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