Cataract Gorge Reserve is a unique natural formation within two-minutes’ drive of central Launceston, Tasmania. The Gorge, as the locals call it, is a rare urban reserve.
Within 15-minutes you can walk from the city centre along the banks of the Tamar River into The Gorge. You will follow a pathway along the cliff face, originally built in the 1890s, looking down onto the South Esk River. On the southern side is the First Basin, featuring a swimming pool and an open area surrounded by bushland. This part of the Gorge is popular for picnics and barbeques.
On the shady northern side, known as the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden with ferns and exotic plants. Enjoy the convenience of a kiosk and tea rooms where you can enjoy a cup of tea and scones. Relax on the rolling lawns, take shade under the rotunda and enjoy lunch with a view from the restaurant. Wander across the footbridge that links the two areas or take a chairlift ride across the expansive Gorge. Marvel at the colourful peacocks and the wallabies appearing at dusk. Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an interpretation centre well worth the short walk. On the way, enjoy views of the river from a newly constructed cantilevered lookout that juts outs about seven meters above the river.