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Cataract Gorge

Swim in a tranquil basin fed by tumbling mountain-spring waters, fly over the water on a chairlift and stroll around the gardens fringed with stunning native forest.

Cataract Gorge is a pocket of wilderness and a heritage oasis in Launceston city. The reserve is a local favourite for relaxing and recreation, with its stunning natural scenery and excellent facilities. Take in the views of pristine mountain waters tumbling into the First Basin against the gorge’s backdrop of dolerite crags and she-oak trees while you explore the vast grounds or swim in the pool. See a heritage suspension bridge and learn about the 19th-century hydroelectric power station.

There are several walking routes into Cataract Gorge. Wind through bushland trails or stroll alongside the South Esk River, listening as the sounds of the city are replaced by the sound of flowing water and rustling leaves. Stop at the various viewpoints that look out into the vast sweep of waterfront wilderness.

The large clearing at the heart of the gorge is known as the First Basin. Snap photos of the large grassy bank by the water, framed by dolerite cliffs and craggy forested hilltops. This area has children’s playground equipment and a large swimming pool, which provides a safe swimming alternative for families. If you want to take the plunge into the brisk waters of the basin, be sure to take care as the waters here are not patrolled by lifeguards and are extremely deep.

The world’s longest single-span chairlift soars across the basin, presenting fantastic views. Nearby both chairlift stations, you’ll find kiosks selling snacks, as well as restaurants nestled in the greenery. Explore the pretty Victorian gardens on the north banks. Spot wallabies bounding through the bush or the showy plumage of the gorge’s resident peacocks.

Stroll around the bushland trails to see the Alexandra Suspension Bridge and the heritage rotunda. Follow the cliff’s-edge trail to reach the Duck Reach Power Station, which has an interpretive display that explains the hydroelectric scheme that was put in place in the late 1800s with the building of the Trevallyn Dam.

Cataract Gorge is free to enter at any time of the day. A metered parking lot is located on the southern side. Alternatively, take the pleasant 15-minute walk from central Launceston to reach the gorge.


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Lodging Near Cataract Gorge

See all 112 Hotels near Cataract Gorge
$124
Mantra Charles Hotel

Mantra Charles Hotel

287 Charles Street, Launceston
4.6
of 5, from 1,280 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in the center of Launceston, this family-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Brisbane Street Mall and Quadrant Mall. Penny Royal Adventures and City Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$86
Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston

Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston

29 Cameron Street, Launceston
4.2
of 5, from 3,006 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this luxury hotel is steps from Design Centre of Tasmania, City Park Radio Museum, and Princess Theatre. Albert Hall Convention Centre and City Park are also within 10 minutes.

$96
Auldington

Auldington

110 Frederick Street, Launceston
4.5
of 5, from 1,187 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this luxury guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Launceston College, Royal Park, and Penny Royal Adventures. Queen Victoria Museum and Brisbane Street Mall are also within 15 minutes.

$96
Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel & Apartments

Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel & Apartments

147 Paterson Street, Launceston
4.2
of 5, from 1,843 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Penny Royal Adventures and Launceston College. Royal Park and Queen Victoria Museum are also within 10 minutes.

$101
Hideaway on George

Hideaway on George

141a George Street, Launceston
4.3
of 5, from 122 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this romantic bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Quadrant Mall and Princess Theatre. Brisbane Street Mall and Design Centre of Tasmania are also within 10 minutes.

$61
The Centennial Hotel

The Centennial Hotel

120 Bathurst St, Launceston
3.6
of 5, from 230 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Launceston College, Queen Victoria Museum, and Quadrant Mall. Brisbane Street Mall and Royal Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$86
Commodore Regent

Commodore Regent

13 Brisbane Street, Launceston
4.1
of 5, from 588 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this motel is steps from City Park, Design Centre of Tasmania, and City Park Radio Museum. Albert Hall Convention Centre and Princess Theatre are also within 5 minutes.

$72
Hotel Launceston

Hotel Launceston

3 Brisbane Street, Launceston
3.8
of 5, from 191 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Launceston CBD, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of City Park, National Automobile Museum, and Launceston Aquatic Centre. Design Centre of Tasmania and City Park Radio Museum are also within 5 minutes.