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George Town (pop ~5000) is one of the largest towns in the Tamar Valley, 40 minutes drive north-west of Launceston on the eastern side of the Tamar River. Although founded and named for King George III in 1811, Europeans previously encountered George Town in 1804, when the HMS Buffalo ran aground during bad weather! It is one of Tasmania's oldest towns, and the first northern settlement.

George Town is home to two of northern Tasmania's largest industries, located at nearby Bell Bay. Comalco operates Australia's oldest aluminium smelter, and Temco produces iron alloy products. Both plants are open for public tours. Bell Bay is also the location of the Australian Maritime College's firefighting facility.

There are plenty of recreational activities in George Town and the surrounding areas. Apple and strawberry farms are located to the east of George Town at Lefroy, and also to the south. Pipers Brook vineyards, one of Tasmania's most recognised wine labels, are to the east of George Town. Self-guided walking tours of George Town give historical insights, and there is an art & craft market every second Sunday of the month.

The Maritime Museum at Low Head, north of George Town, marks Australia's oldest continuously used pilot station, founded 1803. Low Head also has surf and swimming beaches, and a fairy penguin observatory with guided twilight tours available to see the penguins emerging from the sea.

There are several cruises available departing from George Town. One company offers wildlife watching tours, which takes passengers to the fur seal colony and dolphin & seabird spotting. There are also "thrill seeker" cruises, and day or weekend cruises to Bass Strait islands on the SS Furneaux Explorer. Some vessels, including the historic ferry Joan are available for charter. On a more mundane note, there is daily ferry service across the Tamar River between George Town and Beauty Point.

George Town has quality accommodation, including good bed & breakfasts. There is one 4-star, one 3½-star, and two 3-star facilities (RACT rated) as well as a YHA hostel in a historic home. Good facilities are also available at Low Head - an attractive option after the dusk penguin tour.

Regional cities/towns
LAUNCESTON: Cataract Gorge
Beaconsfield | Beauty Point | Ben Lomond | Bridport | Derby
Evandale | Flinders Island | George Town | Longford | Scottsdale

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