Located in Tasmania’s rugged Central
Highlands, Waddamana is the site of Hydro Tasmania’s first power station and
the centrepiece of the Great Lake Power Scheme, which is entered on the
Tasmanian Heritage Register.
Tasmania is yet to do a full assessment of the impact of the fires on infrastructure
associated with the Great Lake Power Scheme, but has advised that the original
Hilltop Valve House has unfortunately been destroyed. Hydro Tasmania is liaising
with the Tasmanian Heritage Council on this and any other works required in
response to fire damage.
stations themselves suffered no damage, despite the fire coming very close. A
layer of ash across the interiors has been removed and the site is now open to
the public to explore the refreshed interpretation of the power scheme’s
Over the past three years, Hydro
Tasmania has completed a mountain of work to strip back the interiors of the station
to its original form and layout. On display is a carefully curated selection of
its extensive collection, supported by interpretation that helps tell the story
of the station from construction and power generation, right through to its
closure and renewal into a tourism site. The result is a compelling experience
that celebrates the role that the Great Lake Power Scheme and its employees played
in shaping a progressive, modern Tasmania.
funding from the Federal Government matched by Hydro Tasmania, has been
crucial to the success of the work to date. This funding supported the development
of a detailed site management plan, accompanied by a suite of implementation
plans focused on improving visitor amenity and experience, management of the
collection of historical artefacts, as well as commercial and community
opportunities. Hydro Tasmania is progressively working through those plans with
As well as the upgrade of the Waddamana Power Station Heritage Site, the project facilitated the installation of the Highlands Power Trail, a touring route based on the heritage listed elements of the Great Lake Power Scheme including the power station and Waddamana Village. The touring route was launched by the Hon Will Hodgman, Premier of Tasmania on 2 February 2017.
Hydro Tasmania has recently expanded the touring route, with new nodes at Hermitage and Shannon along the trail.
The Heritage Power Trail node at Shannon
“We are delighted to be working towards ensuring that the remarkable
heritage values of Hydro Tasmania’s birthplace are protected, conserved and
presented to modern standards for current and future generations of Tasmanians,
and our national and international visitors,” said Mr Evangelista Albertini,
Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Operating Officer.
“The improvements to
interpretation and the overall tourism experience will allow visitors to share
in the stories of unprecedented vision, drama and technical achievement of
building and operating Australia’s first state-owned hydro-electric scheme.
This will provide an unforgettable heritage experience and a greater
recognition and celebration of the history and importance of Tasmanian
For more information on the Highlands Power Trail click here and for the Waddamana Power Station Heritage Site, which is at the centre of
the Highlands Power Trail, click here.
Photos courtesy of Hydro Tasmania