Cataract Gorge play space upgrade

Article image - Cataract Gorge play space upgrade Recreation Officer, Roger Faulkner and Natural Environment Manager, Barry Pickett with plans for the Cataract Gorge play space redevelopment.

City of Launceston this week unanimously voted to approve the play space upgrade application at the Cataract Gorge’s First Basin.

The upgrade will see the existing playground updated to a more accessible and contemporary natural play space, which can better withstand flood events.

The work is being undertaken as part of the Reimagining the Cataract Gorge Project, which Council developed in consultation with the Northern Tasmanian community throughout 2014 and 2015, and is designed to guide development at the Cataract Gorge until 2030.

The proposed upgrade will see the existing play area directly in front of the cafe and public amenities transformed into a vibrant new nature-based play zone featuring disabled access, a children’s amphitheatre, a water play zone, native plantings, boulders, tree trunks, a sand pit, an accessible swing set, a tunnel slide, a giant mouse-wheel treadmill and an extended forecourt outside the amenities building.

The council hopes to see construction completed before Christmas.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the play ground would be transformed into a more natural and engaging play area.

“As many people would be aware, the existing playground at the Cataract Gorge has passed its use by date.

“It has been impacted by a number of flood events in recent memory — four in the space of a single year in 2016 — it’s reached the end of its life.

“One of the clear objectives of the Reimagining the Gorge project is to replace run down and tired infrastructure, because it detracts from the overall visitor experience.

“We’re also keenly aware that the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards are going to be hosted in Launceston early next year, and the State Government is supporting that great initiative with $200,000 in funding; it will be wonderful for our city.”