Only five minutes walk from the centre of Launceston, the Cataract Gorge is one of the city's main tourist attractions. It is also the main climbing area of the city. It consists of short, high quality, dolerite cracks and faces. Recently there have been increasing numbers of bolted climbs appearing, mainly on the arĂȘtes. As well as both sides of the main gorge there is also excellent climbing at Duck Reach, as well as numerous other buttresses on both the North and South Esk rivers, such as Willow Jungle, Riverbend, Grap Fureau and Castille Crag.



Short dolerite buttresses - mainly cracks with some bolted faces and arĂȘtes. A single rope and a medium sized rack of wires and cams will do the trick. The bolted routes are a mixture of glued in carrots and eye bolts on the newer routes.


Until 2000 there were no guides to these crags - now there are 5.

Online Guides



Climbing is possible all year round, although not every day during the winter. Summer days can quite often be too hot on the sunny side of the Gorge and at Riverbend.

Rest Days

Launceston has some nice parks (including the Gorge - which is quite nice at night). There are lots of high quality vineyards in the Tamar Valley that welcome tastings. The nearest beaches are around 30-45 minutes away at Low Head or Bridport. Cradle Mountain National Park, the northern end of Tasmania's World Heritage Area and the starting point for the Overland Track, is about an hour and a half drive west of Launceston.


Probably the best place to stay is the hostel in Canning Street, only about 5 minutes walk from the Gorge.


Westham (14), Lingham (18), Gabriel (17), Joan of Arc (21), Mac the Finger (22), Ramona (17), Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter (21), Sophies Choice (25)