There’s absolutely no escaping the fact that Cataract 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 - Chairlift Over the River

Chairlift: Cataract Gorge (photo by Jo Kuchel)

Cataract Gorge: The Basin Chairlift

Firstly, 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 catching the chairlift is child’s play.

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

South Esk River floods: Cataract Gorge

Climbing, Cruising, Walking: Cataract Gorge

While the Basin Chairlift provides enough adrenaline 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

Rock climber: 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

Kings Bridge: 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, Cataract Gorge is definitely a must-do experience in Tasmania.

Cataract Gorge - Kings Bridge Gorge Cottage

Kings Bridge Gorge Cottage: Launceston Tasmania

Map: Cataract Gorge, Launceston Tasmania

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