A Guide to Launceston and the Tasmania SuperSprint

Symmons Plains Launceston Tasmania
Symmons Plains Raceway with its backdrop of Tasmanian hills and farmland. Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Akin to V8 Supercars’ long duel between Ford and Holden, there’s a distinct divide in Tasmania with an intense rivalry between Hobart in the south and Launceston in the north. It’s Tasmania’s second city, Launceston, however that for three days a year this already vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature emerges the winner as over 50 thousand spectators descend on Symmons Plains for V8 Supercars annual pilgrimage to the Apple Isle.

The first of the SuperSprint rounds and the first round held at a permanent race track, Symmons Plains has recently undergone a Aus $2 million upgrade to improve track safety and circuit facilities ahead of Tasmania’s biggest sporting event and bringing the circuit up to international standard.

V8 Supercars Symmons Plains
The V8 Supercars make their way out on to Symmons Plains Raceway. Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Where is the Tasmania SuperSprint held?

The Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSpint is held at the permanent circuit of Symmons Plains Raceway, about a 30 minute drive south of Launceston in the north east of Tasmania.

Where To Stay?

While there are couple of smaller towns closer to the track (Perth and Longford), for convenience I’d recommend staying in the city of Launceston. While not a large city, it does offer much more than the smaller towns (which are very small) but you’ve got to book well in advance to get accommodation.

There are accommodation options to suit all budgets. You’ll find quiet a few middle of the range hotels through out the main part of the city. As you get closer to the river the hotels tend to get fancier and more expensive.

Getting To The City From The Airport

Launceston airport is very small airport, with only four gates. However it is very convenient in terms of placement, as it is located only about 15-20 minutes drive outside the city with an easy access off the highway. In fact, you drive past it on the way to Symmons Plains Raceway from Launceston.

There is a shuttle bus service – Launceston Airport Shuttlebus that runs to and from the airport. However when the V8 Supercars come to town the Airport gets swamped. So I’d recommend getting a Taxi instead. Taxis are a little bit more expensive, however going off previous visits, they’ve always been easy enough to get outside the arrival hall, and I didn’t have to wait long at all for one. My trips to and from the airport only set me back $35.

Getting To and From the Symmons Plains Raceway?

There isn’t much in terms of public transport infrastructure in Launceston and there certainly isn’t anything to ferry passengers to and from the race track during the V8 Supercars so having a car is beneficial.

Again, Launceston is a small city and the rental car companies only have a small fleet of rental cars. I’d highly recommend booking a rental car early and organise to pick it up and drop it off at the airport.

Best Viewing Options at Symmons Plains Raceway?

There is a great viewing area on the outside of Turn 2 that offers a views of the main straight and the first chicane, which is of the most action packed parts of the track (particularly for the race starts). However on race day, the crowd builds up early so it’s worth while claiming your spot as soon as you get to the track.

The next best option is the Turn 3 hairpin which is one of the slowest corners on the V8 Supercars calendar. It’s also another action-packed part of the track where the field closes up.

V8 Supercars Symmons Plains
The deceptively tricky Symmons Plains circuit. Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

What To Do In The Evenings?

Staying in Launceston offers the best in terms of variety for things to do in the evenings. However most of the city closes at 5pm. My recommendation would be look out for one of the many pubs scattered all around the city for a good cheap meal, and possibly some live music.

Launceston is also known for its seafood if thats what your interested in. So if you are looking for a unique Tasmanian food experience keep an eye out for the seafood restaurants.

Spending Time In Launceston Before or After?

Launceston only has a tiny airport with very few flights and only serviced by the airlines smaller aircraft. So flights in and out of Launceston are crowded and expensive when the V8 Supercars are in town. So may as well make the most of your trip and see what else the area has to offer. Check out this list of top five things to do in Launceston from our friends over at Got Lost!.

For official information on travel and accommodation in Launceston and Tasmania, take a look at the Discover Tasmania website.

For more information about the V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains including maps and where to buy tickets head over to the the V8 Supercars website

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