5 March 2024

Cataract Walk and Trevallyn Steps recreational trails reopen after seven months

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Cataract Gorge Launceston

Cataract Gorge is one of the state’s most popular walking areas. Photo: Tourism Tasmania.

Launceston’s popular Cataract Walk and Trevallyn Steps walking tracks have reopened after being closed since last July due to safety concerns.

The tracks were closed after a privately-owned retaining wall failed on a property on Esk Road above the one kilometre-long track which links Kings Bridge with the Cataract Gorge’s Cliff Grounds.

The City of Launceston says it has worked since that time with the property owner and a number of engineering experts to remove the retaining wall and prioritise the reopening of trails to the public.

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It says more than 1500 tonnes of bluestone and wall material have been removed from above the Cataract Walk using a custom fabricated trolley system.

The difficult terrain and the moisture levels in the ground meant the repair works were complex and took longer than expected to complete.

During the closure, other walking tracks in the Cataract Gorge including the Zig Zag track between Kings Bridge and the First Basin remained open.

retaining wall

The partially failed retaining wall that led to the tracks’ closures. Photo: City of Launceston Facebook.

City of Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the works to reopen the two tracks had been technically complex, given the difficult terrain.

“The City of Launceston has taken a really proactive [approach] to such a difficult issue and has prioritised these works given the importance of the Cataract Gorge to locals and visitors alike,” Cr Garwood said.

“While the substantive repair works have been underway, we’ve also been undertaking other improvement works at the western end of the Cataract Walk, including new surfaces and handrails in some sections.

“Some of these minor works will continue over coming weeks, but will not require further closures,” he added.

“We sincerely thank the residents of Launceston for their patience and support while we’ve carried out the works to reopen these important accesses to the Cataract Gorge.”

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