April 22 Gordon River Road (Day 208)

…or ‘Into the Heart of South-West Tasmania’. After a cold, damp night, the coldest we’ve experienced so far, we woke to fog over the lake and a very autumn scene.

The bottom land that was filled with sunshine, cockatoos and a kookaburra yesterday, was quiet and cold this morning! It really is Fall here now!

We had breakfast and packed up to head into the interior on the Gordon River road, built by the Hydro-electric Commission of Tasmania with funding from the Australian Government to service the construction of the Gordon and the Serpentine dams, leading to the flooding of Lake Pedder. We stopped at the Mt. Field National Park to secure a powered campsite for 2 nights, to insure we had electricity for our little electric heater! Then we commenced up the road.

The high point on the road, 2135 ft., with 6.2 ft. of rain fall!

Mountain views at some points, with mountain meadows. As we penetrated into the interior, ascending passes and descending into wooded valleys, the weather cooled and the skies clouded.

We reached Lake Pedder near the end of the road to see a rainbow forming in the misty skies over the lake.

This area was a hotspot for environmentalists in the late 1960’s when it was proposed as the site for hydroelectric dams.

The original glacial Lake Pedder was eventually inundated with the impounded water from the dams that were built.

There is still a campaign to drain the lake and restore Lake Pedder to it’s original state.

We continued to the end of the road at the Gordon Dam.

The land here is incredible! Folded on itself and draped with thick vegetation. No wonder it is still so isolated!

The dam is holding back Lake Gordon.

The ribbon of the Gordon River flowing at the bottom of an incredibly deep canyon on the other side of the dam!

We were amazed that we were free to walk across the dam, with no guards, dam employees or even signage except one simple sign on the concrete wall;

I wonder who is an “authorised and licensed personnel” for climbing on a dam wall?

We returned down the road with a stop at Strathgordon, a village to house the workers building the dams in the late 60’s and 70’s. It is now the Pedder Wilderness Lodge .

This ancient 2200 year old (at felling) pine trunk is on display at Strathgordon. Interesting that is is termed “salvaged” from inundation by the dam construction. I would term it “sacrificed” for human power consumption.

And finally, a beautifully lighted mountain view on our way down to our campsite at the National Park.

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