Launceston Cataract Gorge & First Basin (Launceston)

#4 in Best Things To Do in Tasmania
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Key Info

74-90 Basin Road

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Natural Wonders, Free, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Staying in Launceston in northeastern Tasmania? Then you'll want to add the Launceston Cataract Gorge & First Basin to your itinerary. Situated less than 3 miles from downtown Launceston, this natural wonder is brimming with fun pursuits, from hiking trails to a swimming pool to the world's longest single-span chairlift. You'll also find a suspension bridge that links the South Esk River's banks.

Previous visitors raved about this attraction's "beautiful" views and abundant activities and amenities, adding that it's a great option for families. Must-dos include walking across the suspension bridge, watching the property's resident peacocks, having a picnic lunch and riding the chairlift (for a fee). To make the most of your time here (while saving a little money), some travelers suggest opting for a one-way chairlift ride across the gorge and walking back.

The Launceston Cataract Gorge & First Basin is free to visit, but to ride the chairlift, adults will be charged 12 Australian dollars ($9.50) for one-way rides or AU$15 (less than $12) for round-trip tickets. Rides for kids 15 and younger cost AU$8 to AU$10 (or between $6 and $8). The chairlift is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30, 5, 5:30 or 6 p.m., depending on the season, but the gorge itself is accessible 24 hours a day. To get to the property, you can walk from the city center, take a Metro bus to the Cambridge St/Brougham St stop or drive. A small parking lot, plus other facilities like restrooms, a restaurant, a cafe and a museum, are also available on-site. For more information, visit the attraction's website.

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#1 Freycinet National Park (Coles Bay)

Occupying a peninsula just south of Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park is a prime spot for bird-watching, camping and scenic drives. The park also features white-sand beaches surrounded by pink granite peaks that are just as popular with photographers as they are with swimmers, kayakers and snorkelers. If you'd rather hike while exploring this protected area, you'll find multiple trails for short, half-day and overnight hikes on-site.

Visitors rave about this national park's scenery, adding that locales like Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach are so breathtaking that you could spend several hours admiring your surroundings. If you're short on time or new to hiking, travelers recommend trekking the Wineglass Bay Lookout path; for a more challenging hike, several suggest taking the path to Mount Amos. Reviewers also rave about the sunsets at Honeymoon Bay and Cape Tourville's lighthouse.

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