Cataract Gorge open for bumper summer

First Basin Pool 23.jpg

Thousands of people are expected to visit Launceston’s most popular natural attraction, the Cataract Gorge, this summer.

City of Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the Cataract Gorge was one of the region’s most visited destinations.

“We’re expecting a fantastic summer at Launceston’s iconic Cataract Gorge,” Mayor Garwood said.

“While there are currently some temporary changes to pedestrian and road access into the First Basin, we’re eager to ensure visitors to Launceston understand the Cataract Gorge itself remains open for

everyone to enjoy this summer.”

Mayor Garwood said popular attractions like the Basin Cafe, the Gorge Restaurant, and the Gorge Scenic Chairlift — the world’s longest single span chairlift — remained open throughout summer.

“The Cataract Gorge features a fantastic playground for the kids, barbecue facilities, free Wi-Fi, toilets and changing rooms, convenient parking, and an accessible inclinator,” he said.

“We’re expecting high visitation to continue throughout summer, culminating in a free concert at the Cataract Gorge on March 2 as part of Mona Foma 2024.”

With remediation works currently underway on the Cataract Walk, pedestrian access to the First Basin from the CBD is currently restricted to the Zig-Zag track; a walking track which the City of Launceston has graded ‘Hard — steep and challenging’.

The Zig-Zag track is a historic gravel trail that links Kings Bridge to the First Basin with a series of zig-zags that climb high above the reserve.

“The Zig-Zag track is ideal for those who like to challenge themselves actively, but may not a suitable track for others,” Mayor Garwood said.

Road upgrade works in West Launceston’s Hillside Crescent mean the best way to access the Cataract Gorge by vehicle from the CBD is via Connaught Crescent and Basin Rd.

Alternatively, vehicles can also access the Cliff Grounds entrance via Gorge Road in Trevallyn.

The City of Launceston’s FREE Tiger Bus visits the Cataract Gorge three times per day over summer. The full timetable is available at

Mayor Garwood said he hoped visitors to Launceston over summer would make the most of the Cataract Gorge.”The Cataract Gorge is an amazing natural destination only a short distance from Launceston’s CBD, and we hope both locals and visitors have a blast there during the warmer months,” he said.

“While some people choose to swim in the First Basin itself, it’s important to note the First Basin can be subject to strong currents, cold water, slippery rocks and submerged obstacles and is not actively

monitored by our lifeguards.

“Having spent a lot of time there with school friends, the First Basin Swimming Pool is my personal preference for a swim.

“The First Basin Swimming Pool is actively supervised by our lifeguards between 11am and 4pm each day, who are equipped with a wide range of first aid and emergency response equipment, including


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