Everyone went to bed early after a whole day of trekking and fishing. So early that the girls woke up at 4am and could not get back to sleep. They made so much noise that all the rest woke up and decided to have an early start. It was going to be a long drive all the way to Cradle Mountain.
Two hours into the journey, we made a stop in Perth, a town south of Launceston, at a cafe called Ut Si. Housed in a refurbished church, the cafe served your usual Aussie fare using ingredients grown in their own garden.
From the cafe, it was a quick 20min drive to Cataract Gorge Reserve in Launceston. We were excited not so much about walking the trails but sitting the world’s longest chairlift, or so we thought. Our visit started with a stroll across the suspension bridge that overlooked both the river and the basin, with a view of the entire gorge.
Next we went on this Duck Reach Trail, thinking it would lead us to the chairlift station. It was promising at first (see picture on the left). Then the path became like the picture on the right. Just when we were deciding whether to walk on, we met a hiker coming from the opposite direction. Up ahead was not the chairlift station but the power station!
All was not lost. We did spot a few wildlife among the beautiful bush land and worked out our appetite for lunch.
We followed the hiker’s directions and headed back to the suspension bridge. We crossed over and after a short walk among the trees, we found the chairlift station!
Our excitement was short-lived as we could easily see the end of the line in front of us. It was at the Basin Cafe where we parked our van.
We concluded that A$12 for a one-way trip was not worth it, so we took the path around the basin back to the car park. Since there was no other place we wanted to visit in Launceston (lavender not in season), we left the city and headed towards Cradle Mountain.