Cataract Gorge - Launceston
Cataract Gorge Reserve is a slice of wilderness, just a short walk from the centre of Launceston.
The Cataract Gorge is a natural water basin surrounded by towering cliffs, native bushland, beautiful gardens, scenic walking trails and wildlife. The numerous walking trails also provide great views of the surrounding bushland, dramatic cliffs and the river below.
Peacocks strut through the formal Victorian gardens on the northern side of the reserve, which include brilliant displays of azaleas and rhododendrons. There's also abundant native wildlife within naturally occurring grassland, woodland, dry forests and wet gullies. Guided walks are available.
The Basin Cottage is home to a pictorial history of the Cataract Gorge Reserve, as well as an exhibition space for visiting artists. Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre. There's also an historic suspension bridge, an open air swimming pool, as well as a children's playground, free barbeques, picnic lawns, and a restaurant and café with views across the reserve.
The Cataract Gorge Reserve also boasts the world's longest single span chairlift with a 308-metre central span crosses the huge, naturally formed basin over the waters of the South Esk River. The gentle but awe-inspiring ride provides stunning views of the river, impressive dolerite cliffs and the beautiful gardens.
The cliff face of the Cataract Gorge is also a magnet for rock climbing and abseiling.
Other activities in the reserve include boat cruises through the accessible section of river and a cable hang gliding experience that soars for 200 metres from a cliff top.
Cataract Gorge Reserve is Launceston's star nature attraction and is accessible for all ages and abilities.