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IF YOU are spending some time in and around Launceston, you need to visit the city's own piece of wilderness, Cataract Gorge.
The spectacular Cataract Gorge cuts right into the city, with its towering rock faces, Victorian Gardens, panoramic lookouts and walking tracks there are stunning surprises around every corner.
Only a 15 minute walk from the city you will feel like you are a million miles away. Here is a taster of what you can expect.
You are really spoilt for choice when it comes to walking tracks in and around the gorge. If you are after a short stroll or easy walk why not try Cataract walk.
Running along the cliff face this walk offers views of the South Esk River and dolerite columns. After a bit of a challenge?
Try the famous Zig Zag track or take in the Cataract or Eagle Eyrie lookout walks - both worth the views. All walks are signposted throughout the gorge.
Others to try: Duck Reach trail, Reedy Gully and Snake Gully and the First Basin loop.
Enjoy the view
No matter where you end up on your gorge adventure, take the time to enjoy the sights and take a few happy snaps.
The gorge is one of the most insta-worthy places, and you might have a peacock, wallabies or echidna grace you with their presence.
Take a dip in the pool or if you're brave the gorge itself, in summer the gorge plays host to locals and tourists escaping the city, and there is plenty to keep them occupied.
The play park is a great safe area for kids to play with a range of play equipment to keep them busy, including the popular hamster wheel!
If you are after a truly unique experience jump on-board the famous Gorge Scenic Chairlift to really capture the scenery from above.
This relaxing chairlift covers some 457 metres, the central span of 308 metres is believed to be the longest single chairlift span in the world. The slow speed of the chairlift enables passengers to appreciate fully and photograph the spectacular views of this ancient rock gorge.
A bite to eat
The Gorge Restaurant in the Cliff Grounds Reserve offers an excellent lunch and dinner venue using the very best in Tasmanian produce matched with award-winning and local wines.
Enjoy alfresco dining and take in those picturesque views.
Lighter meals are available from the Basin Cafe at the First Basin with breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea options. Or you can take a picnic and make use of the BBQ facilities dotted around the First Basin.
Directions: Drive and Park - follow the signs from Frederick street or GPS 69 Basin road, west Launceston.