Duck Reach Trail, Launceston, Tasmania

Start: Cataract Gorge Reserve (track starts near the restaurant and moves towards the suspension bridge over First Basin)

Distance: 3-4km one way or approximately 8km circuit/return

Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hours

Grade: Moderate

Closest Town: Launceston

There are two main ways you can access this walk. Firstly, you can park closer to the start in Basin Rd, West Launceston (which will bring you close to the suspension bridge). Alternatively , you can start at the main entrance from Kings Bridge which will add about 2 km onto the return walk and join the track at the suspension bridge.

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Kings Bridge
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Suspension bridge near First Dam

After crossing the suspension bridge (if you started from Kings Bridge or the cafe), you will see a sign directing you on the Duck Reach trail. You will the follow a trail close to some cliff edge down the gorge until you see another suspension bridge with the power station on the other side.

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Trail towards power station
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Beautiful colours of the gorge
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Bridge leading to power station
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Exhibit in the old power station

In 1985, Launceston became the first city south of the Equator to be lit with electricity in 1985 with the opening of this turbine-driven power station. It operated until 1955.

From the power station, you can return the same way as you came. Otherwise, to complete a circuit, follow the set of stairs leading up (on the same side as the power station) until you reach a walking/mountain bike trail. Continue on the mountain bike trail until you come to a fork with a smaller walking track on the right (do not continue on the mountain bike trail). The walk will continue through the trees until you reach First Basin and come out close to the Cataract Gorge restaurant.

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View looking down at the power station
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Mountain bike trail
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Walking trail that leads off the mountain bike trail, to head back towards the Cataract Gorge Reserve cafe

To find out more visit: www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=1389