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)

Duck Reach Power Station, Launceston, Tasmania


Electric Power House, Launceston
Postmarked 1918
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Duck Reach Power Station was the first publicly owned hydro-electric plant in the Southern Hemisphere, and provided the Tasmanian city of Launceston with hydro-electric power from its construction in 1895 to its closure in 1955.

The Duck Reach Power Station first operated on a trial basis on the evening of the 10th of December 1895, when it was used to illuminate some of Launceston’s streets using arc lights. On the 1st of February 1896, the hydro-electric power system was officially switched on, remaining in operation until 1955.
Wikipedia

The generating station was situated about 40 feet (12m) above the level of the river. It was quite a substantial erection, with 18 inch (460mm) stone walls and an iron roof. Originally it had only one storey with a gallery running along the side to facilitate access to the machinery. It was 105 feet (32m) in length and 24 feet (7m) wide with a height of 22 feet (6.7m) to the ridge line, large enough to hold nine or ten turbines.

At that time it only contained eight turbines; five for arc lighting and three for incandescent 1 lighting. On 12th February 1895 the Launceston Municipal Council accepted the tender of Mr J.T. Farmilo to build the station at a cost of £1 488.9.6, the contract to last 17 weeks. Because of the nature of the country (being very rocky) a large amount of heavy work was required to build the station. The contractor was required to secure a firm foundation and form subterranean passages under the building for the water to pass after running through the turbines.
Duck Reach


Electric Power Station Launceston Tasmania
Postmarked 1910
Publsher: Spurling & Son, Launceston

Iron Pot Lighthouse

Iron Pot Lighthouse in the Derwent

The Iron Pot is a chunk of rock at the mouth of the Derwent. The lighthouse “is significant for several reasons. It was the first lighthouse built in Tasmania, it is the second oldest lighthouse built in Australia, it is the oldest original tower in Australia, it was the first to utilise a locally made optic, and was the first Australian lighthouse to use solar power.”

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