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    Tasmania | Launceston: Cataract Gorge

    Cataract Gorge is one of the main tourist attractions in Launceston, northern Tasmania. It is about 15-minutes walk from Launceston’s CBD.

    The soaring Gorge cliffs and forested river reserve offers a range of walks for all levels of fitness. You have a couple of options to experience the Gorge at its best, it’s up to you. At the end of the day, visiting this pristine spot is all about getting in touch with nature, breathing in the fresh air, embracing a sense of complete calm as you wander at leisure.

    What to do there: enjoy the many walks, swim (during the summer months; the pool is empty in winter), ride the Gorge Scenic Chairlift, dine at the Basin Café and Gorge Restaurants. BYO a picnic and head to the free BBQ area. Spot local wildlife including peacocks.

    How to experience Cataract Gorge precinct: from the river, via the chairlift or walking one of the dedicated tracks.

    River Cruise: view the Gorge from the comfort of a cruise boat. The are a few cruise options available. Tamar River Cruises operates 364 days a year in all weather conditions.

    The chairlift: Traverses 457m across the First Basin. Takes about 10 minutes each way travelling at about one metre per second. Chairlift tickets $12 – $20.

    The Walks: There are five walks and they are clearly signposted. Always check there are no track closures due to falling rocks before heading off. (See map below)

    Cataract Walk – 1km, 20-minutes. Easy walk. Sealed track. Links Kings Bridge to the Gorge grounds and First Basin.

    Zig Zag Track – 1km, 20-minutes. Hard, unsealed dirt and rock track. Links Kings Bridge to the First Basin.

    First Basin Loop – 900m. 20-minutes. Easy walk with some sealed sections along the track. Takes you through the Gorge grounds and across the Alexandra Suspension Bridge.

    Duck Reach Trail – approx. 2km. 45-minutes each way. Track is moderate in difficulty and is unsealed gravel. Links Duck Reach and First Basin.

    Reedy and Snake Gully Track – approx. 2.5km. 60-minutes. Track is hard with unsealed. Track links Duck Reach and First Basin,

    What you may discover on the walks:

    Band Rotunda | Alexandra Suspension Bridge | Basin Cottage Interpretation Centre | Kings Bridge | Duck Reach Power Station | Alexandra Lookout | Eagle Eyre Lookout | Sentinel Lookout | Craftsmen’s Shelter

    Vicki Montague is a freelance writer with a predilection for travel, European fashion, architecture that oozes history and charm, and objects that tell a story. She and her partner John are empty nesters - their three adult children have left the comforts of home to carve out their own paths in life. Vicki’s professional background is in marketing and public relations.

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