I will detail, in the future blog posts on this site, my thoughts on what makes this Strathgordon/Lake Pedder area special, and offer you photographs that should thrill you. For some people, the area is special for their memory of Lake Pedder before it was flooded. For others it is the engineering brilliance that has refashioned the landscape to provide hydroelectricity power for Tasmania. For me, this area is special for the delightfully fresh quality of the air and the dramatic landscape of peaks and glaciated valleys. The isolation and remoteness and the flora and fauna add a layer of complexity and richness to this part of Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. Overall, the monumental majesty of the atmosphere with all its components made me even more grateful for the privilege to walk here.
This area was opened up by Hydro Tasmania under the direction of the Tasmanian government in the 1970s during the creation of Lake Gordon, the creation of the new Lake Pedder, and the building of the Gordon, Edgar, Scotts Peak and Serpentine dams. The aerial view inserted below, taken by Corkery Consulting, shows the large Lake Pedder south of the smaller Lake Gordon. The original Lake Pedder is marked in white near the centre of the map. Their website also includes an excellent video showing before and after scenes, with the details of the flow of water increasing the size of Lake Pedder once the Serpentine dam was built. This simple video clearly helped me to understand how the changes were manifested.
A short and very readable essay on the history of the changes to this landscape can be read here.
When you read the above interpretation panels, you will learn the Gordon Dam is the tallest in Australia. With its curved shape and great depth the dam wall has become an important location for abseiling and Aardvark Adventures offers the world’s highest abseil. I am going back to do this in the future. My only concern will be walking back up the hundreds of steps (or is it thousands?). Ah well … what a wonderful adventure which won’t change the natural environment!