Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge is Launceston���s own little piece of wilderness, a unique natural formation of sheer cliffs and cascades just 15 minutes walk from the city centre. Visitor facilities include walking and hiking trails, the world���s longest single span chairlift, swimming pool, restaurant, kiosk, peacocks and wildlife, gardens, a suspension bridge, Interpretation Centre and lookouts with spectacular views. Cruise vessels ply Cataract Gorge daily.

The First Basin on the southern side features a swimming pool, the aforementioned chairlift, two caf��s, a funicular railway and an open area surrounded by bushland. At the bottom of the funicular railways is a small cottage which contains photographs and paintings of the basin and downriver Gorge. The basin itself has created many of myths about its depth: some locals say it is a bottomless pit; a volcanic plug; or that a submarine sent in to find its bottom during the 1960s ran out cable before accomplishing this feat. Measurements in 2011 found the maximum depth is 19 metres.

Rock climbing

Launceston has more quality rock within 90 minutes drive of the city than most other major cities in Australia. With over 1800 routes at 12 venues all reachable in 90 minutes drive or less, it certainly makes for a great climbing holiday. The Northern Tasmanian landscape provides an astonishing variety of climbing all within a relatively small geographical area. In central Launceston there are 850 routes in Cataract Gorge and further upstream. In the North Esk river just 10 minutes from town is 300 routes in another spectacular gorge.

Gorge Cruises

Tamar River Cruises��has a range of cruises exploring Launceston���s Cataract Gorge, Tamar River and Tamar Valley.��Informative commentary from local skippers takes you on an historical journey where you will discover the stories and tales that shaped Launceston and the magnificent Tamar Valley. Travel into the heart of the Tamar and view the navigable section of the spectacular Cataract Gorge. There are a number of cruise options ��� Batman Bridge Luncheon Cruise (4 hours); Morning Discovery (2.5 hours); Afternoon Discovery (2.5 hours); Cataract Gorge (50 mins); Evening Buffet Dinner (3.5 hours).

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Gorge Walks

A pathway, known as the King���s Bridge-Cataract Walk, and originally built by volunteers in the 1890s, runs along the north bank of the Cataract Gorge, and is a popular tourist destination.

The zig-zag track is a very steep track for those feeling fit and adventurous. It does feature several looking platforms and connects to the streets at the top of the hill. There are many larger-than-normal steps and it can get quite muddy after some rain. The track links the First and Second Basins.

The Duck Reach track leaves the main gorge trail next to the suspension bridge and leads to the Duck Reach Power Station (now a museum and interpretive centre). It takes about 45mins (one-way) to reach the power station.

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