Monday, October 17, 2016

Cataract Gorge - Launceston

The greatest tourist attraction in Launceston is the Cataract Gorge which is just to the west of the business district.

A map of the gorge and surrounding park. We parked on the north side.

We walked down the hill to the gorge. It may be October but Spring comes late in Tasmania and Launceston is roughly the same distance from the equator as Chicago.

Band stand. Back in the days before TV and radio, an excursion to the park would have been a pleasant outing on a weekend.

The chairlift that goes over the gorge. It has the longest single span in the world at 1010'.

We came to the suspension bridge that goes over the rushing water in the gorge. It's somewhat un-nerving walking over the bridge and apparently it sways when it is windy.

Because of all the rain, the South Esk River was in full flood which you can see in the video.

The above video is misplaced and should be visible later in the blog but I can't shift it for some unknown reason. Still, it is impressive.

Cables for the bridge attached to the rock.

I think I would be ok on the chair lift but I suspect a lot of people would find it unnerving.

Flooded area.

A photo of a video taken a few days before when the torrent was higher.

Robin an I decided to do the zig zag walk which follows the south bank of the gorge. It is a bit of a climb.

A pleasant walk through the bush.

From looking at Google Earth I estimate that it is about 200' down to the water. The climb is steep enough to get your attention.

Looking east toward where the North Esk River joins the Tamar.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the chair lift to here.

We crossed to the other side using the old bridge.

There used to be a toll house near this cottage where people were charged to walk along the path beside the north side of the gorge. 

The toll booth. No doubt they did not have EZ Pass back then.

The cottage is now a private residence.

The hill on the south side where we had just walked.

You can see that the water was a good deal higher at one stage.

It looks wooden but the shed appears to be made of concrete.

If you fell in there would not be much hope of your survival.

It's a nice walk and the shade in summer would be welcome.

We were fortunate to see the gorge in flood. It was very impressive.

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