Launceston (Apr 2024)

Saturday 11 April 2024

Jetstar had a two-for-one deal with accommodation included so we decided to go to Launceston for the weekend.

It was a cold morning for the parkrun
The parkrun course goes along the levee bank then through a forest

Tamar Valley, near Launceston, is famous for cool climate white, sparkling and Pinot Noir wines so we spent Saturday afternoon on a tour of 4 wineries.

VĂ©lo Winery – the grapes are picked and the leaves falling
We had lunch at The Ducks Restaurant looking down to the Tamar River
Tamar Ridge produces the award-winning Pirie sparkling wines
We bought the 2019 vintage to take home
Last stop, a private tasting at Hinton Bay
Only two wines are made – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both superb

Sunday 12 April 2024

Today we walked the Cataract Gorge which starts 2 kilometers from the center of Launceston. It’s about 3 kilometres return, out via the Zig Zag Track and back on the Cataract Gorge Walkway.

Autumn leaves in Launceston
We walked up the Zig Zag Track, described as “testing the lungs of travellers”, 100 meters climb in 500 meters.
The historic 60m-long Alexandra Suspension bridge in the Cataract Gorge, originally opened in 1904
Aboriginal people regard the large stone boulders along the Gorge to be warriors who care for the area
Uncommon Zeolite crystals in the Gorge rocks
This Giant Sequoia germinated in 1894 is now about 40m tall
Flightless Tasmanian Nativehen and chick, known as Turbo Chooks (they can run up to 50 km/h)
The Cataract Gorge walkway was constructed in 1890. It took 3 years with thousands of tons of rock removed by hand
The spans of Kings Bridge at the entrance to the Gorge were fabricated in 1864 in Manchester, transported to Launceston and floated into position
Kings Bridge Caretaker’s Cottage originally constructed in 1890
Tug Boat Harwood on the Tamar River 70 kilometers from the sea
Launceston was established as a convict settlement in 1806 as there was fresh water here and the sea accessible via the Tamar Estuary