City Park Launceston and the Macaque Monkeys

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City Park is a central thoroughfare for people coming and going to work in the city, people doing exercise and just a beautiful place to relax. City Park Launceston lies perfectly on the edge of the Central Business District and is easily reached from there on foot for a relaxing lunch or a wander through the amazing gardens. City Park Launceston has been playing an important part in the town since 1820.

The park’s attractions include many gardens, a conservatory, a bandstand, a duck pond and a children’s playground. When we were at the City of Launceston park numerous garden beds were in bloom. The bright colours and delightful smells were abundant in this green city area. It was actually great to see a sensory garden section that is helpful for people with disabilities. It was designed with colours and smells in mind.

The star of Launceston attractions in the city park is the Japanese Macaques monkeys that inhabit the park. Yes, you heard right Japanese Macaques in Launceston! It is not as far-fetched as it seems really. The Macaques are a cold weather animal and are often found in the snow areas of Japan. The weather in Launceston is very cold in winter and this cold weather really suits the Launceston city park monkeys.

Monkey see monkey do in City Park Launceston

The Monkeys are located just near the front gate of the City Park. The monkeys look right at home in their enclosure as they play, run and frolic with each other. One will be mesmerized by the near circus skills of the smaller monkeys as they swing and do backflips from the ropes. The play involves games of chasey, wrestling and the occasional bout of roman wrestling.

There are 20 plus monkeys in the enclosure with three babies born early in 2018. Time will easily fly by as you watch the monkey play. The Macaques were a gift from Launceston cities sister city Ikeda City in Japan.

The monkeys in the park

Other things to do in Launceston City Park:

  • Visit The John Hart Conservatory for its horticultural display both inside and around the perimeter
  • There is a mini kids train that works the park on weekends and school holidays
  • You will find numerous statues of important people such as Ronald Gunn a botanist
  • The fountain in the Dutch Garden is the oldest public fountain in Australia
A statue and fountain in City Park Launceston

City Park Cafe is located on the corner of Tamar and Cimitiere Street in Central Park Launceston. You can eat inside in the glass atrium and watch the world go by or on hot days you can sit under the outside trees on a beanbag. Grab coffee and cake or a meal for lunch. Open Monday–Sunday 8:30am–3:00pm

When are City Park Launceston attractions open?

The Macaque Monkey Enclosure is open from 8.00am – 4.00pm (April-September) and 8.00am-4.30pm (October-March).

The John Hart Conservatory is open weekdays from 8.30am-4.30pm and weekends from 9.00am-4.30pm (April-September) and from 9.00am-5.30pm (October-March).

Where is City Park Launceston:

45-55 Tamar Street, Launceston 7250  View Map

Extra things to do in Launceston

There are so many things to do in Launceston that you can easily fill your days with amazing adventures.

Places to go in Launceston – Cataract Gorge

One of the first places to go in Launceston is Cataract Gorge. Located in the suburbs of Launceston is Cataract Gorge. Cataract Gorge is a little piece of tranquillity where one can go walking and use the hiking trails. The world’s longest single span chairlift has been operating since 1972. The chairlift covers a total distance of 457 meters with the single span section reaching a distance of 308 meters.

The basin area in the Gorge features a grassy area for picnics and a swimming pool for summer fun. There are bbq areas and picnic tables for you to enjoy this amazing natural environment. A restaurant and cafe are available for you to eat at in between exploring and relaxing. Look out for some amazing wildlife such as peacocks and the Tasmania Bettong. Cataract George is one of the best things to do in Launceston.

How to get to Cataract Gorge by car:

The main car park is at the First Basin.
Follow the signs from York or Frederick Streets.

