Nature is great. It’s even better when it’s free and easily accessible.
Cataract Gorge Reserve in Launceston is both. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the CBD and allows free entry to hike (there’s a relatively easy, flat trail and a steeper, more difficult one), explore the Victorian garden or ride the world’s longest single-span chairlift. There were even a few surprise inhabitants.
The South Esk River greets you as your enter the Gorge. The First Basin sits at the southern end.
There are more than 70 plant species growing natively in the gorge, along with the same number of different species of birds.
A few pieces of public art are displayed in the gorge. This poem is set along the cliff face, built in the 1890s. It’s called Sounding Silence by Richard Tipping.
An employee in the cafe said the peacocks are becoming a bit of a problem because they eat guests’ food right out of their hands.
The Alexandra Suspension Bridge, built in 1904. It’s pretty scary to walk!