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Basin & Gorge Map
Cataract Gorge Cliffgrounds and Reserve
Cataract Gorge Reserve, or ""The Gorge"" as the locals call it, is a unique natural formation within a two-minute drive of central Launceston - a rare natural phenomenon in any city.
In 15 minutes you can walk from the city centre along the banks of the Tamar River into "The Gorge".
From here you follow a pathway along the cliff face, originally built in the 1890s, looking down onto the South Esk River. The Kings Bridge over "The Gorge" was floated into place in 1867.
The First Basin, on the southern side, features a swimming pool and an open area surrounded by bushland.
In contrast, the shady northern side, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden where wilderness is created with ferns and exotic plants - nature is enhanced by art.
There's a Restaurant and kiosk, rolling lawns and a rotunda, a pub with a view, a footbridge and chairlift across the river, peacocks in the trees, wallabies at dusk. This may be the nation's most alluring
Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre. The Launceston City Council originally commissioned the Power Station in 1893, making it the largest hydro-electric scheme of its day. By 1895 it was lighting the city.