20 September, 2023

An art-lovers guide to Launceston

Experience contemporary art with a short break to Launnie.

Love contemporary art? Looking for your next Tassie trip that will satisfy your culture needs and foodie desires? Then pack a pair of comfy shoes and get ready to explore Launnie!

There is plenty to soak up with new and exclusive shows at QVMAG, Junction Arts Festival and so much more.

Junction Festival. Photo: Nick Hanson

Junction Arts Festival

Junction Arts Festival returns in 2023 from the 20th to the 24th of September with a lush springtime celebration, encouraging you to shake off those winter blues and celebrate Tassie as it comes alive for spring. Coinciding perfectly with the Spring equinox, Junction is the place where Tasmanian art, music and performance collide in a stunning kaleidoscope of colour, full of magical surprises and experiences to delight.

With plenty of free and ticketed shows, there's sure to be something for everyone. From kids shows and fabulous family events, to early evening boogies and late-night delights. Feast on lavish Tassie food and taste the splendid spirits, wine, and local brews and enjoy circus and cabaret artists performing.

Miniature Worlds. Photo: Joshua Smith

Miniature Worlds

Miniature Worlds showcases the magic of small-scale making. Featuring statewide, national, and international miniature artists, works on display are a mix of existing and newly developed miniatures for this show and will sure tickle the fancy of those who like art on a smaller scale so to speak. This showcase is exclusively on display at the Art Gallery Royal Park from 14 October 2023 to 2 February 2024 and is free to enter.

Big Blue 2022. Photo: Troy Emery.

Strange Nature

QVMAG is also home to one of the oldest and most significant natural science collections in Australia and the Royal Park site has housed all the wonders of these collections for over 130 years.

Featuring works by artists that represent nature in strange and creative ways, Strange Nature will immerse you into the art of major contemporary artists with works from Tasmanian and national artists on display. QVMAG has developed this new and exclusive exhibition of various mediums of work on display from 28 October 2023 to 10 March 2024 and entry to this is also free.

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The Johnstone and Wilmot building. Photo: dAda mUse.

dAda mUse

For those who are into the more surrealist side of art, dAda mUse is Tasmania’s new surrealist gallery. The dAda mUse building is one of Launceston’s most historically noteworthy buildings. Located on Cimitiere Street, the 1842 Johnstone and Wilmot building has been carefully renovated to retain historical features while providing new spaces including the art museum.

Guided tours and event bookings are available via the gallery's website. Entrance to the lower floor, Melting Clocks, is free of charge, although donations are welcome. The second floor, Labyrinth of Dreams, is ticketed, this floor showcases original and rare artworks.

Searching for Nourishment

While you're busy exploring Launceston art, there is plenty of around every corner for the foodie in you! The city is brimming with quirky cafes, local food haunts showcasing the region's abundant fresh produce, craft breweries, waterfront dining and great food truck scene- all while dishing up mouthwatering fare that really has something for everyone.

Venture a little further to the nearby regions and you find cellar doors, distilleries, and paddock to plate experiences- like The Tamar Valley, well known for world class cool climate wines and the first of many vineyards located less than 15-minutes from Launceston. You can read more about why Launceston is recognised as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy- and while you are here, ask a local where their favourite spot is for a bite to eat. Always ready with a smile and a story to tell, they are sure to point you in the right direction.

Getting There

Spirit of Tasmania offers regular night sailings from Geelong to Devonport, with additional day sailings during peak demand times. Devonport is an easy 50-minute drive from Launceston with plenty to see and do along the way, you might choose to take a slow drive!

For more information visit the the Northern Tasmania Tourism Website

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Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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