Well over a year ago, one morning I walked through smoky air westwards into the Catagunya Power Station. After a night camping, entwined by the thick atmosphere of a far distant bush fire and desperate for water, I was relieved to be received hospitably at the Station. At that time I was thrilled by a guided tour of the building and its operation, however I never proceeded to walk the extra few hundred metres to look at the Dam wall holding back the large Lake Catagunya. I was most grateful when many months ago, my walking proxy Andrew climbed the hills from Wayatinah Power Station to arrive at and photograph the Catagunya Dam. A blog search using “Catagunya” as the term, will help you to locate those past stories plus a swag of descriptive photographs.
Recently, I was privileged to make the journey between the Catagunya and Wayatinah Power Stations and to experience that stimulating environment. Thanks to the generous assistance of GL from TasNetworks, I was able to enter the locked Catagunya Road off the Lyell Highway, and travel the 8 or so kilometres to the Catagunya Dam.
Below I could see the old Derwent River bed as a rocky almost water free pathway.
Bypassing the river bed, a massive Canal drained water from the Lake into the Power Station. It appeared as a giant marker on the landscape that seemed much wider and more substantial than the Tarraleah Canals that run from Lake King William and the Butlers Gorge Power Station further inland.
The apparently still Canal water was deceptive. Only on closer inspection could I see the dramatic gush of water moving underneath the left hand entrance at the end of the race. Obviously electrical power was being generated in the Catagunya Power Station that day.
From vantage points near the Dam and the Canal I could see the Power Station building way below. Oh how tiny it seemed by comparison with the larger constructions. Yet when I had first approached and walked around it, the building seemed cavernous.
More than anything I was as excited as a three year old having a birthday party with lots of surprises. Recent rain had cleared the air of dust, the day was overcast and the fairy weight of moisture from low clouds kept the air moist. I kept breathing deeply, absorbing the cleanness of the air. Loving the damp air. Feeling cleansed. So profoundly happy to be back in the bush and walking besides my beloved Derwent River.