Cataract Gorge, TAS

Day Trip From: Riverside, Launceston and Hillwood
January 2023

Cataract Gorge is one of the most famous sights in Launceston, and we went there twice. Once while we were staying in Riverside, and once while we were staying in Hillwood.

The First Basin is the epicentre of tourism, with a restaurant, cafe, cable car, and swimming pool. Yes, it was a horrific sight when we arrived there on a very hot weekend day in January! Thankfully, once you start the walk to Duck Reach Power Station the crowds soon disappear. We did this walk on our first visit and it had some very nice views of the gorge. It finishes at the old Duck Reach Power Station which is now a museum, but you can go back to First Basin on the other side of the gorge through some nice woodland – which we did.

The second time, we went after work and it wasn’t quite so busy – but still pretty damn busy! This time we took the Zig Zag trail along one side of the canyon to Launceston, had an ice-cream, and then took the Canyon Walk back to First Basin along the other side of the gorge. These two trails are a fair bit busier than the Duck Reach trail, and not quite as scenic.