National Parks and Reserves

Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge is Launceston's own little piece of wilderness, a unique natural formation of sheer cliffs and cascades just 15 minutes walk from the city centre. Visitor facilities include walking and hiking trails, the world s longest single span chairlift, swimming pool, restaurant, kiosk, peacocks and wildlife, gardens, a suspension bridge, Interpretation Centre and lookouts with spectacular views. Cruise vessels ply Cataract Gorge daily.

Tamar Island Wetlands
The Tamar Valley has a significant conservation area known as the Tamar Island Wetlands. This 60 ha tidal river wetland and island habitat is ideal for walks and sightseeing, offering some great photographic opportunities. The island itself is about 7 ha where there are remnants of a hut and exotic flora from earlier days of occupation. Much of the wetland has been disturbed by previous human occupation and grazing activities.

Tranquility Gardens
Located on the Tamar Valley wine route, just 10 minutes from the heart of Launceston, Tranquillity Gardens is a welcoming place for all the family. A Japanese businessman originally built Tranquillity Gardens tea rooms as a holiday house in 1987.

He was very interested in the bird life and encouraged them to nest around the property. He also had the gardens constructed, which included the building of the pond. In 2001 the property was purchased by the Griffiths family as an extension of their dairy farm. In full season the farm milks a mix of approximately 400 Friesian and Jersey cows.

Mount Arthur

Mount Arthur sits imposingly overlooking the town of Lilydale. Because of its close proximity to Launceston, being directly to the north-east of Launceston, its summit is home to a number of radio towers. At 1188 metres, it is a 4 to 5 hour return walk through wet eucalypt rainforest to the summit, offering views to the northern coastline, the city of Launceston and the great western tiers. This fairly rigorous walk begins at the end of Mountain Road.

Holwell Gorge Reserve

Holwell Gorge Reserve, 8 km south of Beaconsfield, is centred around a narrow gorge and fern glade in the Dazzler Range. It features many beautiful tall trees, ferns and a 45-minute scenic walking track past three waterfalls.

Heritage Forest

Heritage Forest represents a remarkable transformation: the Mowbray Swamp was once used as a tip site and is now a recreation and living environment close to the city centre. Its features include multi-use trails, picnic area, barbeque area, playground and an off-leash dog exercise area. The park has introduced vegetation featuring an arboretum of all 27 of Tasmanian's Eucalyptus species. It is situated next to the Churchill Park Sporting Complex. Launceston parkrun travels through Heritage Forest as part of the 5km loop that starts behind Aurora Stadium.

Ben Lomond National Park

The imposing mountain of Ben Lomond with its imposing and precipitous cliffs is visible over much of the northern midlands of Tasmania. The plateau is roughly 14 kilometres in length, 6 kilometres wide and is in excess of 1300 metres in height. A summit on the plateau named Legges Tor is the second highest point in Tasmania (1572 metres). Ben Lomond National Park is invaluable for the conservation of the flora communities and species diversity of Tasmania s alpine areas. The area consists of an outstanding variety of glacial and periglacial features which are considered of national significance. Located 50km south-east of Launceston, Ben Lomond National Park is reached by back roads via White Hills or Evandale onto the Blessington Road (C401).

Notley Fern Gorge

Notley Fern Gorge, near Beaconsfield, is a forest dominated by large, old eucalypts over a understorey of rainforest. Towards the creek, there are a variety of fern species growing in abundance. The gorge is a 3/4 hour walk from the carpark along a well constructed path following a creek, with a 1.5 km return walking track through the forest. A picnic area is at the car park along with clean rest rooms.

Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National Park, near Port Sorell, abounds in Forester kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and even Tasmanian devils on its grassy plains and heathlands. They are relatively comfortable in the presence of people and will often allow you to approach them for close observation. At dusk, you can catch sight of little penguins scampering up the beach at Point Sorell. The western part of the park is in an ideal location to be combined with a tour of the vineyards of Tasmania s premier wine-growing region, the Tamar Valley.

Lilydale Falls

Lilydale Falls (3 km ) offer an opportunity to explore temperate rainforest, have a picnic, go bushwalking, inspect the two small falls, and see two oak trees which were planted on 12 May 1937 from acorns collected near Windsor Castle on England. The oaks commemorate the coronation of King George IV.

Hollybank Forest Reserve

Hollybank Forest Reserve is a 140 ha forest reserve which was first settled by timber cutters and mill workers in 1854. it is now an arboretum with walking tracks, picnic facilities and an interesting Information Centre. There is also has a high-wire canopy ride. The reserve is reached from a turnoff near Underwood.