Cataract Gorge is very picturesque and sits just on the edge of Launceston, northern Tasmania’s largest city. There are a number of bush tracks in the area and we did a fairy wide circuit taking in some country further upstream on the South Esk River in the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area.
Apart from the scenery, there was some pretty tame wildlife about, including wild peacocks of all things, introduced to the area early last century as a bit of exotica. The eastern sections are the most picturesque so check out my track notes (after the pictures) for the various options.
Cataract Gorge Circuit: The Scenery
The gorge is the main highlight of this walk, and the furthest upstream sections were possibly not worth the extra effort. So you might go as far as Trevallyn Dam walls and head back from there, or to make it much shorter you could go only as far as Duck Reach. There’s a good map of trail options in the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area on the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife site, and the trails at the city end of the gorge are obvious and signposted.
We did the circuit described in Day Walks Tasmania: Start at First Basin, and go anticlockwise past Duck Reach Power Station, join the Deadmans Hollow Track, then South Esk Track to Aquatic Point, then Lake Trevallyn Road, Reedy Gully Trail, Snake Gully Trail, and head down the gorge on the north side, cross Kings Bridge, then head back to First Basin via a track high up on the dry south side.