Cataract Gorge.  There’s absolutely no escaping the fact that “The Gorge” is one of the most loved Tasmanian attractions.  Locals and tourists to the island state all rave about it.  But why?  What makes it so popular?  We take a closer look and offer some insight into that popularity.

Cataract Gorge - Suspension Bridge from the Chairlift
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Riley gets a good view of the suspension bridge from the Cataract Gorge Chairlift

Cataract Gorge: The Basin Chairlift

Firstly, the Cataract Gorge is home to the Basin Chairlift.  Since 1972, the 450-metre ride has been gently transporting people from one side of the Reserve to the other.  And as Harry and his buddy demonstrate, catching the chairlift is child’s play!

Cataract Gorge - Catching the Chair Lift
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Ready and waiting for a turn on the Cataract Gorge Chairlift

Cataract Gorge - Chair Lift
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Better than walking! Fasten your seat belts and take the chairlift across The Gorge

Cataract Gorge - Chairlift Over the River
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Sit back and relax as the chairlift carries you over the Cataract Gorge

The views from the chairlift are always spectacular, and the ride is smooth enough to take photos.  But at certain times, when northern Tasmania is receiving heavy rainfall, the river system floods and the waters raging through the Cataract Gorge provide a real show.

Cataract Gorge - Flood
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The South Esk River floods from the Cataract Gorge to the Tamar River, Launceston

Climbing, Cruising and Walking in The Cataract Gorge

While the Basin Chairlift provides enough adrenalin for many people, there’s always some that want more.  Rock climbers for instance, who scramble up and down the face of the cliff.  The photo collage below shows the climber on the left; his location is circled on the right hand side.  Scary stuff!!

Cataract Gorge - Rock Climbing
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

This rock climber gets a different view of the Cataract Gorge in Launceston

Kings Bridge is an iconic landmark in Launceston and marks the start of the walking trail into the Reserve from the city centre.  We cruised underneath the bridge on our Cataract Gorge Cruise with Tamar River Cruises and the construction is amazing.

Cataract Gorge - Kings Bridge
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Kings Bridge, an iconic landmark in Launceston Tasmania

Walking into the Cataract Gorge possibly provides the best experience of all.  The Reserve is very close to the centre of Launceston, and the track is straight forward in terms of access and makes for quite an easy stroll.

The path follows the edge of the river, passing the gatekeeper’s cottage (another building often photographed for tourism brochures).  The cottage is now leased out by the council to artists working on projects in the region.

And why wouldn’t artists be drawn to the area with so much natural beauty right on the doorstep?  No matter what mode of transport you use to enjoy it, the Cataract Gorge is definitely a must-do experience in Tasmania.

Cataract Gorge - Kings Bridge Gorge Cottage
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Kings Bridge Gorge Cottage, now used for a Launceston Artists in Residence program

Thanks to Jo Kuchel for providing some of the photos for this article.
See her guest article about Sheffield in the state’s north west, too.

If you like this article about Tasmania, and you’d like to read more, just subscribe to our newsletter or join us on social media via FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram. If you really like this article, and you want others to see it, you can choose one of the “share” options below. We’d love that!

Comments relevant to this article are always most welcome, just leave a reply below. But first… please confirm the date of this article. Have you found something current, or is this ancient information? Either way, thanks for your company and come back again soon.

Map: Cataract Gorge, Launceston Tasmania