Stroll around this charming Victorian-era park to see its pretty flower displays, giant chess set, heritage monuments and monkey enclosure.
City Park has provided a sanctuary in the heart of Launceston’s historic downtown since the early 1800s. It was initially established as a botanical garden and was known as the “People’s Park”. Come here today to visit the Japanese macaques in their enclosure, check out memorial statues, explore the leafy conservatory and relax on the grass.
Take a walk around City Park’s paved pathways and spot the historic European trees that have been planted throughout the Victorian-era gardens. The glassed structure of the John Hart Conservatory dates back to the 1930s and contains a collection of lush and exotic plant species. Check out the Jubilee Fountain, an ornate cast-iron monument near the centre of the park. Look for the Boer War Memorial and a plinthed cannon, as well as one of Australia’s oldest wisteria vines.
Take the kids to the monkey enclosure to see the Japanese macaques playing and lounging. The park has housed a collection of these monkeys since 1980, when the city was gifted several macaques from its sister city, Ikeda, in Japan. Kids will also enjoy the park’s play equipment near the duck pond and barbecue area. Challenge your friends to a game on the park’s giant chessboard.
In one corner of City Park is historic Albert Hall, a monumental Classical Victorian building with an adjoining café. On the opposing side of the park, you’ll find the Design Tasmania centre, which showcases some of the state’s finest design and craftsmanship. Browse the centre’s handcrafted items, such as homewares carved from fragrant Huon pine.
City Park is located to the north of central Launceston. The main entrance is via a historic iron gate on Tamar Street, however, there are several entry points into the park. While the park is free to enter, donations are appreciated at the conservatory. The monkey enclosure and conservatory are both open daily. Visit in February to join the annual food, wine and entertainment event, Festivale, and sample some of the state’s finest local produce.