Cataract Gorge is a river gorge in Launceston at the lower section of South Esk River. It is located just 1.5km from Launceston City Centre and one of the top attractions in Launceston.
I walked from the city centre along Paterson Street pass Royal Park and Kings Park before reaching Peace Garden that leads me to Kings Bridge. The view and the weather were so good I did not feel the 1-km walk at all.
|A pretty building|
|Where both North Esk River and South Esk River meet|
|North Esk River|
|Bye Tamar River!|
|Approaching the bridge|
Kings Bridge was designed by William Thoma Doyne in 1861. This wrought iron arch bridge was completed in 1864 after the fabrication completed in Manchester, England. All the bridge parts were then transported to Launceston, assembled on a pontoon and fitted into position.
|The view from Kings Bridge|
|Finally crossing Kings Bridge|
After crossing the bridge, I was exposed to the Cataract Gorge Walk. It is a narrow walking path along the river, the length is about 1km or so. The path is quite flat and easy to walk on.
On the other hand, those who are more adventurous can choose another path called Zig Zag Reserve Walk. It is at another side of a river but the track is steeper, I was told.
|The view of Kings Bridge from Cataract Gorge Walk|
|This shelter was built by Cyril Shaw and Leslie Dent by shaping bird wire and concrete into wood-look-alike structure; the method is called 'Faux Bois'|
|Further into the river|
|Still long way to go|
|The view is so relaxing|
|End of Cataract Gorge Walk|
At the end of the walking track, the area opens up into an area called The Cliffs Ground. There are kids playing area, a flower garden and a lawn. The enlarged part of the river aheads is called First Basin. There are a swimming pool and open grass land surrounded by trees and bushes at the south side of First Basin.
|The flower garden|
|To cross the river|
|The swimming pool is there, far far away|
Alexandra Suspension Bridge is a cable suspension bridge that connects both sides of South Esk River at the head of First Basin. It was constructed in 1904 before being destroyed by flood in 1929. The bridge was then rebuilt the following year. The cables were changed in 2004.
|Alexandra Suspension Bridge|
|Me and the bridge|
|The bridge is swinging|
The cost of taking the chairlift is AUD 12 for one way journey and AUD 15 for return journey. Visitors can take the chairlift from either side of the river. I was not afraid of height but I felt thrilled when the wind swung my chairlift. The chairlift moved slowly and the journey felt like forever. Anyway, it's worth the thrill.
|On top of the world|
|The First Basin, swimming pool and grass land|
|The view of Alexandra Suspension Bridge|
|The chairlift station|
The bonus of visiting Cataract Gorge is the fauna that I found here. I spent many hours waiting for the peacock to open up its feathers, I chased hopping wallabies around, I sat and listened to blue bird chirping. I am so blessed.
|Mama Peacock and family|
|Papa Peacock, the male peacock is the pretty one|
|Brown wallaby eating maple leaf|
Love is in the air,