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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
Basin Cafe: Launceston
Back where we started, we enjoyed a peaceful afternoon tea at Basin Cafe while 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.
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.
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 handmade Tasmanian rock candy from Sweet-As.