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Launceston Cataract Gorge & First Basin Chairlift

Home > Launceston > Walks | Outdoor | Nature | Free | Day Trips
Published February 8th 2016
A natural phenomenon in the heart of a city
In the heart of Launceston City a rare natural phenomenon can be found; The Launceston Gorge and First Basin Chairlift.

This natural wonder that calls Launceston home is a unique natural formation that is located within a two minute drive or fifteen minute walk from central Launceston and is an absolute must see if you are visiting, passing by or even if you live in Launceston or surrounds.

One of the many spectacular views at the reserve...


There are many pathways and both short and long walks that take you through gardens and reserves, surrounding bushlands and the Gorge as well as the many Lookouts. You can take a quick dip at the swimming pool before continuing on your way to exploration at the Reserve.

At the northern side of the Reserve, called Cliff Grounds, you are greeted to a Victorian Garden where wilderness awaits, here you can explore the ferns and exotic plants. You will also find a restaurant and kiosk, rolling lawns, rotunda, a pub with a view, footbridge and the chairlift.

The Suspension Bridge...


As you travel upstream a historic Duck Reach Power Station (now an Interpretation Centre) can be found, it is here that the Power Station in 1893 became the largest hydo-electric scheme of its day and by 1885 it was lighting the city!

Be sure to cross the Suspension Bridge and hold on tight as you prepare yourself to be taken aback by the beauty of the Gorge, especially after a heavy day of rainfall!

The View from the First Basin Chairlift...


Do not forget to visit The Inclinator for a different perspective of the Reserve. This recent addition to the Reserve is a mechanised people mover that consists of a glass-lined compartment, similar to a cable car and it carries eight people at a time and is wheelchair accessible, here you are transported to the top entrance to the lawn area and it has spectacular views of the Gorge and Reserve areas. (There is no charge for this)

A view of the beautiful Gorge & Suspension Bridge...


The Cataract Gorge Reserve is also home to the world's longest single chairlift, The First Basin Chairlift! The chairlift covers 457 metres, central span of 308 metres. This low speed eight minute experience gives you a birds-eye view of the breathtaking phenomenon on land- the gorge. As you travel through the high tops of the trees you can take in and really appreciate the beauty below.

What a show off!


Cataract Gorge Reserve and First Basin Chairlift is also home to majestic peacocks, which can be found here roaming the pathways, gardens and in the trees. Wallabies can also be spotted here, especially at dusk and there are many different species of native fauna that can found here as well as approximately seventy different species of birds and nine species endemic to Tasmania.

A close view of the Gorge...


This is the perfect day out or break from the city life; you can enjoy a lovely stroll, take a picnic under the trees at the manicured gardens or picnic table areas, have a swim or just simply enjoy a birds-eye view from the world's longest chairlift.

The Basin Cottage...


Whatever it is that you enjoy, this is truly an experience and piece of heaven not to miss and it is hard to believe in the heart of a city so many wonders can be found, including a rare phenomenon and magnificent vistas...

Some of the walking paths across the reserve...


Guided walks are available for a fee as well as rock climbing and other activities, for all information see website. Non guided walks are free of charge.

On getting here see website.

The 'Tree House'










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Why? Take a ride on the world's longest chairlift & experience the great outdoors
When: All year round: 9am-5:30pm
Where: Cataract Gorge Reserve, 69 Basin Rd, Launceston
Cost: Free (there is a parking fee- see website)
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