On what is effectively the Eastern edge of the Launceston CBD is Launceston City Park. Today it is a well manicured urban park, featuring a kids playspace, lots of green space, a duck pond, a a couple of water features, a conservatory, a band rotunda and a monkey enclosure. Yes, you read that right – a monkey enclosure.

Albert Hall – one of Launceston’s major exhibition spaces according to the City of Launceston website – occupies one corner of the site nearest the CBD. It was not accessible when we visited, as it was undergoing some expansion and redevelopment. From the outside it is a grand old stone exhibition hall that has been modernised over the years but still retains much of its former grandeur. According to Google Maps, a museum and local craft shop occupy the other CBD-facing corner. I did not go into that corner to have a look so I can’t tell you anything about it.

The other “feature” to mention, however, is the parking. There is street parking on all the streets around it, but if you are there on a weekday, do not expect to park near there. It appears to be a popular spot to park – presumably because of its proximity to the CBD. We did drive past on a Sunday, when it was remarkable for being completely the opposite. If you’re reliant on a car for transport, maybe visit on a Sunday. We were staying only a short walk away, so we left the car at the hotel and just walked down.

Monkey Enclosure

A young Japanese Macaque guarding its food. City Park, Launceston.

I took quite a few photos in the monkey enclosure, but they are all variations on the theme of various Japanese Macaque monkeys being monkeys in their enclosure. Launceston has had a history of having animals in City Park, with a Monkey enclosure being an almost permanent fixture since the late 1800’s. The enclosure has been updated and upgraded over the years, and is far more sensitive to the needs of the monkeys than just a cage in a park, which is no doubt how it started out in the 1800s.

The kids enjoyed it, despite initial reservations. At least they were different from the collection of native animals we have seen at other locations during our trip. I don’t really have much more to say about it.

The Conservatory

View through one of the doorways into the John Hart Conservatory. Launceston City Park, Launceston, Tasmania.

After the walk around the park and the monkeys, the kids decided they’d seen enough and sat on a bench playing with their devices. That left me free to take my time and photograph what I wanted. They didn’t even stop to look in the door of the Conservatory. Not as flash as the one in the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens in Hobart, but nevertheless quite a pleasant place filled with a great decorative planting.

Hearing some locals who apparently hadn’t been there for a while, it has been revamped. They were lamenting that the water feature they were remembering had been removed. There is a small water feature in there, but it was off to one side and a bit buried in the foliage. It’s a little boy relieving himself into a small pool. These things used to be quite cutesy – cherubs and little boys relieving themselves seems to have been one of the staples of garden water features in bygone days. It felt a little crass to me now. No offence, Launceston – if you enjoy your fountain, all power to you!

I wasn’t happy with my photos of the water feature. I tried to adjust my timing so that the stream looked more fuzzed and flowing, but clearly I need more practice at such shots. Part of the problem was also that I didn’t get the composition of the shot quite right. They just didn’t look right.

Autumn Colours

Firey Orange in the sunlight. Launceston City Park, Launceston, Tasmania.

As you might expect from a more formal garden of about the age of this one, very many of the trees are European, and hence plenty of deciduous trees were around. There were some very spectacular colour displays from the different trees turning all different shades.

Autumn Flowers

Pansy providing seasonal colour by the top gate. Launceston City Park. Launceston, Tasmania.

The gardens also feature a wide selection of flowers that were in bloom. Some, like the pansies by the top gate where we came in, appear to have been reasonably freshly planted for seasonal colour, but other plantings are obviously permanent.

An unidentified spiky yellow flower? Launceston City Park. Launceston, Tasmania.

These were a permanent planting. No idea what they are, but they were very striking. There are also roses and other flowering plants in various parts of the park.

Other images

For the introductory post for this trip (and links to other posts in the series) please go here.

Return to the index post for my Tasmania 2024 trip.

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