By June Ramli
When I first arrived in Launceston last month, I was taken aback by how serene the town was compared to the urban hustle I’m used to.
The locals here are friendly but not overly effusive, quite different from the warm and open greetings you’d find in Sydney.
Baristas get straight to the point, making your order, taking your payment, and ushering you on your way.
The shops here, while intriguing, operate on a strict schedule.
If you’re a minute late, you might find the door closing in your face.
Cafes in Launceston adhere to a time zone, with breakfast and lunch services ending promptly at 2:30 p.m.
I learned the hard way when I tried to order coffee at 2:31 p.m. and was politely turned down.
In Launceston, they value work-life balance over the extra dollar.
This is a stark contrast to places like Sydney, where businesses typically won’t turn away a paying customer, no matter the time.
Culinary choices in Launceston are somewhat limited.
I frequented Bread and Butter Cafe for breakfast, Maple Cafe for lunch, and dined at my hotel for dinner.
Although there is Uber Eats in Tasmania, the selection is not as extensive as I’m used to in Sydney, so I stuck with restaurants that had high online ratings.
The food was decent, with a few standout dishes like the green curry seafood at Verge and a delightful blueberry and pecan pie at the Bread and Butter cafe on Cimitiere Street.
Their hot chocolate was a treat too.
Would I move here?
Well, not for me, but I’d consider coming back to explore other parts of the state that I didn’t get to see on this trip.
My primary goal this time was to experience Launceston as it’s become a new destination for many immigrants seeking permanent residency in Australia.
Tasmania might not be for the faint-hearted, especially if you’re used to the fast pace of Sydney.
The cafes closing at 2:30 p.m. and reopening at 5:30 p.m. was a cultural shock for me, and the lack of tasty Asian food options compared to other states makes it less appealing.
The city goes completely quiet by 8:30 p.m.
Choices are limited, but what’s available is popular and draws crowds.
The cost of living is reasonable, making it a great place to save money for a house deposit, even without staying with your parents.
I met some Sydneysiders who moved to Tasmania and told me they occasionally take day trips to Melbourne for shopping, with return tickets as low as $50 or even $39.90.
So, if you’re considering a solo weekend trip to Launceston, keep in mind that Sundays are quite quiet, but Saturdays offer plenty to explore.
Launceston may not be a bustling nightlife city, but it’s a fantastic place to explore during the day.
You can visit museums, the art gallery, Cataract Gorge, City Park, and the Design Building, which opens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lunchtime stops at 2:30, and dinner service resumes at 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.
Uber and taxis are available, and you can even get Uber Eats delivery.
I recommend checking out Maple Cafe, Blue Cafe, and Bread and Butter for your culinary adventures and saving Diverge for a delightful dinner.
Launceston may be different, but it has its unique charm for those willing to embrace it.
Explore the writer’s insights on Hobart in more detail here.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli