Visiting ‘The Gorge’

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The city of Launceston has long been a favourite destination for visitors to the island state, but a trip to one of the most famous places in Tasmania is not complete without seeing the Cataract Gorge.

Long considered the jewel of Launceston, the Cataract Gorge extends from the mouth of the South Esk River near Kings Bridge through to the Trevallyn hydroelectric dam.

During the warmer months First Basin comes alive with the sound of people splashing around in the popular swimming spot, which is an easy 15 minute walk from the city centre.

However there are a number of activities that take place alongside the river that make it a popular travel option in winter, too.

The Launceston Cataract Gorge Reserve – or "The Gorge" to locals – is an oasis tucked within the depths of a busy city.

It features a number of hiking trails that wind along the riverbed and traverse the area’s rocky landscape, as well as the world's longest single span chairlift.

Panoramic views await you at the top of this gradual incline, which is suitable for people of all ages and is sure to keep the kids entertained while you practice your photography skills.

After exploring nature, you can sit back and rest your eyes on the blooming flowers in the Victorian gardens, as well as roaming peacocks and other native birds.

For those who feel like dining in the area, it is hard to go past the Gorge Restaurants for the best in local cuisine and sought after Tamar valley wines.

While anyone in the mood for a light snack and afternoon catch up with friends will want to head over to the Basin Cafe.

The George is a short drive from the City Centre. Opening hours are 09.00am to 4.30pm during winter, longer during summer.

Cataract Gorge Chairlift in Launceston - Image Credit: Travelfolio

Cataract Gorge Suspension Bridge

Cataract Gorge in flood - Photo Credit: Maria Elena Chagoya

Launceston's Tamar River Winter-Spring

An climbing event being held on the suspension bridge

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  • admin says: should help you. It is an easy (approx) half hour walk. It is also possible to cross Kings Bridge and walk along the other pathway into Cataract Gorge; this is essentially along the cliff face on a pthway which has been there since the early 1900’s. So perhaps up one way and down the other.
    The grounds are open dawn to dusk in October, and as daylight saving has started in Tasmania it will still be light well into 7.00pm making it possible to enjoy a long afternoon – so check-in and then immediately walk.

    Happy traveling.

  • Joey & Brian says:

    I would like to ask the direction to arrive Cataract Gorge from ” Mercure Hotel, 3 Earl Street, Lauceston 7250, Tasmania.” , can we get there by walk ? How long will it take ?
    Since we will arrive Mercure Hotel on 23oct(Tue) 13:00, we would like to ask opening hours in October ? Do we have sufficient time to visit ?
    Thank you for your help ?

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