The Great Lake is located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania. With few permanent residents in the nearby small towns of Liaweenee and Miena, it seems like quite a remote place. In fact, the fishing village of Miena on the southern shores of the Great Lake is just 132km to the north-west of Hobart and 114km to the south-west of Launceston.

Great Lake - Central Highlands
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Views over the Great Lake in the Tasmanian Central Highlands

Great Lake in Name and Nature

Having travelled from Hobart to Devonport via Bothwell along the Highland Lakes Road, we had planned to share photos from our journey with readers. That plan went west when one of our main computers had a hissy fit and we had to replace the hard drive. The files are all safely tucked away courtesy of back-ups etc, but the drama of resurrecting them is more than we can handle right now. Sigh.

Luckily, Dan Fellow has supplied Think Tasmania with some of his photos of the Great Lake region. There’s absolutely no doubt the quality of Dan’s photos would be way better than anything we’d taken, so there is truly a silver lining to every cloud. Anyway, back to the story!

Great Lake - Road
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Cloud formations over the Highlands Lakes Road

The Chill of the Central Highlands

Our drive through the Central Highlands did little to dispel the common belief that the region is one of the coldest places on Earth. Well, maybe not the entire planet, but at least in Tasmania! The wind chill factor was mighty high. We even took photos of the temperature gauge in the car each time it dropped another notch. But it didn’t prevent us making several stops to admire the unique scenery and breathe in the fresh, crisp air.

Great Lake - Cold Climate
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Snow on the ground ~ Pine Lake Walk

The Discover Tasmania website lists Great Lake as “Australia’s largest permanent natural freshwater lake, and also the source of a significant amount of Tasmania’s hydro-electric power“. Other research states Lake Pedder is the largest freshwater lake in Australia, also dammed by Hydro Tasmania for power generation purposes. Either way, Tasmania takes the trophy for the winner and runner-up in the contest for the biggest lake!

Great Lake - Tasmania
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The natural environment of the Central Highlands region

The Great Lake does have the distinction of being the highest lake in Australia at 1,030 metres above sea level. At 22km long, the lake has an area of 114 km² so there’s no disputing the title. The lake is great alright, and not just for the impressive dimensions. The area is dotted with basic holiday shacks, extremely popular with fishermen, campers, bushwalkers and boating enthusiasts.

Great Lake - Camping
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Great Lake is popular with campers in Tasmania

Great Lake - Pine Lake Walk
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One of the Great Lake bushwalking opportunities

The Thrill of Tasmanian Trout Fishing

Fly-casting aficionados from Tasmania and across the remainder of the country flock to the Great Lake. International visitors keen on the sport of fishing even covet the trout on offer. The Tasmanian Inland Fisheries Service produce a brochure detailing all things angling for the area. For further reading, we’d also recommend a Tasmanian Fishing & Boating News article: “Great Lake, A History and Guide to Better Fishing”. It covers everything you need to know!

Before signing off, we should warn tourists that the Great Lake road from Hobart to Devonport does have an unsealed section. It’s perfectly fine in driving terms, but it may pay to check your hire-car policy. Off-road adventures are sometimes frowned upon by the hire companies. Otherwise… enjoy the drive. Facilities are limited, but you will come across a service station and places to eat and drink.

Great Lake - Service Station
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Facilities at the Great Lake include a service station

Great Lake - Hotel
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Hotel on the shoreline of the Great Lake

To see more work by Dan Fellow follow Tasmania Photos on Facebook. You can also purchase Desktop Tasmania, a multimedia CD with a stunning collection of Tasmanian photos. To have your business featured on our website, please contact Think Tasmania.

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Map: Great Lake, Tasmania…