Royal Launceston Show is a public holiday across much of northern Tasmania that showcases the region’s agricultural and pastoral life, along with other industries and aspects of the area.
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Note: Municipal areas of Break O’Day, Dorset, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, West Tamar only.
It is the northern counterpart of southern Tasmania’s Royal Hobart Show and takes place at the Launceston Showgrounds in Inveresk, a neighbourhood of Launceston, on the Thursday preceding the second Saturday of October.
The show has been running since 1873, though the descriptor “royal” was only added in 1984 after a royal decree was granted giving it this official status. Around 15,000 to 20,000 people attend the Royal Launceston Show each year. Although only the Thursday is a public holiday, the show runs for four consecutive days, from Wednesday till Saturday.
At the show, you will see produce on display and for sale from the region surrounding Launceston. There will also be animals on display and in competition, including cats, dogs, cattle, sheep, alpacas (“hump-less camels”), and more. You can expect horse competitions, wood chopping events, various sports events, live entertainment, a fashion show, knitting and quilting contests, food and jam making competitions, and exhibits on traditional industries of all kinds.
Also, the kids will enjoy a trip to the animal nursery, where they can pet baby rabbits and lambs and see various other animals, such as piglets, ducklings, calves, and turkeys.
The Royal Launceston Show truly has something for everyone, regardless of age or interest, and it is a perfect family outing while visiting the Australian state of Tasmania.
Some additional things to do in northern Tasmania during the four-day span of the Royal Launceston Show include:
- Visit any of the towns that celebrate Royal Launceston Show as a public holiday. Besides Launceston itself, West Tamar, Dorset, George Town, Break O’Day, North Midlands, and Meander Valley keep the holiday and will have some local events of their own.
- Enjoy the food at the show, including classic snacks like fairy floss (cotton candy) and dagwood dogs (corn dogs). There are many food stalls, and there are cafes and restaurants nearby as well.
- Check out the rides, games, and general fun in “sideshow alley.” There is live entertainment as well, so “kids” of all ages will find plenty to do. Basically, sideshow alley is like a mini-carnival inside of the bigger event, which itself is much like a U.S. state fair.
- Look for discounts at the show. First, you can save substantially by buying your tickets early, meaning before the show actually begins. Second, you can grab any number of “show bags,” which are bags of treats, toys, and miscellaneous items that are sold at lower rates during the show as a form of advertisement for local businesses. Finally, Saturday is “Family Day” at Royal Launceston Show, which means discounts on rides and on show bags, which were already discounted to begin with.
- Tour other parts of Launceston, including the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the Academy Gallery at the University of Tasmania right in Inveresk, and the Launceston Tramway Museum, which presents much interesting information about tram usage in the early days of Launceston’s existence.
Royal Launceston Show is a major tourist attraction held especially in Launceston but also across all of northern Tasmania. It brings an abundance of activities with it, adding to the already-numerous “year-round tourist stops.”