We finally got the word. We need to fly to Melbourne on Wednesday so we have one more day by car and will drop the car off at the airport Wednesday morning.
The weather is still grey but undaunted we have decided to drive out to Strathgordon on the banks of Lake Pedder. We are particularly interested because this wilderness area is actually on the opposite side of the mountains to where we were sailing in Port Davey/Bathurst Harbour. It was going to be great to see the inland side. The rugged mountains and huge trees have worked their way into our psyche.
On the way we are not disappointed the landscape is incredible.
We pass Lake Pedder on the way to Strathgordon. The history of this lake is interesting, in 1972 Lake Pedder was a much smaller lake and seen by many as a jewel in the crown of this wilderness area. A decision was made to create a series of dams for the production of hydro electricity and Lake Pedder was greatly affected. It is now 24 times larger than it was before and assists in the water availability and flow for the Lake Gordon Dam. They take great care to limit the amount of water taken from Lake Pedder and we understand that the levels only change by a maximum of 1.5 meters at any time.
Lake Gordon on the other hand seems to fluctuate a lot more.
The Gordon Dam and control center is really impressive. The Hydro Electricity apparently supplies 13% of Tasmania’s electricity and as you can imagine it had a lot of opposition in its day but is now an important part of Tasmania’s infrastructure. You can see that the weather has improved over Hobart and it is sunny and beautiful here now.
On the way home we stopped at Lake Pedder Wilderness Lodge. It looks to be the remains of the old town where the dam workers and their families lived and worked, now about 70% of its lodging accommodates present day dam employees. One of the employees mentioned that the weather has been a glorious anomaly. It has been sunny for 2 weeks but before that it was raining every 6 out of 7 days! We have been so lucky. Back on the road we passed the canal that joins Lake Pedder with Lake Gordon and regulates the water for the Dams. Not much flowing now.
Afterwards we headed back to Derwent Sailing Squadron Marina, packed, ate dinner and hit the sack ready to catch a plane to Melbourne at 6am.
On that note we will take a blogging break and resume when we return to Hobart on the 16th.