Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Gordon Dam


Gordon Dam, and the drive out to it, is an absolutely stellar cruise. And, despite being situated in Tasmania's southwest, you actually need to drive in from a location closer to Hobart than Queenstown! You'll need to head west from a town called Westerway. This town is situated about halfway between Ouse and New Norfolk—taking the route that runs southwest of Hamilton. To get a better idea, see what Google Maps has to say.

It's a pretty magical spot, with the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park to the north, Southwest Conservation Area to the west, and Southwest National Park to the south. During the drive from Westerway, you are buffeted between national parks. Massive mountains, forests, plains, and rivers running free in all directions. I think the fact that I thought I had driven all over Tassie, then saw all this—similar, yet brand new—summoned a feeling of complete awe.

There's a campground, with a boat ramp, at Ted's beach. This is not too far from the dam and has basic amenities. Be warned: you may not see a single soul on your drive out, but if you go on a weekend, the campground may be packed!

The dam itself is amazing. I've said before how cool I think dams are. Well, Gordon Dam takes the cake as the most awesome dam in Tassie! It's massive! To give you an idea just how big, let me quote the Dam Fact File.

Height140m
Length of crest198m
Thickness at base17.7m
Thickness at crest2.8m
Volume of concrete154,000m3
Volume of water at full capacity12,450,000,000m3

Alright, you're probably not here for specifics, I just wanted to quote the Dam Fact File in this post. It's done. Huzzah! The dam is, as I've said, huge. They built it so it curves with the landscape. This gives it better structural integrity.

Anyone can walk across the dam, but another option is to abseil down. Unfortunately, the abseil tours weren't operating during our visit. Given the way the dam wall curves in and around, this would be an incredible experience for anyone wanting to blend a bit of excitement with the beauty.

Simply strolling around the dam is enough to appreciate the ingenuity of what the Hydro Electric Corporation built back in 1974. It's a pristine location for a morning walk, and well worth a trip out for a day or night. If you'd like to abseil down the dam, be sure and book in advance so you don't miss out!

Pack a lunch, get out there, and have a dam good day!