Cheap flights to Launceston from Australia will whisk you down to where the Tamar River weaves through emerald rainforests in the hilly north of Tasmania. It's a stunning corner of the country, where Victorian homes and Georgian terraces run right up to wide Cataract Gorge and the wooded foothills around Mount Arthur. Culture vultures can fill their days away with jaunts through the acclaimed National Motor Museum and the Queen Victoria Museum. There are the wineries of the greater Tamar Valley for foodies to get stuck into. And then come the natural jewels of the Holiday Isle itself – the gleaming beaches of the Bay of Fires, the boulder-speckled ski runs of Ben Lomond National Park, and the penguin colonies of Parsonage Point are all within reach.
Just to the south-west of Launceston's center is Cataract Gorge, where walking paths clamber to lookouts above the South Esk River and you can explore native forest habitats.
Spread over 360 hectares of bushland, the Tasmania Zoo is the place to go to meet meerkats, penguins, and – of course – the Tasmanian devil.
The Ben Lomond National Park is a hiking mecca, with rocky bluffs and lake-filled canyons to explore. There's also a ski resort here in the winter.