Cataract Gorge & Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Australia


Cataract Gorge from King’s Bridge, Launceston, Tas.
Postmarked 1905

Google Street View.

…the Launceston City and Suburbs Improvement Association was formed in 1890 by a group of local men. “They decided that they wanted to make the gorge accessible to everyone and improve it,” said Ms Sargent, who is part of the Launceston Historical Society. “They rowed in a boat up the gorge and they used red paint to mark the rocks to where they wanted to put a path. The very next day they got the workmen there and they got a path from the Trevallyn side of the South Esk Bridge, as it was known then, and started cutting into the rocks.”

By the time workers got to Picnic Rock — which is on the northern side of the river between Kings Bridge and the First Basin — the work was becoming “treacherous”, so explosives had to be brought in. “They actually brought the dynamite in and blew the rocks away,” Ms Sargent said. “150 tonnes of rock was thrown into the river so they could get through and make the track. They started in January 1890 and it wasn’t until three years later that they actually got into the cliff grounds.”
ABC News

[The Caretaker’s Cottage] is perched above the South Esk River, adjacent to Kings Bridge, and is highly significant historically for its association with the early development of the Main Cataract Walkway. It is highly significant for its representation of the Arts and Craft style of architecture and for its
association with architect Alexander North. It was originally constructed in 1890
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)


Crusoe Hut and Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Tas.
1900s

In 1893, this site housed the Crusoe Hut, but today comprises a viewing platform overlooking the Basin and Alexandra Suspension Bridge. A natural rock outcrop has been
incorporated into the area to provide seating. This site provides important views across the Gorge
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)

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