Launceston , often mispronounced is a city in the north of Tasmania,Australia at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart. With a population (greater urban and statistical sub division) of 106,153, Launceston is the ninth largest non-capital city in Australia. It is the only inland city inTasmania.
Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is one of Australia's oldest cities and is home to many historic buildings. Like many Australian places, it was named after a town in the United Kingdom – in this case,Launceston, Cornwall.
Launceston has also been home to several firsts such as the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, the first Australian city to have underground sewers and the first Australian city to be lit byhydroelectricity. The city has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.
Montage of Launceston. Clockwise from left – Launceston Post Office, View of the CBD and inner suburbs from Woods Reserve and Cataract Gorge and Swinging Bridge
Launceston is at Bass Strait, with its closest neighbour-city being Devonport, approximately 99 kilometres (62 mi) to the north west. Launceston combines steep (originally heavily wooded) ridges and low-lying areas (originally wetlands – with parts of the suburbs of Inveresk and Invermay below high-tide level). As a result, areas of Launceston are subject to landslip problems, while others are liable to poor drainage and periodic flooding. The topography of the area is not conducive to easy dispersion of airborne pollution, due to the phenomenon of thermal inversion. in the Tamar Valley, Northern Tasmania. The valley was formed by volcanic and glacial forces over 10 million years ago. The city is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of the
During recent years the city's air quality has improved. Studies indicate that 73% percent of air pollution in Launceston and surrounding areas during the winter period is caused by wood smoke, while about 8% is from motor vehicle pollution. During the early 1990s about 60% of households used wood heaters, but now only 25–30% of households use wood heating. According to the 2011 Tasmanian Air Monitoring report, particulate matter met the Air NEPM goals starting in 2006, ad did not exceed the PM10 standard in the years 2009–20111.
Launceston is situated at the confluence of the South Esk River and the North Esk River, forming the Tamar River estuary. It is used for commercial and recreational shipping and boating. In earlier years, oceangoing shipping used the river to obtain access to the Port of Launceston wharves located in the city centre and Invermay. The Port for Launceston is now located at the George Town suburb of Bell Bay, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) downstream on the east bank of the Tamar estuary, close to the river mouth. The South Esk River is the longest river in Tasmania. It starts in the North East Mountains near Roses Tier and flows through the Fingal Valley where it passes through the towns of Fingal and Avoca before flowing into theNorthern Midlands where it flows through the towns of Evandale, Perth, Longford and Hadspen before finally reaching Launceston via the Cataract Gorge. The river is dammed at Lake Trevallyn on the upper reaches of the Cataract Gorge, with water being diverted into the Trevallyn Power Station with runoff flowing into the remainder of the Cataract Gorge and eventually merging with the Tamar River. The North Esk River starts in the Northallerton Valley in Tasmania's north-east mountains and winds its way to Launceston via the Corra Linn Gorge at White Hills. The St Patrick's River, the largest tributary of the North Esk, is dammed at Nunamara to provide the majority of Launceston's town water since the mid 1800s.
Many of the buildings in the City's central business district (CBD) were constructed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Launceston's many well preserved Victorian and Georgian buildings (including the Launceston synagogue, a rare example of architecture in Egyptian Revival style) together with its diverse collection of art-deco architecture (such as Holyman House and Lucks Corner in the CBD, the former Star Theatre in Invermay and the former Launceston General Hospital) give the city an unusual period ambience. The "Brutalist" architecture of the mid-to-late 20th century that dominates most large modern cities and many smaller ones, is relatively rare. The more interesting exceptions to this include the Government offices of Henty House in Charles Street, the Police Station Building and the ANZ Building on the corner of Brisbane & George Street.
This is at least in part a matter of deliberate policy – concerns that high rise development might compromise the essential character of the city centre have led to strictly enforced building regulations that restrict the height of new structures in the city, so that most buildings in the CBD have fewer than five storeys.
Launceston serves as the commercial hub for the north of Tasmania, and like many parts of the state, is becoming a major tourist centre. Visitors to the city have grown over the past few years, during 2004 Launceston attracted 412,800 visitors, up 51% from 2001. The United Kingdom is the origin of 25% of all international visitors to the city and 17% originate from the United States.
The Cataract Gorge (Cataract Gorge Reserve) is Launceston's largest tourist attraction and is in close proximity to the city centre. It is home to the longest single span chairlift in the world, stretching 308 metres (1,010 ft) across the gorge. Launceston has many parks throughout the city including City Park , located next to the city centre. City Park is home to Albert Hall. The park also has a large enclosure for Japanese Macaque monkeys a gift from sister city Ikeda, Japan. The Launceston General Post Office dates back to the 1880s, with a clock tower added in the early twentieth century. The GPO clock chime chimes every quarter-hour. Tasmania Zoo , which is known for its wildlife conservation work, including a breeding program for Tasmanian Devils, is located near the city.