Category Archives: Travel Tassie

Tarraleah Road trip – sneak peak

Road Trip – Tarraleah, Central Highlands.

It’s Mother’s Day and here I am up at 6 am. What! You’re meant to be sleeping in, getting spoilt, all that stuff… Not this bunny, my original idea for today was rejected and replaced with ‘road trip to Tarraleah with the boys’.
Well, ok then, that sounds more like it. I love that place and the boys haven’t seen it, so it’s all good.
The idea was to pack a picnic (I had to do this otherwise ‘no one will enjoy their lunch’ as mr 15 said – can’t argue with that either) leave early and spend the day together. And that for me, is a perfect day.

Leave home 8, right on time. Leaving Mr 17 at home unfortunately, but work beckons and this was an impromptu trip. This got me thinking – my (first) baby will be missing all these family things as he embarks on his own life. Have car, job and girlfriend, and we are at the point of ‘will we see you tonight?’ It’s what happens, time moves along, and we are now at the stage of Mr 15 starting the pre learner driving stage, eek!

Ok, now down to the important stuff.
Route: Tarraleah Power Station (Wayatinah & Butlers Gorge)


Weather: Interesting weather, one side is sunny and blur skies, the south west is dark and stormy. Nothing unusual there. It’s been raining, and the forecast is for 13 and , well typical Autumn. Wet, windy and who knows what will happen.

Distance and time: 170km, 2 hrs 45. Leave home at 8, arrive just after 10. Leave for home 2.40, arrive 4.45 for late afternoon tea with my parents.

Stops: None but for our destinations for the day – Wayatinah, Tarraleah and Butlers Gorge.  


Where we’re going is guaranteed to be cold, but hopefully not too grey and wet.
Central highlands, a stone’s throw from cradle mountain.
A picnic lunch – complete with thermos for hand warming drinks – has been packed, and the jackets and gloves are ready.

Just after 10 we arrive at the first part of our destination, Wayatinah.  Just below both Tarraleah and Butlers Gorge power stations, producing Hydro Electricty.
Water from Butlers Gorge feeds both Wayatinah and Tarraleah, with Tarraleah spewing it out into the start of the Derwent River, and continuing on through a total of 8 stations before it is left alone to simply be a river and water source for the greater Hobart area.  There is a small power station that the main pipes feed into, and a lagoon with a small dam.

Then it was onto Butlers Gorge. A funky little dam with the most amazing spillway, and the start of the canal. A fast flowing, 4m wide by 2-3m deep water ways. As we tested it, ot seemed to be flowing about 20km/hr. This might not sound fast but when you’re standing over or next to it, it’s a whole other story. Most of the time it was built into the ground and was level with the road. Until the road went into a small gully.

Just after 1 we got back to the Tarraleah township and lookout.  This is where the canal water is directed into the pipes transporting the water to the surbines, with pipes running down the hill.  The township has been transformed since we were there last (20yrs) and it a mini tourist mecca with caravan park, cafe and re furbished and newly painted Hydro houses providing accomodation. Going with he highland theme they have two resident Yaks whcih weren’t very friendly. They may have just stood there, but when I went to pat one it swung round and nearly collected me with its horns, lucky the gate was there.

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There was no place to simply picnic and the weather had decided to come in with drizzly rain so we headed back to Wayatinah where the boys ran off their energy in the park.
By two we had eaten and were suitably frozen enough to get back in the car and head off to check out Wayatinah lagoon. We missed the turn off, so kept going to Lake Catagunya .. we were half way there anyway. Which was not much to write home about except for Wayatinah power station, perched on the edge of the lake.
The trip home always feels quicker than the trip there, and we enjoyed coffee and cake at mum and dad’s place.
Dinner? I still coooked, but it was more of a left overs night, planned of course and a movie to round out a wonderfully relaxing Mother’s day.

More pictures of our day over at the Box of Photos.

Jen 🙂