Touring Tasmania – Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Our luck ran out today weatherwise, but that didn’t mean we were going to alter our plans for a trip to Cataract Gorge. We were looking forward to riding on the famous chairlift, built in 1972, it has a total span of 457 m (1,499 ft).

The first stop on today’s itinerary was the Queen Victoria Art Museum. When we visited there was a wonderful exhibition called Skin by Garry Greenwood. This featured stunning leather artworks with an array of masks, sculptures and musical instruments. A permanent feature at this museum is The First Tasmanians exhibition. I found this very interesting and learnt so much about survival and how they lived their day to day life.

From here we made our way to Cataract Gorge, stopping at Penny Royal Adventures for a quick look around. By now the rain had set in, poor Maddy found out her raincoat was not waterproof!

Penny Royal Adventures is a great place for kids, there were a couple of rides and of course the suspension bridge. I thought at first this was the bridge that I saw mentioned at Cataract Gorge! I really wasn’t that keen to try it. We saw a family walking along it with helmets on. From here we walked around to the Zig Zag trail and started our walk along the Gorge.

It is believed that the final formation of Cataract Gorge began with the last ice age, approximately 3 to 4 million years ago. The rock formations are commonly believed to be from volcanic activity.

On a good day there would be so much to do, explore the gardens and look at the beautiful peacocks strutting about, search for wallabies in the bush and maybe have a swim in the massive open air swimming pool. We did see a few bedraggled peacocks and glimpses of wallabies through the rocks. It was mostly just a case of putting one foot forward and marching on.

We finally reached the Alexandra suspension bridge after around 40 minutes and the weather showed no signs of improving. The bridge was built in 1904 and named after Queen Alexandra and is 220 ft long.

It is kind of shaky! We didn’t venture all the way across, I think we had lost our bearings somewhere along the way and wanted to make our way to the chairlift. Hubby was against the chairlift and said it would be totally miserable and wanted to walk back the same way. By this time Maddy had already set off in search of it! It was three against one and so the chairlift it was.

The Bandstand built for Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

I only managed one photo on the chairlift of Laurence and Maddy in front of us! I have to say it was not the most enjoyable ride I’ve ever taken. When we “disembarked” we ordered an uber to take us to the pub we had seen just past the Penny Royal, Kings Bridge Pub. Here we had a well deserved lunch, a few drinks and a couple of games of pool.

The pub was a great find with very traditional old English decor, what more could you ask for on a rainy day.

Then it was back to the hotel to dry off and a rest for me before heading out for dinner that night. We all decided that it was a fantastic day out despite the weather.

We at at Stello’s Restaurant which was just a short walk from the hotel.


  1. Lovely place to explore, such a shame the weather broke for you. And ending up in a pub….. we are so looking forward to visiting pubs again, they only open up here today after months of closure, we can only sit outside though for now 🍻cheers!

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    • Thanks for your comments, yes I imagine the weekend in the UK will be full of fun for everyone. I really want to get back but I don’t think that is on the cards this year.


  2. Enjoyed your tour of Cataract Gorge despite the inclement weather. I like your cagoule/raincoat it looks a bit like one I bought from Seasalt last year. Dinner in the restaurant looks delicious and so nice that your son and his girlfriend were able to join you. Have a good week, Marion

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    • Thanks Marion, that raincoat is the best thing I’ve bought. It’s completely waterproof and I can wear a big jumper underneath or just a t shirt. I bought it in Perth

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  3. There’s nothing more miserable on a wet day than a raincoat that isn’t waterproof! It can be more uncomfortable than having no coat at all 😆 But the gorge looks great – I love the rickety-looking bridge by the falls and the chairlift, although on a day like this I can see that the cosy pub would perhaps be the best highlight of all!

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    • Thanks Jonno, I would have loved to explore a bit more but it was just too miserable to keep getting my phone out and I could hardly see under that big hood 😅 hope you and Jo are both well
      Nothing from you for a while unless I’ve missed it?

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