West Coast Trip.

After a couple of pretty stressful weeks, it was time to get out of the house and go on a weekender and the West Coast was calling.

After seeing a few posts on Facebook of some of the Hydro dams spilling we thought this would be a prime opportunity to go and check them out so on Friday after work we had an appointment with the Tullah Tavern which we were welcomed with a couple of free beers.  I thought my dreams had come true but turned out our room wasn’t quite ready but with beer, in hand, I was more than happy to wait.

The next morning after indulging in a few beers and a massive pizza we thought we would start our adventure and check out some of these Dam Spillways.  First stop was Murchison Dam Spillway, unfortunately, it wasn’t spilling but the scenery was spectacular. Mt Murchison  Cloud stuck on the evil Mt Murchison.Murchison Gorge

Looking down into the foggy Murchison Gorge from Murchison Dam Wall.  After enjoying the beautiful West Coast Sunshine and its views and my bald head getting brutally attacked by black fly’s we decided to go and check out Mackintosh Dam Spillway and this time we where in luck it was spilling Mackintosh SpillwayMackintosh Spillway1

At this point, I thought I better dust the drone off and have a look and it took some dusting all the while these bastard black fly’s where again going crazy on the head but we finally got it going and had a look from above.DCIM100MEDIADJI_0009.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0007.JPG

Spectacular views from above.


After the Black flies drove me to insanity we moved on to the next Dam and that was Bastyan Dam Spillway we seen this spill earlier in the year and it was spectacular the water rushing over the spillway was something else video here. This time it was a little more subdued but still worth the look.DCIM100MEDIADJI_0014.JPGBastyan SpillwayBastyan powerstation


From here we continued slowly down the Pieman Rd investigating a few more areas to explore at another time and checking out one of the little forest walks along the way.  The walk has all but disappeared but still managed to follow some pink streamers for a short period of time and came across some fungi along the way.

Clavaria zollingeri
Clavaria zollingeri


Cortinarius rotundisporus
Cortinarius rotundisporus

Cortinarius sp

After the short little walk that seemed to go nowhere, in particular, we continued on to the Reece Dam Area but before we got there we pulled off to the left just before getting to the wall and come across the site of what we think may have been the old offices and workshop Stairs

The stairs to nowhere Underground cables

Old underground services. Workshop Pit

May have been an old workshop pit there was another beside it.

There was also a lot of red and orange fungi in the area.

Hygrocybe Firma
Hygrocybe Firma
Hygrocybe chlorophana
Hygrocybe chlorophana

You could hear the water roaring from here which was a good sign that the Dam was Spilling so we went down had some lunch charged the drone and had a look at the man-made start to the Pieman River. DCIM100MEDIADJI_0021.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0024.JPG

Just wish hydro gave a thought to where they put their bloody power lines haha.


From here we continued slowly along Heemskirk rd closely watching the map for points of interest and it wasn’t long before we came across Donnellys Lookout so we decided to turn in and have a look Donnellys Lookout

I would have loved to of held the cruiser flat and come barking up the hill but the button grass was a little soft underfoot and didn’t want to risk it as we where still a little too far from help so I chickened out and we walked Donnellys Lookout1Donnellys Lookout2

Granville Farm in the background.

From here we continued on along the Heemskirk towards Zeehan and Jacinta spotted a waterfall out to the right so we thought we would go and investigate once again it involved driving over a button grass track but it was hard rock underneath so wasn’t too bad.  The track took us down to near the Heemskirk River before it deteriorated rather quickly, unfortunately, this was as close as we could get to the falls without walking and as it was mid afternoon and the weather was starting to enclose again we thought we would plan this one for another day, though we still managed to get a photo of the Upper Heemskirk Falls. Upper Heemskirk Falls 1 This photo was taken from about 3km away so I reckon these falls are quite big.

