During one of our visits to the Tasmanian north west coast and the beautiful town of Sheffield, we spent some time at Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot. We’ve written about that wonderful experience before, and we were reminded of the tourist attraction earlier this week when writing about things to do with kids in Tasmania. We were also reminded about a visit to nearby Lake Barrington.
Lake Barrington: Devils Gate Dam
We rummaged through our photo catalogue and found a few holiday snapshots to share. Lake Barrington is actually far more picturesque than our images would suggest, but maybe they’ll plant a seed of interest with at least some Think Tasmania readers, inspiring additional travel around Tassie.
Lake Barrington is located at the base of the Forth River valley, about 40kms south of Devonport. In 1969, Devils Gate Dam was constructed on the Forth River to generate hydro-electric power, creating the artificial lake. 20kms long, Lake Barrington is best known for its international standard rowing course, and is also used for water-skiing and canoeing competitions in Tasmania.
Rowing, Fishing, Boating, Walking…
The competition and spectator facilities are quite extensive, although all was quiet on the day of our visit. The judges box was particularly impressive. We parked the car alongside, just to show some perspective of the height. We’d be hoping someone else was fetching our coffee and sandwiches if we were at the top of those stairs!
The rowing course is accessed from the eastern side only of Lake Barrington via Sheffield or Cethana. Visitors to Wilmot can easily access the western shore of Lake Barrington, about a five-minute drive from the doorstep of the small Tasmania town. There are launching ramps on both the eastern and western sides of the lake for a broad range of aquatic activities including water-skiing and swimming.
Fishing is another sport also popular at Lake Barrington. Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania report “the lake contains black fish, rainbow trout and brown trout. Black fish are best caught from a boat in the evenings, and the trout by trolling, spinning and fly casting”.
If bush-walking appeals, the area around Lake Barrington offers the Billet Creek Nature Way. Apparently, a 4km trek will take walkers through “tall eucalypt forest and beautiful rainforest gullies to a delightful waterfall“. We seriously wish we’d known about that option during our visit. We had no idea the gravel track even existed, but it would have been a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
183 hectares has been set aside for the Lake Barrington State Recreation Area on the foreshore of the main attraction. Dogs are permitted if kept on a lead. A large day-visitor shelter has been provided, complete with barbecues, picnic settings and toilet facilities. A canteen managed by Rowing Tasmania is open to the public during major regattas (about 6-8 held annually)… otherwise, it’s BYO.
As we said, it was all quiet on the rowing front during our visit. However, Rowing Tasmania have a great Facebook page with many photos showing the real action and excitement of an official regatta.