Our last day at the Pump House, on the 14th of November 2019, began in spectacular fashion with this rainbow as seen from the Shore House. As you can see the weather had finally cleared up for our drive back to Hobart.

It came and went over the lake – close to the water – for a long time. A fitting farewell.

On the drive back we decided to have a closer look at those parts of the hydro electric network that we’d passed on our way up. In our youth Tasmanian Hydro was Public Enemy Number One for the Left. With today’s focus on renewable energy sources there might be a re-appraisal of that. Although opinion was always very divided in Tassie. Whichever way you look at it, the hydro engineers were very innovative in their day. All this infrastructure was built in the nineteen thirties. The hydro electric pipes cut a silver swathe through the mountains.

This is one of the later power stations, Tungatinah, which was commissioned between 1953 and 1956. It’s part of the Derwent hydro power scheme and is on the Nive River.

Further on, about forty minutes from the Pump House, we turned off the highway to the Tarraleah Power Station. The silver pipes remind me of a Jeffrey Smart painting. This is on the way in.

And this is on the way out. Looming silver sentinels against a silver sky.

The first part of this power station was commissioned in 1938, utilising water from Lake St. Claire. It was expanded between 1943 and 1951. The information boards told us the water in these pipes hits the turbines at 270 kilometres an hour! And each pipe delivers 7000 litres of water per second to one turbine and generator. Incredible.

A township was created to house the hydro engineers while it was being built – professional and managerial staff only – labourers were not welcome! There was a school and a church here and a thriving community until the late nineteen hundreds. Now it’s open to tourists with the different buildings offering different options for staying. We had coffee and a cake at the cafe and a nice chat to the barista who was up for a long conversation. It’s very pretty.

The houses are very pretty; designed in the art deco style reflecting the period in which they were built.

This is now The Lodge at Tarraleah which offers hand feeding Scottish Highland Cows, Fly Fishing, Kayaking, Mountain Biking and whisky tasting.

Our next stop was another of Tasmania’s great short walks; Russell Falls.

We had intended having lunch here but the cafe had just had a power black out and so there was no food available. We walked to the falls instead. It was a beautiful day.

Unlike our other walks this one was quite busy with lots of people; families with young children, backpackers, tourists. Busy as Bourke Street really. Very easy walking. More ferns.

They were huge.

As were the trees. Once again I used Joe to show the scale.

And here he is again.

This time the waterfall was huge too – but nowhere near as powerful as Nelson Falls. But pretty spectacular and very pretty. Picture postcard waterfall. Here’s my first look.

And here is Joe reviewing another video. He was very taken with the waterfalls.

Here is the waterfall from the front. It was too big to capture in a single photo – at least on an iPhone although I tried.

Here is Joe’s video. I can see the attraction.

You got a better view going further along the track which climbed higher. The waterfall was pretty looking back at it through the trees and ferns.

Then we were on the path going back to the cafe.

It seemed strange that such a large waterfall would peter out into such a small body of water. This is Lady Barron Creek according to the map on the sign. One of our notes told us that many of the streams in western Tasmania are brown in colour due to tannins which leach from plant roots.

There was the familiar green moss covering everything. Still very green, even in sunlight.

We ended up having lunch at the Possum Shed Cafe in Westaway. It was in a very pretty spot right next to the Tyenna River and the food was great. Then we hightailed it to Hobart and back to the Henry Jones Art Hotel.

Where we found we’d been upgraded to a very large and comfortable room.

It included an overflow spa. Who knew such things existed. Perhaps they shouldn’t given our water situation, but then again, Tasmania seems to have plenty of that.

That night we had dinner at Franklin Restaurant which is located in this lovely building.

Here’s the restaurant photographed from outside the next day. It was a beautiful meal. We had the chef’s menu and matching wines. Nice competent but relaxed service. The meal lived up to expectations which were high.

We managed to find our way to Pigeon Whole Bakers the next day. It’s located in the same building as Franklin. We’d tried to find it on our first free day in Hobart, unsuccessfully. Taking a long, uphill walk to the Pigeon Hole Cafe – which was okay because we’d had a good coffee and cake there. But this is where we wanted to be.

We wanted to taste the bakery’s lemon tart which was recommended by Gourmet Traveller. The tart also lived up to expectations. Worth it, even if we had to drink filtered coffee!

We also visited the Tasmanian museum and were very impressed with its treatment of the history of Indigenous Tasmanians. Very innovative and didn’t pull any punches about it being a frontier war. It’s shocking that at school we were taught that Tasmanian Aborigines had died out.

And that was the end of our Tasmanian holiday. Only seven days but felt much longer. It’s a great place to visit. I’ll close with some photos I took of Hobart while we were there. This is a place that we stayed in on an earlier visit to Hobart, also with Anne and Hugh.

This is Battery Point always a great place for a walk.

Here’s a view of Mount Wellington from Battery Point. It had a dusting of snow when we first arrived but it had gone by the time we returned from Lake St Clair.

This is a museum that Joe was keen to find, and lo and behold we did!

And finally, a picture of me near Constitution Dock.


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