The Cataract Gorge is a river gorge in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, approximately 1.5 km from the city centre. It is one of the region’s premier tourist attractions. It is found at the lower section of the South Esk River.
A pathway, known as the King’s Bridge-Cataract Walk, and originally built by volunteers in the 1890s, runs along the north bank of the Cataract Gorge, and is a popular tourist destination. The original toll house at which pedestrians had to pay to enter the walk can still be seen near King’s Bridge on the northern edge of the gorge.
The chairlift is the longest single-span chairlift in the world, with the longest span being 308 m (1,010 ft). The chairlift, built in 1972, has a total span of 457 m (1,499 ft).
Before the Trevallyn Dam was built upstream in the 1950s, flood waters could rise up as high as 12 metres. In the past, there was a power station at Duck Reach, about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) from a suspension bridge which was built in 1940. It was washed away in the floods of 1929, rebuilt and then decommissioned when the Trevallyn Dam was finished in 1955. The building is now an interpretive museum.
The earliest known European visitor to the site was William Collins, who discovered its entrance in 1804.
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