Parks and playgrounds
Launceston contains some of Australia's oldest parks and recreational areas. Many of these date back to the 1800s, the most notable being City Park, Princes Square, Windmill Hill, Royal Park, Lilydale Falls and the Cataract Gorge Reserve.
Today we have over 200 parks and reserves covering around 1000 hectares. These parks contain a diverse range of features and facilities and contribute significantly to the beauty and wellbeing of Launceston.
The Launceston City Council manages and maintains a number of high quality public parks and gardens designed to provide a range of experiences and activities for everyone.
The Council has ensured that our parks meet the range of community needs: from dog exercising, children's playgrounds and skate parks, to scenic picnic spots and heritage and conservation areas.
The Council owns and maintains a number of playgrounds throughout the municipality. These are located in many of Council's parks.
Here is a list of playgrounds in the Council's parks:
- Brickfields Reserve
- Cataract Gorge Reserve
- Charlton Street Reserve
- City Park
- Heritage Forest
- Launceston Road Safety Centre
- Mount Stuart Park
- Myrtle Park
- Newstead Reserve
- Ockerby Gardens
- Ravenswood Community Park
- St George's Square
- St Leonards Picnic Ground
- West Launceston Community Park
- Youngtown Regional Park
Parks and reserves brochure
The Council has produced a 'Guide to Parks and Reserves in Launceston' brochure to give both residents and visitors a snapshot of the numerous parks and reserves throughout the Launceston municipality.
The brochure explains the location, topography, facilities and dog exercising information.
The Launceston City Council manages over 900 hectares of parks with over 27,000 trees (not including bushland trees) in and around Launceston.
In addition, the Council also has an active community recreational program and runs many health and sporting facilities.
City Park was originally developed by the Launceston Horticultural Society and handed over to the Launceston City Council in 1863. It features many trees, structures and buildings, including the Albert Hall, dating back to the 1800s.
Princes Square was set aside as a park in 1826 but wasn't developed as a park until the late 1850s. It features many trees dating back to the 1800s, some planted by members of the Royal family, and still retains its original layout.
Prince's Square was originally a brickfield and the site of past military drills and rowdy political meetings.
Now it is a historic park that includes mature trees, many planted by royalty, an internationally significant fountain which was produced in the 1850s by the Val d-Osne Foundry in France, and statue a of Dr William Russ Pugh, the first to use general anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere for a surgical operation.
Where: bordered by St John, Elizabeth, Charles and Frederick Streets.
Topography: flat to gently sloping with a network of sealed paths.
Windmill Hill was used as a public space from the early 1800s and named Victoria Square in 1882. It was the site of Launceston's semaphore station and currently features a World War II memorial avenue and hall.
Royal Park, originally the site of a military barracks was developed as parkland in the late 1800s and officially named Royal Park in 1912. It contains Launceston's Cenotaph and is a very popular social and tourist destination.
Royal Park and Kings Park are traditional parks with a river edge boardwalk connecting the Cataract Gorge Reserve to the Inveresk Precinct, taking in Ritchie's Mill, Home Point and Seaport.
The area features the Tamar River, mature trees, multi-use trails, skate park and boat ramp. It also provides access to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery's Royal Park site and to river cruises.
Royal Park - Park Street; Kings Park - Paterson Street
Topography: flat to gently sloping, with an extensive sealed path and boardwalk network. It is 1400 metres from Kings Bridge to Charles Street Bridge.
Lilydale Falls was a popular tourist destination as far back as the 1880s. In 1923 Launceston City Council assumed responsibility for the park and commenced tree planting and park development. The waterfalls continue to attract many visitors.
The Cataract Gorge Reserve, originally developed by the Launceston City and Suburbs Improvement Association in the late 1800s, was handed over to the Launceston City Council in 1898. It features Victorian gardens in a bushland setting and is one of Tasmania's most popular tourist destinations.
Park development continued throughout the 1900s. Existing parks were enhanced while new suburban parks such as Punchbowl Reserve were developed. Many rural parks were also developed in the 1900s including Myrtle Park. More recently Heritage Forest has been developed in Invermay on the site of the old Launceston tip, and the Inveresk site has been developed as one of Launceston's major cultural and recreational attractions.
Friends of the Punchbowl Reserve
A popular picnic destination, was purchased by the Launceston City Council in 1938 and developed as parkland. It is renowned for its rhododendron display against a backdrop of natural bushland.
The natural bushland area of the Punchbowl Reserve is home to one of the best and most colourful displays of native flowers in Northern Tasmania. With the help of the Launceston City Council , a new group is being formed to keep this bushland in good condition so that the community can enjoy the floral display well into the future. The group of volunteers will participate in two hour working bees held monthly, with all equipment supplied by the Launceston City Council. For more information contact the Council's Customer Service Centre on 03 6323 3000.
Myrtle Park was developed in the 1920s by the locals as a cricket facility and was proclaimed a public recreation ground in 1928. It has been an important social and recreational facility for the community since then.Heritage ForestHeritage Forest represents a remarkable transformation: the Mowbray Swamp was once used as a tip site and is now a recreation and living environment close to the city centre.
Its features include multi-use trails, picnic area, barbeque area, playground and an off-leash dog exercise area. The park has introduced vegetation featuring an arboretum of all 27 of Tasmanian's Eucalyptus species. It is situated next to the Churchill Park Sporting Complex. Launceston parkrun travels through Heritage Forest as part of the 5km loop that starts behind Aurora Stadium. See www.parkrun.com.au for more details.
Main Entrance: Conway Street, Mowbray or Goodman Drive, off Invermay Road.
Topography: flat with 5700 metres of trails.
Heritage Forest Native Plant Garden (Caswell Street, Mowbray)
With an expansive view over the city, the Australian Plant Society (APS) Native Plant Garden gives a rare urban glimpse of the flowering plants and shrubs of the Tasmanian bush.
Conceived and first planted in 2005, the garden has slowly matured into a site of real beauty, particularly during the mass spring flowering. Dedicated members of the APS have teamed with the City of Launceston to develop the garden which is open to the public every day. Rustic pathways wind around and through informal beds of flowering shrubs, shimmering grasses and colourful plants. Tasmanian flora has evolved to be hardy to cope with cool, wet winters and hot dry summers but are surprisingly rich with abundant delicate flowers in season.
Seats have been thoughtfully sited to allow relaxed viewing of the Native Garden and the superb city views which unfold before you. The garden is a perfect place for a relaxing and contemplative picnic.
For more information or to volunteer your help in this garden, please call Peter Longman on 0413 501 799.
Brickfields Reserve is located in the historic precinct of the Launceston City Centre. It contains large mature trees, a small playground and offers a place to relax and escape while still in the city.
Where: bordered by Canning, Bathurst, Margaret and Frederick Streets.
Topography: flat with a network of sealed paths.
The Launceston Convict Burial Ground 1846-1874
Convict Burial Database - Coming soon