The Gorge Cliff Grounds can be reached via Trevallyn and Gorge Road.
(This is a very small car park with only 12 car spaces and is accessed via a steep, winding road)

Places to see in Launceston – The Penny Royal 

The Penny Royal Launceston is kind of an adventure, history small theme park. It ranks highly as one of the top things to do in Launceston with kids. You will find a number of activities available that will suit the whole family. For the adventurous, you will find rock climbing, zip line and cliff walking. For more tame at heart looking for less adventurous things to do in Launceston The Penny Royal offers the Barefoot sensation a sensory experience for your feet and fire a cannon on the Brig Tamar Boat ride. You will find a wine bar, tavern, cafe and ice creamery onsite.

Penny Royal opening hours: 

  • Monday – Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Where is Penny Royal Launceston?

1 Bridge Road
Launceston, Tasmania 7250.

We hope these 2 Launceston tourist attractions have provided you with more destinations to see when visiting this Tasmania city. You will find many more places to see in Launceston.

Best Restaurants in Launceston:

While we were in Launceston we had the chance to eat out a few times and found the food to be excellent. We ate at the Commercial Hotel, James Boags Experience and the Indian Empire. All these restaurants are in the Launceston city centre.

  • Indian Empire – Had some of the best Indian food we have had anywhere. We can recommend the Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken and the shared entree plate was amazing. Highly recommended by us if you like Indian.
  • The Commercial Hotel – Where do I start, if you can’t find something you like on their massive menu I would be very surprised. Pub fare at great prices. We had a steak for under $20
  • James Boags Experience – Great for a light lunch or snack. Good sized wood-fired pizzas, chips and wedges. We had a Tasmania cheese platter with dried fruits and nuts.
James Boags is a great spot for a beer

I would have to say look no further than the Indian Empire for one of the best restaurants in Launceston.

Launceston Hotels

Close to the Launceston City Park Monkeys, you will find accommodation to suit all budgets and all types of travellers from couples to families. Launceston accommodation has everything from backpacker hostels to Luxury.

Getting around Launceston City:

Launceston offers a free tourist bus. This free Launceston city tour is easy and best of all as mentioned its free to get around Launceston. The City Explorer and River Explorer will take you to all the Launceston attractions. See the map of the Launceston City Explore route below. As you can see on the map it drops you off at City Park.

Flights to Launceston:

Where is Launceston? Launceston is the second largest Tasmania City. Flights to Launceston from mainland Australia are operated by Qantas, Jetstar, sharp Airlines and Virgin Australia. Launceston Airport is located on the outskirts of Launceston, Tasmania. The airport is 15 km from Launceston city centre.

  • Qantas flies direct to the City of Launceston from Melbourne
  • Jetstar has direct flights to Launceston from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
  • Virgin Australia has departures from Melbourne, Sydney and seasonal from Brisbane
  • Sharp Airlines has flights to Launceston direct from King Island, Flinders Island and Bernie

Qantas Jetstar and Virgin Australia have connecting flights to Launceston from all over Australia. You can check flight prices to Launceston

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Tasmania and stay in Launceston. There are so many things to do in Launceston with kids, singles and couples. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Australia click through to our Australia Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Australia

About the Author

Mark Wyld is a father, husband, traveler, and chief destination marketing manager at Wyld Family Travel. Having been to over 35 countries worldwide he knows a thing or 2 about traveling with kids and now traveling with teenagers.  He has been writing first-hand, expert travel guides on this website for over 6 years and has featured on numerous other popular well-known websites. When he is not talking, dreaming, or planning travel he can be found working in disability support.

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City Park Launceston and the Macaque Monkeys

7 thoughts on “City Park Launceston and the Macaque Monkeys”

  1. Oh I love Launceston so much. It’s such a beautiful city with so much on offer. I had no idea there was monkeys! I’ll need to remember that for the next time I go back.

  2. I’d love to visit Australia, and Tasmania one day. It’s so cool there are macaques in Lauceston Park, I’ve never seen any myself! The gorge is so pretty too; I’ll remember it for when I visit one day.

  3. City Park Launceston looks like a lovely experience and escape from the city. I love macaques and volunteered with rescue macaques in Thailand and it’s always so interesting to watch them; they’re like little humans almost! I’d love to check out Cataract Gorge.


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