For more than a decade, a passionate Launceston man has been sharing his knowledge of Launceston's history.
Launceston Walking Tours' Geoff McLean has been taking people through Launceston and its surrounds since 2005.
He developed three history tours for Launceston, and Mr McLean said it started off with an interest in the city's pubs.
"So I spent 100 hours in the library researching all the old pubs accessing unpublished manuscripts. And as I got into that, I got more into the history of Launceston. And I thought, well, we can combine the two there and have a history tour that kind of focuses on pubs and everything else," he said.
"Launceston does have a very fascinating history, particularly colonial and also contemporary history and the old history as well, so that's where I developed my Princess to the Park Tour."
Mr McLean also runs tours through the Cataract Gorge. He said utilised information from his time working as a lecturer in Aboriginal studies at UTAS.
"I had all this knowledge, and I thought, 'what am I going to do with all of this?'" he said.
"I had a passion for the Gorge already because I've spent many years doing bush walks up through the Gorge and all through that. And of course, I've been taught the aboriginal connections as well,.
"I thought this was a good place for a tour because nobody was doing tours at the time, and I thought I could meld the Aboriginal connections with the history of the Gorge, so we've got the ancient mixing with the new.
"That's how it all came about. The actual business itself has evolved greatly over time.
"I've gone back to my roots, so to speak, as a tour guide, which began back in 2005."
Mr McLean said much of his Aboriginal knowledge came from spending time and learning from elders.
"I travelled all over Tasmania with various elders and they taught me a lot, about how to identify different plants and mushrooms and things like that.
"When you get out into the bush you can see that it doesn't adhere to the four seasons as we know them. I think it actually goes through six stages, and different plants will tell you what stage it really is.
"That why the Gorge is good, because there are a lot of plants here that come out through those stages.
"So through winter for example, you've got a kangaroo apple and native tomato, which are winter fruits and very important.The kangaroo apple is going off now and you've got the cherries coming through. Then you'll have the native currents that will come through as well," he said.
"The biggest marker for spring I find is a plant called the blue love creeper. It entwines itself among other plants. When I see that I know we're in the depths of spring, and when it disappears I know it's summer.
"You learn from the land, and the land talks to you."
Mr McLean said though the Gorge wouldn't have been a great meeting place for the aboriginals, it was a very important source of food.
"What you don't realise is is there used to be big freshwater mussels in here," he said.
"One they put in the dam, that finished," he said.
"But you still get eels, like the short finned eel, and again before the dam you used to get a long finned eel in here which grew up to 20kg.
"They've got remnants in the museum somewhere."
Mr McLean said the eels were the reason seals sometimes came into the Gorge.
"When the short finned eel is ready to give birth, it'll leave all the river systems in South East Australia and swim all the way up to the Coral Sea.
"It'll spawn little elvers, and they know where to come back to.
"So you've got literally millions of eels swimming down the East Coast of Australia, coming into Bass Strait, going back into the river systems. So the seals will follow them in.
"The hills up in Trevallyn Reserve, there are actually aboriginal gathering sites and campsites up there. They've been archeological surveyed and they found stone tools of a stone that doesn't belong here.
"Finding stone tools of a different stone tells us trade was going on."
Mr McLean said 10,000 years ago it was a very different place.
"There's a hidden valley around the back [of the Gorge] where the river used to go," he said.
He said there wasn't a need to take tourists for tours longer than about 45 minute, as the City of Launceston had installed interpretation signs telling the story of the Gorge.
"That was a really good initiative, and I was part of the consultancy team for that," he said.
"So, I just tend to focus on the back areas of the Gorge now where there aren't any signs.
"I can go really in-depth, or I can take people just to look at things. It depends on what they're interested in.
"The Basin Cottage is really great now as well, as an interpretation centre. They've put up information and photos up around the walls. It's extremely interesting and fills in some of the backstory as to how this area was created.
"People don't realise it was all up to William Barnes Senior who came down from England around 1920. He met a brewer on the boat over and they were both coming to start new lives.
"Barnes got here and saw that the people of Launceston really loved their booze, but there was no brewery, so all the booze was imported from Hobart or Sydney.
"He knew a brewer, so he thought they should start a brewery."
Mr McLean said Mr Barnes asked the brewer to work with him for a while, and he said yes.
"That's pretty much how it panned out. William Barnes Senior retired after 10 years, and with all of the money that he earned he bought up all of the land around Trevallyn," he said.
"When he died he passed it onto his son, and he was the one who gave the land to the Launceston Suburban Improvement Association. His wife gave the final parcel of land, the daffodil track land area. That's how we ended up with the Gorge area."
Mr McLean said there was a lot of history in the spot, and hadn't even touched on the contemporary history, such as Basin concerts.
"In the late 1970s and early 1980s you had big national acts coming down with 10,000 people in the Gorge," he said.
"I went to those concerts and they were fantastic."
Mr McLean's tours run October to March and on-demand from April to September.
His Prince's to Park Tour costs $30 and runs at 9.30am and 4.30pm.
His Beyond the Gorge tour takes place at 1.30pm and is free.
He also does hands-on tours for schools.
For more information, visit launcestonwalkingtours.com.au.