Starting next to Penny Royal on Bridge Road, Launceston, this walk leads to Duck Reach via the Zig-Zag Track and Duck Reach Trail. This fantastic walk is all about the power of water. It begins by following the South Esk River on a series of zig-zags that cross the bluffs on the south side of the Cataract Gorge Reserve. The stone steps help you ascend through a forest where you might spot wallabies. The track continues along the ridge above First Basin, where you have an overview of this wide area between narrow stretches of the gorge. At First Basin you can find a café, toilets and a swimming pool. Following the signs, you'll reach a track that finally leads you to the Duck Reach Power Station. Completed in 1895, it was one of the earliest hydro-electric power stations in the world, and provided electricity to Launceston for 60 years. In 1995, it was re-opened as a museum and interpretation centre and has since become a popular tourist attraction. From the suspension bridge at the power station there are magnificent views over the South Esk River. This track is mostly on stone steps, with some dirt path sections. The numerous steps and steep sections require a reasonable level of fitness, but the amazing views make the effort worthwhile. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.