You won’t believe that you’re in the middle of Launceston, one of the largest cities in Tasmania, when you walk the zig-zagging track that goes through the Cataract Gorge.
Starting at the Kings Bridge, you can either stay on the town side of the gorge and follow the zig-zag track, then cross the body of water at the end and return via the Cataract Gorge Walk, or you start on the other side and take the Cataract Gorge Walk, you’ll probably want to follow it back the way you came from as once isn’t enough on this unforgettable short trail.
The Zig-zag track is the much more difficult trail of the two, where you’ll weave and wind your way up and down the hill on the side of the gorge, where-as the Cataract Walk mainly follows a flat path that’s at times, stands on stilts as the rocky cliffs allow no room to walk.
If you visit Launceston, this walking trail can’t be missed and could potentially be a highlight of your trip or at least the climax of your stay in beautiful yet sleepy town.
The Cataract Walk is nice and easy. It’s mostly flat in a ‘board walk’ style the entire way. Instead of it being a challenging hike, it’s more of a nature stroll that allows you to enjoy the views of the stunning Cataract Gorge that’s surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and other native Australian flora.
Begin the walk at the Kings Bridge and follow it for a bit more than one kilometre along the edge of the gorge and river, all the way to the Cataract Gorge. Once you’ve made it to the end, you can decide to come back the way you came or make it a bit more challenging and follow the Zig Zag trail on the other side of the gorge, that has a lot of elevation, hence the track having to zig zag up and down the hill, otherwise it’d be too steep.
The Cataract Gorge Walk is a great experience that’s completely family friendly and accessible to most people.
Once you’ve made it out to the Cataract Gorge, you’ll be treated with an immaculate grassy reserve that you’ll want to spend the day or come back to after a bit of adventuring around Launceston.
There’s a large pool for swimming and pristine lake that has a chair lift going over it, from one side of the gorge to the other. You’ll also find a gorgeous little cafe on the hill that’s surrounded by a small botanic garden with massive and minuscule ancient imported and native plants. It’s a very special spot.
You can also drive straight into the gorge by taking some back roads through the hills.
Getting to the Cataract Gorge
The walking trail starts just a short walk from town.
On the western edge of the Launceston township is Kings Bridge, which just next to Royal Park. It’s only about a 1.5 km walk from the main shopping area. Once you get to Kings Bridge, cross over it and begin the Cataract Walk from the other side.