Tag Archives: Dunrobin bridge

Dunrobin Bridge over Meadowbank Lake

 

Meadowbank Lake map.jpg

Meadowbank Lake, a large spread of dammed water through which the Derwent River runs,  is located west of New Norfolk: an expanse of water which measures at least 15 kms in length.  Like many other dams and lakes on the Derwent, Meadowbank has been designed for electricity generation purposes.  The Meadowbank Power Station was commissioned in 1967. In a document The Power of Nature, Hydro Tasmania provides information about Meadowbank and the other electricity-generating lakes and stations across Tasmania.

The Dunrobin Bridge carries Dawson Road; a road which extends from the Lyell Highway, crosses Meadowbank Lake then continues on the western shore until it reaches Lake Repulse Dam.

The first Dunrobin Bridge over the Derwent River was built in the early 1850s. The National Library of Australia’s Trove repository of historic documents provides information from a 1910 copy of The Mercury newspaper: ‘Dunrobin Bridge was built over the Derwent, between the Ouse and Hamilton during the regime of Governor Denison. Governor Denison’s rule in Tasmania lasted from 1847 to 1855. It is a fine stone structure, and the cost is stated in the Legislative Council Journals of 1856 to have been £13,875. Its construction seems to have occupied six years, from 1850 to 1856. Dawson’s Road, which was named after the man who superintended its construction, went from Dunrobin Bridge…’ westwards.

In 1900, according to the blog Tasmanian Gothic , the bridge looked like:

Dunrobin Bridge

Dunrobin Bridge

The bridge was damaged during flooding in 1952 according to Linc Tasmania.

Dunrobin 1952

This site shows the remains of the bridge in 1963.

Dunrobin Bridgen1851

Once the Meadowbank Dam was built, the gorge behind gradually filled with water. The remnants of the old Dunrobin Bridge apparently remain beneath the current Meadowbank Lake.  I cannot find when the new Dunrobin Bridge was built.  Anybody know the date?

The photos of Chantale, Michelle and I show the current bridge across the northern section of Meadowbank Lake.

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At ground level, the Dunrobin Bridge curves across the Lake in a stunning simple arc.

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As I walked in the vicinity, time and again I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape.

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Possible locations where the Derwent River can be ‘touched’

I have compiled a list of those locations where I believe, with a vehicle, it will be possible to ‘touch’ the Derwent River occasionally along its length between Gretna and Lake St Clair.  Please let me know if any section listed below takes your fancy and if you would be interested to try it out.

Almost all sections include driving on bitumen highway, gravel roads and poor tracks. Some of these may be forestry roads.  If you wish to volunteer to take me to one of these sections (let me know on walkingthederwent@gmail.com), please feel comfortable that your car can handle the different conditions.  Of course, common sense will prevail and we will never push on if a road is too rough for your vehicle and your peace of mind.

If you are happy to help me reach my goal, albeit differently than originally expected, I would like to fill up your tank with petrol as some compensation.  You know my ‘walking the Derwent’ is a non-commercial project, but since I do not own a car nor drive, I need transport – and therefore, I am happy to cover the cost.

  1. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and then, not far past Gretna’s Sports ground, take a left turn into Clarendon Road and drive to farmstead buildings about 250 metres from the river on a hill. Perhaps 140km return trip.
  2. On western shore – From New Norfolk drive along Glenora Road, and turn left at Bushy Park then right onto Meadowbank Road over the Tyenna River then next to Derwent, then on over Meadowbank Creek to a hill top with buildings. It may be possible to continue quite a way on this road. Minimum 130 and maybe up to 160kms return trip
  3. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and turn left off the Highway onto Meadowbank Dam Road. Continue to dam and southern end of Meadowbank Lake. At least 170 kms for round trip.
  4. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and then right onto Rockmount Road before you reach the township of Ellendale. There seem to be many dirt forestry tracks to Meadowbank Lake. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  5. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and drive on through the township of Ellendale until you reach Dawson Rd / Dunrobin bridge over Meadowbank Lake. Turn left before bridge and it seems we can drive 2kms further up along the Lake edge. Return to Ellendale Road, cross bridge and connect with the Lyell Highway. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  6. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive up Lyell Highway and continue past the left turn off to Dunrobin bridge and afterwards and to the left there are a number of dirt tracks seemingly without gates. After a while these tracks/roads only extend to the Ouse River and not the Derwent River so map consultation is crucial. At least 180kms return and maybe over 200kms return depending on how many side roads/tracks can be driven along.
  7. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse then turn left at Lake Repulse Road. Continue to intersection with Cluny Lagoon Road and turn left and go to Cluny Dam. Return to intersection and continue on Lake Repulse Road to the Repulse Dam. Can cross a bridge and continue back south around Cluny Lagoon to a ‘settlement’ named Cluny.  Perhaps could access this road from the Ellendale Rd on the western shore? By driving north from Repulse Dam along Dawson Road/then renamed Thunderbolt Road it seems we can take right hand detours to Lake Repulse. Over 200kms maybe 250kms or more minimum round trip.
  8. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River until the sign appears for a left turn at Catagunya Road. Drive down to Catagunya Dam. 200kms minimum return trip
  9. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River, past Black Bobs and turn left at Long Spur Road. This runs around Wayatinah Lagoon. Go past the intersection to Wayatinah Dam, turn left and travel to Wayatinah Power Station on Lake Catagunya. Return to intersection and turn left and travel to Wayatinah Dam. Cross bridge and continue on to Wayatinah township. Access dirt tracks in the vicinity of all. Drive south from the Wayatinah Dam on the western shore along the Florentine Road but don’t bother crossing the Florentine River because the road goes inland away from the river. Minimum of 230kms but most likely  at least 300kms round trip.
  10. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway and when you reach a canal passing under the road, and where the road turns right to go to Tarraleah, go straight ahead on Butlers Gorge Road. Note there are limited roads off and around going closer to the river near that intersection. Continue along Butlers Gorge Road for 10-15 kms heading for Lake King William. Reach Clark Dam and Power Station. Continue onto Switchback Track along side of Lake King William. This track stops and you have to return the same way – swamp separates you from the track north about 500 metres away. This would be a big day and I suggest take overnight accommodation at Tarraleah before setting out. PERHAPS it is possible to walk across the swamp and then walk about 7 kms to Derwent Bridge. Unknown over 300 kms return trip.
  11. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge and continue past to left hand turn off on the western side of Lake King William and drive the track to the lake. 360 kms return trip minimum.
  12. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge. Walk from the bridge over the Derwent River near the township of Derwent Bridge to St Clair Dam at the bottom of Lake St Clair Lagoon where the Derwent River starts. Walk to Pump House Point and St Clair Weir at the southern end of the Derwent Basin. 350kms return trip minimum.