The Tarraleah Power Scheme

The water in these six penstocks is the River Derwent.

From its source in Lake St Clair, the Derwent flows into Lake King William, where its waters are retained behind the Clark Dam.
Through a series of flumes, siphons, canals and pipelines, River Derwent water is diverted 16 kilometers across land before arriving here above the Tarraleah Power Station then drops steeply down into the valley of the Nive River.
On the other side of the gorge, water from as far away as Lake Echo and Little Pine Lagoon on the eastern side of the Central Highlands comes together for its brief downhill journey to the turbines of Tungatinah Power Station.
After generating electricity here, the gathered waters flow through a tunnel to the Liapootah Power Station before rejoining the Derwent in the Wayatinah Lagoon.
Further downstream, the river flows on through a cascade of five more power stations, still doing its useful and important work until it reaches Meadowbank, just 44 metres above sea level and 80 kilometres away from the Derwent's estuary at Hobart.
In all this water has been used to generate power eight times and is used one more time after that as a source of drinking water for the residents of Hobart and the surrounding areas.

The first track from the settled districts around Ouse into the highlands avoided steep grades and dense bush by branching eastward, then skirting the southern rim of the Central Plateau and passing through Bronte on its journey to the West Coast.
To build the Tarraleah Power Scheme in the early 1930s, the Hydro cut a track south, not far from Bronte.
Fourteen miles long, this gravel road is still called "The 14 Mile".

In 1940, a direct link was made through the hilly terrain between Ouse and Tarraleah.
Much of the work was done by immigrants from Europe, some of them still wearing their war uniforms.

Ten years later, during the construction of the Tungatinah Power Scheme, the link to Bronte was completed when the road was extended up to the crest of the gorge and past the chain of lakes and lagoons that form the eastern part of the power development.
The trip to the highlands to see the power schemes became a popular and adventurous motor excursion from Hobart, and after upgrading and sealing, the road built by the Hydro officially became part of the Lyell Highway.



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Last updated: Tuesday, 13.03.2012 3:51 PM