Launceston was putting on great weather for us – clear blue sky with a high of 26! Today’s plan was to visit the Cataract Gorge on the first half of the day, then a free afternoon to roam about and do what every we wish…
Breaky done, all met-up in the foyer just after 9:30 am.
First stop was the Cataract Gorge – amazingly small place Launceston, we were there in 10 minutes – a stark contrast to the 2+ hours it took us to get to Cradle mountain yesterday. This was great :).
Getting to the car park did require driving through some winding very narrow roads, finally made it to the carpark – and were greeted with Peacocks roaming about… !!
The Gorge area was a steep walk down from our carpark through a great park land. Very nicely setup and great for picnics. The weather was holding up very well, it was not too cool, just pleasant that made walking around comfortable.
First stop the Scenic Chair Lift, to take us to the other side of the Gorge- we were not the ones to walk more, had done enough walking yesterday ! ;).
This Chair Lift’s total span is 457 metres, and interestingly it boasts the LONGEST SINGLE SPAN in the world – at 308 metres!
The chair lift passed the Gorge with is spectacular rock formations and the naturally formed basin. It did reach a decent height and at times may get you holding on to the rails a bit tighter than required.
Getting off at the other side, it was here you pay for the tickets for the chair lift, got the return tickets and started our Gorge walk, heading towards the suspension bridge.
Lots of walking or maybe we should say lots of pic taking!! Suspension bridge was nice and you did feel the movement and the weirdness of the floor moving when walking across.
Time to head back via the Chair Lifts to the car park – next stop was the Penny Royal amusement area near the entrance to the Gorge.
This place had a couple of kiddy rides, and some very cool zip lines to hang off. Not for the faint hearted. Prashil was daring enough to raise his hand to that! Unfortunately the next session was close to 1.5 hours away. As this was the last stop in the group activities for the day, that worked out ok, Doc could stay back and do that.
During booking the zip lines, ladies and girls went on to the DARK BOAT RIDE – come back very disappointed, apparently it was just a small boat on tracks with some slideshows happening on the sides :(.
That was enough time for the guys to head to a bar there and chilax with a few beers – weather was surely warming up now.
Being a free afternoon and Doc was still going to be here for another couple of hours, Vik and I decided to head out to a Winery near by. To make the most of the time, decided to have takeaway lunch, ordered some wood fired takeaway pizzas to eat in the car (drive to Wineyard was about an hour and this way we could do lunch whilst getting to the Wineyard). Once the ladies returned Vik and my family headed out in one car, Doc kept the other car as he waited for the zip line.
As with everything unplanned, things just keep moving around, Meeta suggested the Swiss Village. Checking on Google maps, Swiss Village was a mere 15 mins away, whilst the Wineyard was more like an hour…. easy decision.
Lunch in the car was great – these were some of the best Wood Fired Pizza’s we had.
Highly recommended Pizzas from Brady’s Bar at Penny Royal.
The Swiss Village turned out to be more of a resort, had a few cute boutiques, cafes and actives for all. Kids decided they wanted to do Putt Putt Golf, the 4 of them headed that way. Whilst Vik, Meeta, Nita and me headed to the local Cafe.
I loved the vibe at this Cafe, some very nostalgic tech – old cameras, radios and prints. Was amazing just sitting in there, we all needed a good break from the walking at the Gorge. Started with a couple of coffees and then moved on to the waffles which were to die for and then the Affogato – just wow!!! highly recommend this cafe. Kids returned back after more than an hour and joined in for some much needed milk shakes to cool them down.
Sitting around for almost an hour and half, we were chatting a fair bit with the cafe owner. Asked him for recommendations for any Wineries near by – turned out their was a Winery about 5 minutes away and a Gin distillery only 2 minutes away!! At the sound of Gin distillery, me and Vik looked at each other and knew what we wanted. Next stop was the Distillery.
As the guy said, the distillery was really only 2 mins away :). It was nestled behind the TamarRidge Cellar Door farm – Turner Stillhouse – producing the Three Cuts Gin! Getting out of the car and entering the place we were greeted with the best sign!
The sign itself got us in the right frame of mind, it was time to try these Gin’s that would lead us to having the FUN beGIN.
The guy at the counter showed us their 4 gins they did, we decided to do a tasting of all four. Dian and Neha also joined in, they stuck with trying just 2.
I had not realised how Gins could be different and these guys produced interesting blends, they had the norma London Dry but the other three were very different and great. We ended buying their Citrus range that both Vik and I really enjoyed!!
It was getting to 4pm, had taken in a fair dose of Gin for the day was time to move on. Decided to make the most of the available time and head to the Launceston CBD. Meeta informed us the main mall was Brisbane St – funny that!
We reached there in less than 10 mins, and it was EMPTY.
This was a Thursday and it felt like today was XMAS day where everyone just stays home!!! The place was desserted. Sure some shops were open but it was dead!!
Ladies did find a few shops to window shop and browse, gave us a chance to roam about this weirdly empty city. Pooja & Aaria found a book store where they could do some shopping. Just around 5pm the remaining shops were closing up and we also decided to head back to the hotel.
Launceston CBD was a sure let down – or maybe we just got there at the wrong time/day ???
That evening we all got together at the LEVEE Food Co Restaurant @ the Old Launceston Seaport Marina. This place was very nice and the seafood was amazing. Highly recommend this restaurant – try the SHOGA oysters – these are served natural with ginger and cucumber – were super duper!
At Old Seaport Marina
Had been a great day today, did a bit of sights and then topped with a great dinner with the gang!
Tomorrow it was off to the Lavender farm….