Friday 23 February 2018

Australian Adventures 2018 - Part 6

Part 6 – Gordon Dam and Lake Pedder

After a very enjoyable week in Hobart, Bill, Lindi, Denis, and I ventured 155 km into the remote rain forests of the Tasmanian Southwestern National Park, a World Heritage Area. Our destination was the controversial Gordon Dam, part of a huge hydroelectric scheme that produces 13% of Tasmania’s power. Built in 1974 in the face of fierce opposition, the Gordon Dam sits in the middle of some of the most wondrous scenery on the planet. The campaign against the dam, although unsuccessful in the short term, is credited with fostering the modern-day environmental movement and the Green Party. To this day, politics in Tasmania remains polarized between the “Greenies” and the “exploiters”.

Bill did a fine job of navigating the narrow, twisty roads that led from the lowlands near Hobart to the mountainous environs of the Gordon Dam. There is a virtual line between the dry, parched lowlands and the lush magnificence of the highlands, where almost two metres of rain falls each year.

Although vertigo kept me from straying too close to the dam gorge, Denis venturesomely climbed the 196 steps down to the top of the dam and walked along its length. Bravo, Denis!

We stayed overnight at the Pedder Wilderness Lodge on nearby Lake Pedder. The food and hospitality of the lodge were exemplary. In the morning, we drove back to Hobart where we dropped Lindi and Denis at the airport for the next stage of their travels in New Zealand. Meanwhile, Bill and I headed to the Huon Valley, southwest of Hobart, where we had an Airbnb cabin booked for a week. More about that part of the adventure in my next blog post.

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos of our trip to the Gordon Dam!

Sheep farm in the lowlands approaching the 
Tasmanian Southwestern National Park. 
Note the shepherd on the motorbike.

The shepherd at work!

Agriculture in a dry climate.

And then suddenly, the scenery changes, as does the altitude!

Breathtaking! The photo doesn't do it justice.

Lake Pedder.

The Gordon Dam.

Intrepid climbers returning from the top of the dam.

Helicopter landing at the Pedder Wilderness 
Lodge's own helipad.
Morning view from the dining room of the 
Pedder Wilderness Lodge

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