About the Estuary
The meeting place of three waterways, Kanamaluka/Tamar Estuary has been a flourishing centre of biodiversity and cultural home to Tasmanian Aboriginal people for more than 40,000 years.
The river that stretches from Launceston to Low head and surrounding water-linked landscape is known by many names. Deep channels, shallow mud flats and spectacular rocky reefs provide habitat for a startling diversity of life. Including mammals, reptiles, frogs, fish, invertebrates, and more than 50 bird species. The endangered Green and Gold Bell Frog, the Glossy Grass Skink and several rare plants also live here.
Waterways are a vital part of life in Launceston and the surrounding northern food bowl, from our amazing fresh produce, wine, and whisky to cutting edge hydropower.
We hope you’ll take the opportunity to really get to know and understand Kanamaluka and ask that you please, tread gently.
The health of the estuary is a top priority with $100 million earmarked for ongoing care and conservation.
Get to know the river and meet some of the locals that call the river home.
Tamar Island Wetland Centre. On the outskirts of Launnie is a unique estuarine wetland ecosystem of mudflats, lagoons, and islands. Human visitors have a floating boardwalk that can enjoy the diversity and come to enjoy the river without accidentally harming residents. Pack a picnic, spend some time listening to the river ebb and flow and watching birdlife come and go.
Launceston Scenic River Kayak Tours. Or explore the confluence of three rivers by pedal-powered Kayak. Paddle and play, fall in love with the river. It’s about as close to kanamaluka as you can get without getting wet.
Under water wonderlands.
Take time to wander waterside, flow with the river, listen to the babble of brooks or take a track to chase cascades and waterfalls in the area.
Levee Banks. Walk or cycle the trail along the raised Levee banks, an engineering marvel designed to protect the city from inundation.
Riverbend Park. Picnic at Riverbend Park and set the kiddos loose on state-of-the-art waterfront play equipment and surrounding scenic bike trails.
Zig Zag Track. An historic trail that links the Kings Bridge to the First Basin and climbs high above Cataract Gorge Reserve for spectacular views.
Duck Reach. Follow the South Esk River from Cataract Gorge to Duck Reach for a testament to waters power and energy potential.
Cataract Gorge. Wilderness is just 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Watch peacocks strut and take in panoramic views from the pathway along the cliff face.
Holwell Gorge. A 45-minute scenic walking track that takes you past three waterfalls via fern glades and tall trees in the Dazzler Range.
Punchbowl Falls. Secreted away in Punchbowl Reserve, this seasonal waterfall and Stunning Rock Fissure flows on Kings Meadows Rivulet.
Lilydale Falls. A family friendly stroll between tall trees and lush mossy ferns to not one, but two picturesque waterfalls.
Notley Fern Gorge. This 45-minute track weaves back and forth across the creek which runs through a patch of old rainforest above the Tamar Valley.
Immerse yourself in your choice of indoor and outdoor swimming pools and spas
Launceston Aquatic Centre Visit Launceston Leisure & Aquatic Centre to swim peaceful laps or make a splash from the 65m outdoor waterslide or inflatable obstacle course.
Gorge Swimming Pool. Wade or swim right in the heart of Cataract Gorge reserve – First Basin. The grassy surrounds make for a perfect family picnic too.
Liquid Zen. It’s all in the name. Let the water hold you as you float weightlessly and let stress and tension go. Liquid Zen float rooms are next level (not your average float tank) and each has an ambient starlit ceiling.
Comb the beaches of the rivers western bank
Tamar River is a tidal estuary that rises and falls with Bass Strait making waters ideal for kayaking, swimming, and water sports. Get some sand between your toes from Launnie to Low Head via Legana Beach, Gravelly Beach, Paper Beach, Sandy Beach and Greens Beach.
Sip and dine on sustainable, local produce at these riverside restaurants and cafes.
Basin Café Casual café dining with incomparable views over Cataract Gorge a perfect spot to replenish after exploring Cataract Gorge. Cataract Gorge
Gorge Restaurant Modern Australian meals in scenic Cataract Gorge. Dine inside in cooler months or book a table alfresco on their gorgeous tree-shaded patio. 74 Gorge Rd, Trevallyn
Grain of the Silos Peppers hotel café and restaurant is all about fresh, authentic, farm to table experiences. The setting are thoughtfully adapted vintage grain silos. 89/91 Lindsay Street
Hallams Waterfront Elevated dining with a truly sensational seasonal menu served in an intimate waterfront setting one of the best views in Launceston. 13 Park St
Levee Food Co Tasmanian sourced steaks and seafood served alfresco in a relaxed riverfront setting. At high tide, you’re dining over the water. Seaport Boulevard.
Mudbar Thoughtful paddock-to-plate dining right on Launceston riverfront. A perfect location to celebrate the river and fresh food it provides. Seaport Boulevard.
Rupert & Hound Local, sustainably caught seafood of every variety, cooked to perfection. Dine alfresco and listen to the water lapping gently under the pier. Seaport Boulevard.
Stillwater Fresh local produce is served up three times a day in this thoughtfully adapted flour mill which also first brough fresh water to Launceston. 2 Bridge Rd