Thursday, March 12, 2009

Russell Falls & Gordon Dam (Strathgordon)

Russell Falls & Gordon Dam - 11th-12th Mar 2009

Russell Falls
Russell Falls Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon

We left Hobart with a drive through Battery Hill the older part of Hobart and then headed northwest to Russell Falls. We didn’t want to miss these as we saw a picture of them when we were in the Hunter Valley and they looked gorgeous. We weren’t disappointed, after a shot walk through some luscious rainforest we arrived at the base of the falls. We were lucky to have the lookout all to ourselves so took some time to take lots of piccies. (We’ll let you be the judge) We continued on our walk to the top of Russell falls and on to Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon

These were officially closed but luckily the workmen building the new boardwalk allowed us to jump their tools to see the falls. We were thoroughly impressed and we could rock hop right up to the falls. Horseshoe Falls were my (Heidi) favourite. After taking loads more piccies we set off on the tall trees walk. On our leisurely walk we heard a rustling in the undergrowth and as we both looked to the right we saw a tiger snake. Our first sight of a wild snake! Luckily it had seen us first and was heading off into the undergrowth faster than we could whip out the camera. Suitable scared we headed off nervously on our walk but both pleased we had seen a snake now. The tall trees were some of the tallest in Australia at about 79 meters and are the tallest flowering plants in the world. After a short wander around the standing trees we got to see one that had fallen over years ago. That really helped put their size into perspective.

Tall Trees Walk
Tall Trees Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon

After our walk we headed off down the road we called “The road to nowhere”. So called because you could drive for nearly 100ks and the only way out was all the way back the way you came – The road just came to an end at Gordon Dam. We had heard there were some great views on the route and over the lakes. It had gotten pretty late by the time we got going down the ‘road to nowhere’ and we still had a little way to go. About 40ks into the drive we noticed a lot of smoke coming from a small part of the forest. As the smoke passed between us and the sun it made the light very red, almost warming. As we still had 50ks to go and the smoke looked like a controlled burning off and we were staying by a lake, we decided to carry on.

Lake Pedder
Lake Pedder Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon

As night was drawing in we arrived at a free camp called Ted’s Beach on the edge of Lake Pedder. The spot was nice and had good facilities for a freebie. We put the tent up, had a quick dinner and settled for the night. During the evening we spent our time with another pair of campers watching the wildlife and saw our first Pademelon (which is like a small Wallaby) and a Quoll (which is like a cross between a Possum and a Cat). The Quoll is apparently quite rare and shy, this one however was not, he came right up to Carl’s boot and gave it a sniff before sauntering off on its way. It was a very cold night, something we were getting use to quickly in Tasmania and a far cry from the 38C we were having in Canberra. In the morning our car’s temperature gauge was showing 7C in the car and we later heard that it got down to 3C that night.

Pademelon Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon
Quoll Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon

After an interesting night we headed off to the end of the road and Gordon Dam. The dam produces hydro electricity and was very impressive. We were told that it holds back more fresh water than all of the water in Sydney Harbour! The dam itself was built into a giant gorge and considering where it is, it is an engineering marvel!
The guys that put this thing up would have needed nerves of steel at such heights and on such steep cliff faces.
We were lucky to visit on a day with no wind and the water was so still. It reflected all the surrounding scenery perfectly.

Gordon Dam - Strathgordon
Gordon Dam Strathgordon Tasmania Australia
From Russell Falls & Strathgordon


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