Perhaps it was because I was still so weary and battered from my riding trip, or perhaps it was because I missed the silence of the mountains, but when we stopped at Cataract Gorge, I escaped the crowds and headed up a lonely path that carried me up a cliff face and far into the gorge, to a spot where I was surrounded by trees and wildflowers.
Which is not to say I wasn’t interested in Cataract Gorge. I was just interested in it for a different reason than most of those visiting. The gorge’s river empties into a broad expanse known as Launceston Basin. This is the site of the Launceston Basin Chairlift, which is said to have the longest single chairlift span in the world. It’s not the longest chairlift ride, just the longest distance between supports—1500 feet—which is why it dips so low in the middle, as you you can see in the photo below, on the left. I photographed it, but was more interested in “getting back to nature” than riding across the gorge. You can see where I ended up in the photo on the right—looking back toward Launceston Basin, which is only barely visible.