launceston. Now, no one – least of all the University – has ever said it is because it allows students to go tiger spotting. But they probably should. In addition to being home to our Inveresk campus, the precinct also houses Australia’s largest regional museum, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG). This is the place to see the distinctively-striped extinct Tasmanian tiger. Every couple of years headlines will fill with claims of a new sighting of a live Tassie tiger somewhere in the wilds of remote Tasmania. While you wait for one of these spottings to be confirmed, take a break from classes and meander through QVMAG’s 10 galleries, Guan Di Temple holding relics from Chinese temples in old mining towns and the Art Sparks! Family Art Space until you finally get your glimpse of our iconic tiger. It was actually a pouched marsupial though some say no less fierce. Contemplating the wonder of this unusual creature, stuffed and all as it is deserves a few minutes of your time. Pic: QVMAG 9. Stately parks and gardens Launceston is a green city. Forget concrete and tarmac, choking smog and skyscrapers. Launceston has more than 200 parks and gardens, including some of Australia’s oldest, many dating back to the 1800s. These provide tranquil oases where you can escape the pressures of study to enjoy a stroll through a riot of colourful flowers and scented bowers to stretch out on lush lawns with a book or a picnic. Princes Square and City Park are two of the more popular centrally located parks but with so many to choose from you’re sure to find something to suit your mood. Pic: Tourism Tasmania 10. There are monkeys in the City Park If wandering around the tranquil gardens of City Park observing flowers and trees doesn’t entertain you enough, you can casually observe monkeys getting up to mischief. That’s right. Not kangaroos. Monkeys. No, monkeys are not native to Launceston, or indeed Australia. This troop of macaque monkeys were gifted to the City of Launceston by Japan and constantly surprise and entertain visitors and locals alike in Tasmania’s fair northern city. Indeed, Launceston has become almost synonymous with monkeys for tourists – that’s how popular these red-faced beauties are – and the enclosure is most certainly an old favourite for local families. Are you keen to find out more about studying in this great city? Enquire now, or apply for one of the many courses at the University of Tasmania.