Tag Archives: St Clair Lagoon Dam

St Clair Lagoon


Tranquillity. Restfulness.  Serenity. Untroubled. Vital. Fresh. Clarity. Brilliance. Intense. These words came to mind as I looked over St Clair Lagoon.

The selection of photos below swing from the Dam wall and walkway on the right of my view around to the left across the Lagoon and its central island.






I loved seeing the tops of hills and mountains, including Mount Olympus, appearing in the distance.



I hope you enjoy these photos – perhaps one of them will become the background on your computer.


St Clair Lagoon signage

Interpretive signage work needs to be introduced, and current signs rationalised; at least made consistent.  Within metres of each other stood the two signs below:



The third sign focuses on the needs of anglers but not on general tourists.


One on-site map helps people get their bearings. However, I guess because the water level is generally low, the island close to the St Clair Lagoon Dam which appeared before me as an extensive well-established vegetated outcrop, cannot be seen on the map below.  As a result, visitors may feel disoriented.


Four signs exist at St Clair Lagoon. I am disappointed the Derwent River as a whole and the fact this is the River’s source isn’t recognised and celebrated.  The St Clair Lagoon area seems only to anticipate visitation from fishermen who do not have permission to fish here.  A short gravel road detours to the Lagoon Dam from the main gravel road that leads to Pumphouse Point, but no signs have been installed to let people know what they will find if they take the detour, nor the significance of the St Clair Lagoon dam for the Derwent River.

A 215 km river is not a small or insignificant waterway. The Derwent River, as Tasmania’s most iconic river, provides a major marker of thousands of years of social, economic and natural history. In the coming weeks, I plan to communicate with everyone who has influence over the writing and installation of signage and interpretation.

Glistening waters and the final push to the source of the Derwent River

I watched the Derwent River scampering along playfully.  Youthful. The source was nearby.



Enjoy the sound of the rushing waters in my short video near the River’s source.

I walked northwards towards the St Clair Lagoon dam, and the first of the Derwent River waters flowing beneath the baffles, showed themselves.





This was the time for a selfie and, as usual, it was grossly unflattering – but the moment called for it.  I had reached the source of the Derwent River.


This striking moment, as are all moments, was impossible to grasp.

While I tried to absorb and ingest the atmosphere of the place with all its aboriginal and non-aboriginal histories, my mind was so muddled I forgot to breathe. Then I felt compelled to take deep and long breaths but was too excited to inhale more than a couple of shallow breaths.  I felt I should stop, stand or sit and never leave yet at the same time I felt I must move on.  I wasn’t sure what to look at nor what to think about. That the natural environment was powerfully enduring despite man’s intervention, reminded me I was like a small scratch on the surface of this land.

Yes – I had arrived at my destination. Finally.

I was amazed that walking the Derwent was possible, not for all people, but definitely possible. That what I had commenced as a whimsical and unresearched idea, had been realised as an epic adventure.  One step at a time.

Of course, I remembered sections of the River had yet to be walked but they were few and I sensed that if I didn’t worry, then each would be achievable in the coming days. I could see it was much more satisfying to enjoy the present and not to plan the future. Only then did I feel like I was blossoming with the profound pleasure of the cool morning, the clean air, the colourful and complex natural environment,and my arrival at the Derwent River’s source. This was one of the most significant moments in my life.