After putting this one in another time basket we continued on and I had a mine marked on the map that I wanted to check out called Montana Silver & Lead and it was literally right on the side of the road.  We have driven past this many times before but have never noticed it (I’m not sure how) but this time with the help of the marking on the map we easily found it.  As the name suggest it was a Silver and Lead Mine which also had some Zinc it had two life’s from 1899 to 1902 producing 27.96 tons of lead and 2563 ounces of silver and then from 1937 to 1958 producing 2276 tons of lead and 276285 ounces of silver so it was a reasonable operation (more Info) unfortunately for us all the shafts and adits appeared to have been filled in or concreted up so there was no exploring underground but there was still plenty of history above ground to look at Montana Silver Lead 2Montana Silver Lead 4Montana Silver Lead 5

The most indestructible part of any building the fire-place.Montana Silver Lead 9 Think this was probably the mill site Montana Silver Lead 7Montana Silver Lead 6

Old tank above Mill site, may have been an acid tank?

After reconstructing the area and taking it all in we thought we better go and check in to our accommodation in Gorse Capital… I mean Zeehan but we had to drive past the intersection to Trial Harbour and I can’t physically achieve that unless I go to Trial so off we went and not far past the intersection we came across another very old foundation Zeehan queen footings although this was literally meters off the road it was one of the harder ones to get to because it is surrounded by the impenetrable Gorse, I forgot how bad the horrible stuff was and proceeded to bash through it but was instantly stopped in my tracks and left swearing.  I think this mine was called Zeehan Queen 2 and it was also a Lead Silvermine and like the last mine, the shafts have been concreted up.  After pulling all the Gorse and Blackberry spines out of our clothes we continued on to Trial went up the Top of the Hill had a beer wished we were rich and could afford a shack in Trial and enjoyed the mighty West Coast and its spectacular Coast Line.Ocean BeachTrial Harbour Doesn’t matter if it is stinking hot, freezing cold, raining or blowing its head off I can never get sick of it here.

The Next Day.

The next day we awoke and the rain had just stopped in time for the day’s adventures and the first thing I wanted to do was check out the Headstock up on top of the hill at Zeehan.  Its been bugging me for ages knowing it was there but never actually investigating it so today was the day.headstock

Unfortunately, I can’t  find any info on this on MRT but it would have been a considerable operation at one stage as there was also a cable car nearby that would have transported the ore down to the mill below in Zeehan cable car structure 1cable car engine frame 1

This would have been the frame the motor for the cable car sat on and also the turntable.cable car engine frame 1 1

The track continued a bit further up the hill until I reached yet another climb that not long ago regardless of the consequence would have had a crack at but this time I chickened out yet again (need to get the Zook down here)To Hard for cruiser 1 it had a bit on it had I had a couple of beers in me I may have attempted it but it was too early in the morning for that.  The hill did offer some good views of the township Gorse… I mean Zeehan and Parting Creek Lake. Parting Creek Lake 1Zeehan 1 From here we had a good look around the rest of Zeehan and then moved onto Rosebery and had a look at Stitt falls, at this stage we didn’t realise that you could drive straight to them so we ended up doing the walk all the way from the picnic area to the falls and back again but the walk would have done us some good so we weren’t complaining too much. Stitt Falls 1  I think the falls would look much better from the bottom but I reckon that would be a challenge in itself so we gave it a miss this time.  From here we drove down just about every street in Rosebery and where surprised at just how big the place actually is and how time and mining booms and busts have shaped and formed this town over the years.


Hope you enjoyed



Full video here.

4 thoughts on “West Coast Trip.

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  1. Hi Brendan, thanks for sharing your blog its a great read. I thought the headframe on top of Queen Hill in Zeehan was placed there as part of the museum. The aerial ropeway towers and station are from Rosebery and the Hercules Mine.

    Cheers Ray

    1. Hi Ray that could well be the case it could explain some big gaps I found when trying to find some info.. MRT has a mine marked up there but not in the exact spot so It threw me a little

  2. There use to be a model of the proposed museum including the ropeway inside the museum. The head frame at the museum is from the Montana Mine.

  3. Love the pictures of the spillways. How often does the water flow over into them? Seasonally, or only every few years if/when the reservoirs fill up?

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