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Cataract Gorge

Updated on August 18, 2014

Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Tasmania

The Cataract Gorge in Launceston, Tasmania (Australia) is a delightful place to visit and spend the day. You'll find lots to do including riding on the world's longest single span chairlift, taking a Cataract Gorge cruise, dining at the Gorge Restaurant or the Basin Cafe, walking along the South Esk River or through the bush land where Tasmanian tigers used to prowl, swimming in the pool or, for the more adventurous, rock climbing the dolerite cliffs or canoeing the river.

The Cataract Gorge Reserve is just a short 15 minute's walk from the city centre of Launceston. So if ever you visit Launceston, make sure you visit this delightful reserve.

walkway Cataract Gorge
walkway Cataract Gorge

History of the Cataract Gorge Reserve

The first recorded visit to the Cataract Gorge was in 1804 by the settler, William Collins who decribed its beauty as "probably not surpassed in the world."

For more than 100 years, people in Launceston have been enjoying the Cataract Gorge Reserve. In the late 1890s, The Launceston City and Suburbs Improvement Association was formed and constructed a pathway along the northern side of the South Esk River from the Cliff Grounds, a beautiful Victorian garden, to the Kings Bridge.

In 1940, the Alexandra Suspension Bridge was built to connect both sides of the river area.

You can see historic pictures of the Cataract Gorge, Tasmania here.

Alexandra Suspension Bridge at Cataract Gorge

Alexandra Suspension Bridge at Cataract Gorge
Alexandra Suspension Bridge at Cataract Gorge

Cliff Grounds at Cataract Gorge - click pictures to enlarge

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The band rotundaThere are many peacocks wandering around the Cliff GroundsTwo show-offsGardens in the Cliff GroundsOne of the magnificent trees in the Cliff Grounds
The band rotunda
The band rotunda
There are many peacocks wandering around the Cliff Grounds
There are many peacocks wandering around the Cliff Grounds
Two show-offs
Two show-offs
Gardens in the Cliff Grounds
Gardens in the Cliff Grounds
One of the magnificent trees in the Cliff Grounds
One of the magnificent trees in the Cliff Grounds

Want to know more about Tasmania? - The Rough Guide to Tasmania 1

More Cataract Gorge Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cataract Gorge, LauncetonLooking towards the First BasinThe Cataract Gorge Cruise with the Kings Bridge behindThe swimming pool area, First BasinAlexandra Suspension Bridge just above the First BasinThe First Basin, chair lift and swimming pool
Cataract Gorge, Launceton
Cataract Gorge, Launceton
Looking towards the First Basin
Looking towards the First Basin
The Cataract Gorge Cruise with the Kings Bridge behind
The Cataract Gorge Cruise with the Kings Bridge behind
The swimming pool area, First Basin
The swimming pool area, First Basin
Alexandra Suspension Bridge just above the First Basin
Alexandra Suspension Bridge just above the First Basin
The First Basin, chair lift and swimming pool
The First Basin, chair lift and swimming pool

Sometimes the gorge floods

Launceston Cataract Gorge in Flood

Map showing the location of the Cataract Gorge, Launceston - (to the left of the marker)

A markerZoom in to get a birds' eye view of the Cataract Gorge -
100 basin road, launceston, tasmania, australia
get directions

What do you think? - Is the beauty of the Cataract Gorge unsurpassed in the world?

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • ozylizzy profile image

      ozylizzy 5 years ago

      It sure is lovely. Folk law says that the gorge is bottomless!!! We were never alowed to swim in the gorge as children, we had to swim in the pool :(

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Very beautiful!!!!

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 7 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      Beautiful scenery. I love the strolling peacocks. Thanks for sharing.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Wow! Now I know the best places to go in Australia! Thanks for "taking me there." 5*/fav

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 7 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      I was there about 25 years ago. It's a pretty special place!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      gorgeous lens!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      That bridge looks a little frightening.

    • vanidiana24 profile image

      vanidiana24 7 years ago

      It's a beautiful place to visit!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 7 years ago

      This looks amazing. Great pictures!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I really enjoyed the video and learning more about Tasmania. Thank you! :)

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Gorgeous place! Thanks for the tour!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 7 years ago from Chicago area

      wow, that suspension bridge freaks me out...but this place does look incredible!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      This is beautiful! I wish I was close enough to visit:-)