Cataract Gorge in Launceston is one of our favourite places to visit in Tasmania. A reserve close to the centre of town, one of the highlights is the Basin Chairlift. The cakes from the Basin Cafe aren’t too bad, either!

Launceston Tasmania - Cataract Gorge
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Cataract Gorge Reserve: Launceston, northern Tasmania

Basin Chairlift, Launceston

The chairlift was built in 1972. And now Launceston Tasmania can claim to have the longest single chairlift span in the world – the 308-metre central section. The entire length of the chairlift ride actually stretches to 457 metres.

Launceston Tasmania - Basin Chairlift Sign
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Basin Chairlift, Launceston: world’s longest single span

There are stations on either side of The Gorge and you can enjoy a return journey starting from either end. Or you can buy a one-way ticket and return via foot (about a 10 minute leisurely walk).

Launceston Tasmania - Chairlift Price List
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Launceston Basin Chairlift: return prices or one-way

Passengers glide along slowly and have a chance to take pictures of the Cataract Gorge Reserve Grounds and the waters of the South Esk River flowing into Launceston.

Tasmania, as usual: providing spectacular photographic opportunities.

Launceston Tasmania - Basin Chairlift
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Enjoy the views: Launceston Basin Chairlift

Starting from the First Basin as we did, you can break the journey at the Cliff Grounds. There’s lovely gardens, walkways, a restaurant and views over the river. And lots of peacocks! They are very tame and not camera shy at all.

Launceston Tasmania - Cataract Gorge Peacock
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Peacocks roam Cataract Gorge Cliff Grounds, Launceston

Basin Cafe, Launceston

Back where we started (while we enjoyed a peaceful afternoon tea in the Basin Cafe) the kids went to inspect the now-normal swimming pool.

During our last visit, the grounds were completely flooded. The pool had even been submerged.

Launceston Tasmania - Basin Cafe
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Cakes: Basin Cafe, Launceston Cataract Gorge Reserve

There is a lovely view from the Basin Cafe. You can see feet dangling into view as riders pass over the top on the chairlift. And you have a great vantage point over the grounds of the Cataract Gorge from the picture windows.

Launceston Tasmania - Basin Cafe & Basin Chairlift
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Launceston: Basin Chairlift passing over the Basin Cafe

And of course: at a cafe tourism hot-spot like The Gorge, there must be souvenirs! You can buy a little reminder of your visit to Launceston. They even stock some of the Handmade Tasmanian rock candy from Sweet-As.

Launceston Tasmania - Cataract Gorge Souvenirs
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A memento from Launceston from the souvenir shop

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Map: Cataract Gorge, Launceston Tasmania…