Cataract Gorge Reserve Tours
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The magnificent Cataract Gorge, a river gorge on the South Esk River right at the edge of Launceston, offers a wealth of outdoor recreation that feels a world away from the city. The reserve is home to the First Basin outdoor swimming pool, the world’s longest single-span chairlift, and a Victorian-era landscaped garden.
There’s enough to do in Cataract Gorge to fill a whole day. Go for a (chilly) swim in First Basin, known locally as Launceston’s Beach; stroll with the peacocks in the Cliff Grounds gardens; walk or ride the chairlift across the river; or keep an eye out for wallabies, who tend to congregate in the reserve at dusk. Multi-day trips through Tasmania that include Launceston on the itinerary almost always stop at the gorge.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cataract Gorge is a must-visit for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and first-time visitors to Launceston.
- Facilities at the gorge include restrooms, a cafe, and a full-service restaurant.
- Admission to the reserve is free of charge, but you’ll have to pay a small fee to ride the chairlift.
- Much of the reserve is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Cataract Gorge is a 10-minute stroll west of central Launceston. Walk along Bridge Road from the city center and you’ll come to the Cataract Walk trail, which winds along the South Esk River to the chairlift station and restaurant.
When to Get There
The gorge is open daily from 9am to dusk. The best time to visit is between December and February, when the weather is dry and warm—perfect for exploring this largely outdoor attraction.
Before Launceston’s hydroelectric dam was completed in 1955, the gorge waters were channeled to create electricity via the power station at Duck Reach, located upriver from the suspension bridge. Now decommissioned, the building serves as a museum. A visit reveals the story of Launceston’s early days and the Duck Reach power plant.
Address: 69 Basin Road, Launceston 7250, Australia
5 Tours and Activities to Experience Cataract Gorge Reserve
You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.
You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.
Take a morning flight over Tasmania on a thrilling hot-air balloon tour. Float above the riverside town of Launceston and take in striking views of the agriculture rich Meander Valley. Enjoy panoramic views of mountain bluffs knows as the Great Western Tiers on the northern edge of the Central Highlands Plateau. After you land, soak in the morning atmosphere and indulge in breakfast at a country club.
There are only a handful of experiences in the world that can be described as truly romantic.... Hot air ballooning is one of them! Floating gently with the breeze above the beautiful Tasmanian landscape in the most graceful of flying machines is the perfect place to propose or celebrate that very special occasion. It will be special, a perfect experience that will be remembered forever. Photos taken by our Go Pro mounted outside the balloon will capture your experience from the air, while our ground crew will take photos as you launch into the skies and finally land. Enjoy a brunch or lunch at one of Launceston's finest restaurants as well as a bottle of Tasmanian sparkling, a gift from us to celebrate your day.
A Wine Tour or Day Tour can be structured with your groups input or without. Should there be certain wineries that they would like to see or sights these can be included as long as they fit into the time frame allowed. Below is some information that may assist. You will be able to spend whatever time you like at each, some may take your fancy a little more than others, so you are free to communicate with the driver to make your afternoon relaxed and enjoyable. You will be able to stop at any or all of the following, this is however time depending: Josef Chromy Pipers Brook Vineyard Brook Eden Vineyard Delamere Vineyard These are a little further…. Bay of Fires Winery Leaning Church Sights – there are many sights and experiences that can be seen or had, this is also a personalized service as what some may love others may not. Ideas – Seahorse World, Beaconsfield Mine, Cataract Gorge, Lavender Farm, Hillwood Berry Farm. Entrance, activity costs and purchases are your expense.
Launceston City Tour would begin with Swiss Village established in 1989 by Mr Vos for his wife, who loved Grindelwald Switzerland after their scenic holiday in Switzerland. And then, we head to Tamar Wetland, the unique urban wetlands reserve near Launceston. A short walk from tourist center takes you to a bird hide that you can observe wetland birds and tamar valley. Brady Lookout, the unique attraction in the Tamar Valley, is set right on the cliff edge. After lunch, we continue the trip to Cataract Gorge Reserve where has walking tacks, the world’s longest single span chairlift, a suspension bridge and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views.
Discover the amazing geological history of the Cataract Gorge Learn some amazing facts from local guides that know the Gorge inside out Using visual aids, see how the city has transformed using archival photos
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Cataract Gorge Reserve?
The best ways to experience Cataract Gorge Reserve are:
- 1-Hour Launceston Hot Air Balloon Flight
- Private Balloon Flight
- Launceston Wine & Sightseeing Tours
- Launceston Private Charter Service
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