Lake Pedder

Lake Pedder’s colloquial name is ‘Fake Pedder’. This Tasmanian lake was once a natural lake which was expanded by damming in 1972 by the Hydro Electric Commission as part of the Upper Gordon River hydro-electric generation scheme. The Gordon Power scheme now generates 13% of Tasmania’s total energy. The lake now has an area of 242 km² and is considered to be the largest freshwater lake in Australia. The damming and revoking of Lake Pedder’s National Park status provoked enormous controversy and protests by conservation groups across the world.

The huge walls of the Gordon Dam. Despite the controversy it is an impressive piece of engineering

The huge walls of the Gordon Dam. Despite the controversy it is an impressive piece of engineering

The Premier Eric Reece was quoted at the time as saying:

“There was a National Park out there, but I can’t remember exactly where it was . . . at least, it wasn’t of substantial significance in the scheme of things. The thing that was significant was that we had to double the output of power in this state in ten years in order [to] supply the demands of industry and the community. And this was the scheme that looked as though it could do a greater part of [the] job for us.”

The flooded 'Fake' Lake Pedder. Once a National Park.

The flooded ‘Fake’ Lake Pedder. Once a National Park.

Lake Pedder views

Lake Pedder views

The Lake is still a bone of contention with activists now campaigning to drain the lake and return it to its original state.

Whether damning was the right or wrong thing to do Lake Pedder and the adjoining Lake Gordon are spectacular, peaceful places to be. The scenery is pristine and it is possible to walk along the dam walls at the power station on the Gordon River to view the mighty river gorges. It rains for 250days of the year here, hence the choice of location for the dam. On our visit it rained solidly for 24hours.

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Looking down the Dam wall into the Gordon River. It is a huge and spectacular gorge.

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We discovered a bushtrack that led into a part of Lake Gordon. There had obviously been a fire here recently and it was an eerie place to be.

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Lake Gordon

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Lake Gordon

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Like a scene from an apocalypse, Lake Gordon

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Burnt out tree stumps at Lake Gordon

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Rainforest bordering Lake Pedder

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Lake Pedder reflections.

 

 

 

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