The Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Tasmania. A view of the picturesque pathway at a particularly rocky spot
The Cataract Cliff Grounds, in Launceston, Tasmania, are a striking instance of what may be accomplished by the co-operation of Nature and Art. The pathway that we see below us has been constructed along the face of the towering cliff for about a mile. It is marked by many quaint pieces of architecture, of which the "Crusoe Hut," that we see standing like a watch-tower on the rocky promontory in front, is by no means the least interesting. The hut is ingeniously constructed of fern trunks, and is covered with a picturesque thatch. Beyond it may be seen the handsome circular bandstand, with a lawn beneath it, and a prettily-situated park above. In the well-laid-out park, with its delightful surroundings, are many charming little spots dear to the hearts of picnickers, who see on three sides of them lofty green hills, and beneath them a gentle slope leading to the edge of the First Basin, a remarkable pool, over 100 feet deep, and overlooked by high precipices. Close to the handsome entrance gates of the Cliff Grounds is an artistically-designed Swiss Challet, forming the home of the energetic caretaker. There are some charming fern gullies in the grounds, and a profusion of flowers, shrubs, and grasses in endless variety, while the numerous shapely rocks, some of which stand out boldly like the one in the view, lend variety to the scene. The latest addition to the attractions of the grounds is a handsome suspension bridge above the Basin, enabling visitors to return via the Zig-Zag path, on the south side of the Gorge, down through the valley guarded by the hill known as the Giant's Grave. For the many improvements to the Cataract Gorge much credit is due to an association formed by the energetic people of Launceston, and who have spent thousands of pounds over the Cataract Cliff Grounds, eventually (in 1897) handing them over to the care of the Municipal Council.