Frequently Asked Questions for Walk Cataract Gorge
Where are you located?
The Jewel of Launceston, one hour walking tour, starts near the old Ticketbooth at the northern end of Kings Bridge, which is one of the entrances to the Cataract Gorge Reserve. The Ticketbooth is very visible, once you cross Kings Bridge to the northern end, you will see the Ticketbooth on the left. Refer to our map.
How do I get to the starting point of the walk?
Kings Bridge is an easy stroll from the city centre. Walking time from the CBD is approximately 15-20 minutes. Depending on the location of your accommodation it could be as little as a five to ten minute walk.
The most direct access by foot from the Launceston CBD is walking west along Paterson Street, which turns into Bridge Road. Walk across Kings Bridge to the northern end, and look for the old Ticketbooth on the left.
If you are walking from the waterfront, Seaport, or Home Point area, take the Alexandra Walk from Seaport, continue past Royal Park, and then along Ritchies Mill Walk. Here you’ll meet Bridge Road. Walk across Kings Bridge to the northern end, and look for the old Ticketbooth on the left.
Is there anywhere to park nearby the start of the walk?
Walk Cataract Gorge encourages you to come to the starting point on foot! It’s good for you and the environment. The starting point is very close to the Launceston CBD and most accommodation providers, with walking time around 10-20 minutes for most visitors.
If you must drive, there are a couple of options. Limited on-street metered parking is available along Paterson Street and Bridge Street, with most meters allowing for a three hour stay. The closest car parks (parking lots) are Park Street, Bathurst Street, and Paterson Street West (Google each of these car park names followed by ‘car park Launceston’, to see a map showing their location).
Why does the walk start there?
Starting at Kings Bridge allows you to experience the actual ‘Cataract’ of Cataract Gorge, and provides a spectacular unfolding of the natural beauty of the surrounds as we make our way into the Gorge and then further into First Basin.
Geographically speaking, the starting point is the closest of the Cataract Gorge Reserve to the Launceston CBD and the majority of Launceston accommodation providers.
How long does it take to complete the Tour?
The Tour duration is approximately one hour. Occasionally we run over the hour by 5-10 minutes due to various factors, e.g. depending on the size of the group, the walking speed of the group, if we are accosted by the local wildlife, such as the spectacular Peacock giving us a display of his tail feathers! And if we are having such a fabulous time and can’t stop talking!
When should I arrive?
Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the starting time of the Tour, so that we can make our introductions and get started on time.
What should I wear?
Please ensure that you wear flat comfortable footwear, and wear comfortable clothing suited to the weather conditions on the day.
It is important to protect yourself from the sun, by covering up first with clothing (long sleeves are good) and a hat, and the addition of sunscreen if necessary.
The tour will operate in all weather (if it’s safe to do so), so please dress accordingly for warm or hot weather, and likewise wear enough layers and a rain jacket in cold or wet weather.
What about the weather?
Walk Cataract Gorge tours operate in all weather conditions.
Tours will only be cancelled in extreme weather conditions which pose a safety threat to the participants. In this case, Walk Cataract Gorge will postpone or cancel tours at its discretion and will offer an alternative departure date. (see the Terms & Conditions for more details about alternate tours and cancellation/refund terms)
How do I get back to the starting point once the guided walk has finished?
If your time is limited and you need to depart the Cataract Gorge Reserve as soon as the walk finishes, you have two options to leave on foot.
You can re-trace the same route as the walking tour, exiting along the Cataract Walk path on the northern side of the Gorge (it’s the relatively flat path). This will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Or you can take the shorter but more strenuous route along the Zig Zag Walk track on the southern side of the Gorge (this is a dirt track with multiple steps up and down), you will need an average to high level of fitness to walk this way, and a relatively high level of fitness if you want to walk this track at a good steady pace. This will take 20-40 minutes depending on your level of fitness and speed.
Do I need to bring food and drinks with me?
It is recommended, but not essential, that you bring water with you.
You are welcome to bring snacks, food or drinks with you, as you may wish to spend more time in the lovely surrounds of the Cataract Gorge Reserve when the tour is complete.
The Basin Café and Gorge Restaurant, including outdoor kiosk, offer a range of food and beverages in beautiful settings.
Are there toilets nearby?
Public toilets are located at First Basin, where the Tour concludes.
Is the walk wheelchair friendly?
Yes, the Tour can be taken in a wheelchair. Although the Tour generally includes a few steps in one place, these can be avoided without causing disruption to the Tour.
Additionally, there is a pedestrian inclinator located at First Basin, at the conclusion of the Tour. This provides easy access to the car park/vehicle drop-off, if wheelchair users would like to depart Cataract Gorge from there.
Are there other things to do after the Tour?
You can extend your stay in Cataract Gorge by a short time or a long time, there are plenty of activities to choose from!
Other things to do located in the Cataract Gorge Reserve include the Gorge Scenic Chairlift, the First Basin swimming pool, Basin Café, and Gorge Restaurant and kiosk.
From taking a gentle stroll across the Alexandra Suspension Bridge, walking up to Duck Reach, or hiking beyond into the adjacent Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area, there is so much to see and do!
Do I need to book?
Yes! Bookings are essential and places are limited. You can book up to a couple of hours before the tour starts, as long as the booking process is completed and you have received your confirmation, come along! Book here.
How do I book?
Book online on the Walk Cataract Gorge website. Book here.
How can I pay?
Payment is required online by credit card at the time of booking.
Do I need to book a time?
Yes, when you choose a tour, it will be presented with a specific starting time.
Can I smoke on the Tour?
No, the Tour is non-smoking.
What is the refund policy?
Your booking is a non-refundable purchase and is for a specific time and date.
If you cannot attend your booked Tour and you provide at least 24 hours notice, it may be possible for you to join another tour. (see the Terms & Conditions for more details about alternate tours and cancellation/refund terms)
Can alternate tours be arranged, separate to those shown on the website?
Groups are very welcome. Tour times, content, and route, including the start and finish point, can be arranged to suit. Please contact Walk Cataract Gorge via the details on the website, to discuss your interest and needs.