Australia So Much to See

 

Want to know more? Ask us
< Previous
travasmtc2005001003.gif
Next page >
Home
Travelogues
Tips and Hints
Lists and Links
Q & A
Contact
< Previous
travasmtc2005001003.gif
Next page >
Home
Travelogues
Tips and Hints
Lists and Links
Q & A
Contact
Home > Travelogues > 2006 Travelogues Index > Tasmania - The Central Highlands
Short version only - full version with pictures yet to come
We reach Tasmania and follow a plan to see a good cross section of the island in our short seven week visit, starting in the North.  We then explored the West, the South, the East, travelled through the historic Midlands and finally toured through the Central Highlands.  See where we camped.

Back to top ^

The Central Highlands – through the Mountainous Centre

 

Crossing the mountains: This includes parts of our west to east earlier trip from Queenstown and south to north on the final leg of our Tasmanian tour.  We also took a drive up in the mountain lakes from the Eastern side.  Many lakes have been dams to increase water supply for the series of hydro-electric power stations. The water continues on to the next power station after each use. 

 

We drove from Queenstown eastward through the northernmost section of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park to Lake St Clair, where we were repelled by a huge tourist complex, full car park and crowds of people.  We followed a back road to a lovely little lagoon amongst salmon barked trees. 

 

Early morning from our camp on the edge of a small lagoon (dam) that provides water for the extensive hydro-electricity networked system.

 

The water from the dam ran through an old timber pipeline, constructed of board held together with bands of metal rods

 

We touched on the central mountains several times, including a spectacular drive from south to north through the mountains and past the Great Lake. 
travasmtc2005022001.jpg

The Waddamanna Power Museum demonstrates the technology used in hydro electric power generation at a no longer operational hydro electric station.  This is off the main bitumised road, but is well worth the detour to understand hydro power generation. 

 

Tarraleah power station is one of a vast network of power stations in central Tasmania.  Water is piped down the mountains to run the power plant. 

 

Echidnas are sometimes seen crossing the road.  They usually curl up into a ball if approached.  Their quills can pierce a tyre if they are run over.

 

Despite a huge number of shacks and holiday houses surrounding The Great Lake, it is a huge and very scenic lake high in the mountains.  Like most lakes, the overflow has been raised with a dam wall to store water for the hydro electricity schemes.

 

The board walk at Pine Lake, amidst true mountain vegetation was a highlight of the trip.  The mountain air was cold and crisp. Driving through the rugged mountain tops was one of the most spectacular days touring.

 

As we descended towards Deloraine, we found Liffey Falls, which were a series of sparkling water falls.

 

The drive up to Arthur’s Lake and the Great Lake via Poatina power station was another mighty climb, with expansive views. 

 

In 1957 a decision was made to stop water flowing south from the Great Lake through the Shannon and Waddamana Power Stations and take it north to use the much bigger drop down the face of the Great Western Tiers. A fall of 830 metres was achieved using some of the most advanced engineering techniques available at the time. A six kilometre tunnel was drilled under a ridge to the northern edge of the Great Western Tiers.

 

From here the water flows down a large, high-pressure steel penstock and vertical shaft into Tasmania's first underground power station at Poatina.

 

The Poatina Power Station is a huge underground excavation, as wide as a city street, as long as a city block and as high as a seven storey building. It houses six, fifty megawatt generators and is the State's second largest power station.

 

Close up of the canal which carries water rushing from the power station.  In the picture from above, the canal can be seen.

 

The water then goes into the Lake Trevallyn Dam, from where it flows via a tunnel into the Trevallyn Power station at Launceston. 

 

At the start of the ‘penstock’ there is a service adit, with a large flat area overlooking vistas to the east.  You can hear the water roaring from within in the hill.  We did not have the caravan that day, or we would have stayed at this ideal spot. 

 

Near Interlaken, sheep had raincoats on, ready for a Tasmanian Winter.  We had come down a long way, and felt we were in the lowlands, but another big drop lay ahead. 

 

Looking into the Walls of Jerusalem Park from the northern end.  This is only accessible on foot.  We drove around forestry tracks in the area bounded by this park and the Lake St Clair – Cradle Mountain national parks. 

 

Fisher River Lookout, with the highest peaks such as Mount Ossa 1740 metres, Barn Bluff 1690 metres, and Cradle Mountain at 1660 metres just visible above a blanket of cloud, with further blue clouds behind.  The blanket of cloud stretched from Clumner Bluff 1559 metres and covered the huge valley. 

 

We returned later in the morning to see the Fisher River valley after the clouds had lifted, with Mount Ossa, the highest peak in Tasmania, visible in the centre of the picture.

 

When we reached nearby Devil’s Gullet, we could see under the cloud which was like a finger reaching across the valley.  Then we heard an eerie hissing sound and felt the cold wind, as we saw the finger rise up and engulf the bluff on the left side of the valley.  The cloud came roaring towards us around the bluff just to the left of the lookout, until we were and the entire valley were engulfed in the clouds.  This was an awesome experience, with us wanting to run and escape the cloud about to engulf us, yet we remained, fascinated by this phenomena.

 

Tasmanian walk trails are well made, and seating is usually offered along longer walks.  This one was near Mole Creek.

 

Sunset across the Western Tiers from the Mole Creek campsite.

 

We drove through the upper Mersey valley then looked back through the valley to the mountains, including the major peaks of the Ben Lomond ranges, from the Oliver’s Road Lookout. 

 

Further along Oliver’s Road, we came to the Round Mountain Lookout, with views to the north.  Just right of centre is a pipeline (penstock) heading down the mountain, to the Cethana power station, where we had been some weeks earlier.  Here we saw the penstock at close range, from the top of the Lake Cethana Dam, a dam like so many used for power and recreation.  Water has come through a tunnel from the Wilmot dam.

 

This concludes our journey through Tasmania, in which we took east west and north south routes several times, to see a broad range of the types of country this beautiful island state has to offer.  With so much beautiful scenery, friendly people, and a mild climate ideal for long walks, Tasmania should be on everyone’s Australia travel plans. 

 

 

tn_woodenwaterpipe.jpg tn_poatinachannel.jpg tn_mackenziechannel.jpg tn_interlakensheep.jpg tn_devilsfinger.jpg tn_centralnps.jpg tn_4liffeyfalls.jpg tn_3pinelake.jpg tn_2greatlake.jpg
Continue reading >
Want to know more? Ask us
Copyright (C) 2013 AustraliaSoMuchtoSee.com. All rights reserved