The Hydro Trail

Today Instead of watching  the footy (Because we have both been disappointed by the shittest team all year in the league Richmond) we decided to go for a drive along the Hydro Trail (It Isn’t actually called this but the name fits), its basically the Dams built along the Pieman River for the Hydro Electric Scheme.

This Whole Trip was Pretty much a trip back into history and it started from Guildford, which some may argue was the Heart of the west coast from 1883 to 1984 it was a rail way junction that joined Zeehan and Waratah ( and beyond)  to Burnie. I reckon Tons and Tons of timber and Dirt would of been hauled through here.20161001_084636Part of the old Railway I think is still used.20161001_084722Old Water Tank, must of been for potable water as it is pretty small.20161001_085541Old Foundations of what once was. dafodilesDaffodils Growing in the Button Grass guessing that would be a sign of civilisation.creek-on-way-in    Little Creek on the way in running into the Hellyer River.

After Guildford we where heading to Tullah and this place seems to have two temperatures and that is roasting hot and humid or freezing cold and wet. We had the latter today.  Quite a substantial amount of rain fell in this district within the last 24 hours it was about 6inches or 150mm so it was bloody wet. Wet enough for temporary waterfalls to form of the mountain tops.20161001_093815fallsJust unfortunate that there is a power pole in the picture you would think Hydro would be more considerate. (I will one day buy a decent camera to get these far away shots, the phone camera just doesn’t quite cut it.

This is where the massive dam system starts (Lake Rosebery, Lake Mackintosh and Lake Murchison and finishes at Reece Dam (Lake Pieman)) it stretches I think well over 60 km and they are all there for the purpose of Hydro Electricity. On the way to the Mackintosh Dam wall we came across an old HEC (Hydro Electric Commission) house that had all its windows smashed out.

Hydro House

Also in the yard was and old trencher which looked like it would still work with a bit of TLC

20161001_093912After this we went to the Mackintosh Dam wall which feed a small Hydro Power station 20161001_09433320161001_094553Driving over the spillway, this is quite an unusual feeling as there is only a little bit of concrete between you and copious amounts of water.

From Hear we backtracked and got onto the Pieman Road which follows the remainder of the massive dam system.

Even if we are just going on a bit of a cruise I can’t help but try and find somewhere that I have to lock the hubs in and it didn’t take long, about 2 ks from the turnoff there was a little track heading into Lake Rosebery so we went and had a look 20161001_102343

and it was worth it to had some great views from the transmission line track its just a pity the weather wasn’t slightly better. From hear we continued west.20161001_103933and seen this random contraption on the side of the road, I’m not sure what its all about but it looked interesting. About a k up from that is the 3rd known entrance to the $1000 Dollar track hut but this is about 30 – 40 k through forestry track and if the start of it is anything to go buy it is also probably impassable. 1000-hutFrom Hear the road even though sealed is very slow, windy, slippery   and hilly and I think this old mate might of found that out the hard way (hopefully they where ok)20161001_120155Typical Hilux Drivers Haha (Although I reckon if they wound it over it would kick into life)

From all the Rain the rivers and creeks in the area where very full if not in major flood 20161001_113055Willson River


As we where getting closer to the Reece Dam Wall we found there old construction camps and cement works. These were in use from 1974 (when construction began) to 1987 (when it was open). The Dam wall is 122m in height and 373m Long and has a volume of 2,742 thousand cubic metres.20161001_12172820161001_122038Whats left of the construction camps, mother nature soon re-consumes.20161001_12302420161001_123119Cerment works not sure what the go with the log jam is but a lot of it seems like myrtle which can be a sort after timber at least the stuff that isn’t rotten.

Before crossing the dam we had a quick bite to eat and you can notice the dam is about half a meter from spilling 20161001_124321View of Dam Wall20161001_130902Just about to Spill20161001_130843If you Zoom in to the centre right of the photo you can see the diverge tunnel that they would divert the water through to construct the spillway.20161001_132655Top View of Power Station 20161001_131733Big Transformers that you can nearly feel the energy around it (you can Definitely hear it ) The Power station has 2 Fuji Turbines of 119000 kw each (makes the cruiser seem pretty insignificant) which supply’s the step up transformer with 13800 volts which is then step up to 220000v, I wouldn’t want to be any where near this in a fault condition.

From here we made our way to Corinna to cross the Fatman Barge on a very swollen dirty Pieman River 20161001_135149Once Across the River we had one more place we wanted to check out and then it was time to head back.20161001_14080320161001_140839Corinna Saw mill not entirely sure when this was in operation but I reckon it would of seen its fair share of Huon Pine over its operating life. It was time now to head for the hills but Tassie had other ideas or so it thought. The Savage River was in Flood and  the bridge didn’t look to good 20161001_142714I Don’t know if its just my eyes but the bridge looks kinda bent from all the logs forced up the side of it 20161001_14274320161001_143302Although every instinct was telling me to turn around and go the long way home I just couldn’t do it and had to push on even though the nerves where high.  After we crossed the bridge we found the floodway was also flooded so I walked it and we decided to cross. also helping old mate across with his gear on his bike. 20161001_144802

As you can see I walked this before I crossed it and I still can’t feel my feet I reckon if it where any colder it would of been solid ice. From here it was a bumpy rough typical western explorer drive home.

Cheers hope you enjoyed.

3 thoughts on “The Hydro Trail

Add yours

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed your ‘Hydro’ trail.
    Grandma is over the moon
    Well done to the both of you

  2. Really enjoyed this tale along the “Hydro” trail. I though that it would be an apt name for such a trail. It looks like a great way to spend the day. Tomorrow I’ve got some time off after a meeting so I might pack up and go exploring. Maybe I’ll find a place to camp along the way.

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: