Sep
20
2011

Cataract Gorge Reserve is an exciting urban park

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Cataract Gorge Reserve is one of Tasmania’s most popular attractions – and for very good reasons.

Just a two-minute drive from central Launceston, it provides rare natural beauty so close to the city.

From town you can also take a short but impressive walk along the banks of the Tamar River in the gorge. Following a pathway that was originally built in the 1890s, you will enjoy incredible views from the cliff face.

The Kings Bridge – which crosses the gorge for a truly breathtaking experience – was floated into place in 1867.

There is so much more to the area than the river alone, with a wide range of scenic wonders making the reserve an ideal daytrip.

On the south side of the river, the First Basin is home to a cafe, swimming pool and open spaces to relax whilst surrounded by bushland.

Over to the shady north side, Cliff Grounds is a Victorian garden filled with ferns and exotic plants.

With peacocks and wallabies dwelling among the thick bush, this is quite possibly the most attractive urban reserve Australia has to offer.

With a total span of 457 metres, the chairlift that crosses the gorge is the longest of its variety in the world.

Upstream you will discover the historic Duck Reach Power Station, which is now an Interpretation Centre. Originally commissioned by the Launceston City Council in 1893, it was the largest hydro-electric scheme of its day and by 1895 was lighting the city.

If you’re the adventurous kind, Cataract Gorge Reserve gives you a wonderful opportunity to explore, climb up to great lookouts, abseil and clamber over rocks and streams. And by discovering this beautiful region on foot, you will not have to pay anything to visit a remarkable destination.

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