Tag Archives: power station

Lake Repulse Dam to Catagunya Dam – posting 1 of 13

This walk offered steep hills, challenging fences to navigate, endless webs across my path with an orange striped spider waiting to catch insects (or me), no access to fresh water, and worrying hazy smoke spreading from bushfires elsewhere in Tasmania.

The start of my walk began above the steep forested edges of Lake Repulse Dam (photo below courtesy of Chantale).

IMG_3893Repulse Dam.JPG

Inland, past the Dam on the eastern/northern side, the landscape is a mix of forest and land cleared for cattle.  The photo below was taken by Michelle. I walked on the right hand side of the water. Note the thick forest along the water edge.  Note the steepness of those banks.

PA280087 Repulse dam.JPG

The photo below, which looks back in a south easterly direction to Lake Repulse Dam, was taken later last year when the grass was green rather than dried and spiky as it was during summer when I walked.

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The cleared areas are deceptive. They look easy to walk. Despite holding only a grassy coverage, the ground of these cleared areas was irregular and uneven, and it was always inclined up or down – all of which made walking slow.

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PA280088Lake repulse.JPG

My walk crossed cleared lands and passed through forests.  Wherever I went, either I was climbing up or down 200 metres of hillside. Even the lower undulating hills plucked at my leg muscles. For me “hills ain’t no fun”. Eventually I reached the large Catagunya complex of Power Station, Dam and Lake.  Photos below were taken by Michelle and by Chantale respectively.

PA280090Catagunya Dam.JPG

IMG_3889Catagunya dam.JPG

Tackling the Derwent in the Meadowbank Lake region

Meadowbank Lake, which backs up behind Meadowbank Dam and its Power Station, is approximately 15 kms long. Downstream, the Derwent River snakes its way through the landscape for about 23 kms until it passes Gretna and heads on towards the sea.  Upstream, after approximately 9 to 10 kms, the Derwent River finishes at Cluny Dam.  The Cluny Lagoon which extends to Lake Repulse Dam extends a further 4 kms.

To walk the Derwent between Lake Repulse Dam and Gretna is not straightforward because some private property owners cannot afford to let strangers on their property for insurance reasons, or their granted permission is a one off special case for me.  As a result, I have walked and will walk sometimes on the western and sometimes on the eastern side of the River and Lake, but I will not be providing a map and location details in my blog.  In this way I will protect the privacy of landowners, and respect the privilege their permission to access their property has given me.

I expect to tackle parts of the area on a total of 6 or 7 separate days. On each of these walks there will be a considerable amount of retracing of steps and walking away from the river/lake in order to reach roads where friends can collect me. For most of this area, public transport will either be absent or a great distance away.  Only the walk between Cluny and Lake Repulse Dams offers a reasonable amount of public access.

To date, I have walked a few sections, but I am not sure how to write up this Meadowbank area considering the confidentiality and privacy agreements I have made.  Once I have started moving west of Lake Repulse Dam and all the walks in the Meadowbank area are complete, then I will create one or more blogs that introduce at least some of the wonders of that environment.

Dams on the Derwent River

The potential of the volume of water passing down the Derwent River for hydro-electricity generation was seen over a century ago.  While a few power stations were built in the early decades of the 20th century, with an influx of migrants from war ravaged Europe in the 1940s-50s, the numbers of dams and power stations increased quickly.  Overall, many dams and approximately 30 power stations have been built across central Tasmania.

On my way to Lake St Clair, I will reach and walk past each of the following 7 markers along the River:

  • Meadowbank
  • Cluny
  • Repulse
  • Catagunya
  • Wayatinah
  • Tarraleah
  • Butlers Gorge

One of the Hydro websites provides detailed information about these and others which feed into the Derwent River catchment.  In addition, the site includes the diagram below.

Derwent dams