Loving Launceston - by Katherine Langworthy
When I first made the decision to move out of home for the first time and move down to Launceston to study, people thought I was joking. I got the “really...Launceston? But that’s Tasmania there’s nothing there!” from anyone who asked where I was headed in life. And originally I thought they were right, being a city girl from Melbourne I liked the convenience of getting whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, places were open beyond late, the city was always busy there were endless things to do. I thought I wouldn’t last a month in a smaller city, but I’m still here 18months later and loving it! Yes, granted I still can’t get my late night chai at 1am, but it’s turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
Launceston has this weird ability to convert a fully pledged fast paced city chick to an easier going less wound up one. You’re never stuck in traffic, you still have the benefits of a big city like great little cafes, restaurants and pubs, and it’s open and spacious, there’s no real feeling of stress…must be the fresher air!
Time moves slower down here, you actual feel like you can just relax and get on with life and study, which as an engineering student is full on enough; you need the peace and quiet of completely empty streets at 8pm.
Alongside this everything is so close, a few minutes from where I study at the Australian Maritime College, and you’re in town, a few more minutes and you’re in the middle of nowhere on some great road leading to the amazing scenery the surrounding land has to offer. Through all the seasons I always manage to go to the Cataract Gorge, its calm and peaceful and changes how it looks quicker than the Melbourne fashion trends. Or, if I have the time away from work or study, I head out further into the Midlands and capture breathtaking views around Cradle Mountain (particularly when it’s snowing). It’s all unlike anything you can see anywhere else in Australia, let alone see with only a few hours drive put in. It will always be my most favorite memory; even thou when I went I swore the freezing cold was going to make my legs fall off. Saving the best sight for last, being able to witness Aurora Borealis, I got a real experience of natures beauty when I finally managed to experience the amazing lights of the aurora, it was freezing cold (again) but well worth it and has to be seen at least once in your life.
To anyone venturing down here to study or just a casual visit, it’s definitely a place that will change how you perceive Tasmania. Yes, it might not be the consumerist city people make a habit out of being in, but it’s the perfect and manageable place for students moving out of home for the first time to be in.