Trevallyn Dam: a tranquil place to enjoy a quiet picnic or a gentle kayak in the adjacent Lake Trevallyn. Right? Usually, that would be right. But contemplating a paddle anywhere near the dam wall during recent floods would’ve been crazy!
Trevallyn Dam Power System
Trevallyn Dam, about 5kms from the CBD of Launceston: a city in northern Tasmania and the capital of the Tamar Valley region. The South Esk River flows through the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area, and has been dammed as part of the Trevallyn Power Development.
Waters sourced from high in the Great Western Tiers (from Arthurs Lake, Lake Augusta and Great Lake) pass through the central Poatina Station and then continue via the Trevallyn system to the Cataract Gorge; then out to sea via the Tamar River.
Lake Trevallyn and Floods… of People
After very heavy rains at the end of March, the Trevallyn Dam wall turned into a tourist attraction, with massive flood waters spilling over. The powerful South Esk River surging over the dam wall was quite a sight, and the residents of Launceston were out in force to witness the occasion.
The Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area is well-used by locals all year round. Cable hang-gliding, bush-walking, water-skiing, windsurfing… or just an encounter with local ducks or a resident wombat on the list of activities. Wildlife has been respected in the creation of the Hydro Dam, with ladders provided for migrating eels to negotiate the wall. I won’t be swimming in that lake anytime soon!
Barbecue facilities are provided for extended day-trips, handy for the clubs and associations organising commercial and sporting events. Orienteering, horse-riding, rock climbing and archery enthusiasts utilise the 440 hectare reserve while Lake Trevallyn offers a venue for aquatic pursuits (eels notwithstanding!).
Reserving the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area
According to the Parks and Wildlife Service, the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area has the potential to attract a greater number of tourists in the future. While acknowledging that more visitors would benefit local business operators, they also declare that tourism is secondary to local community needs. I’m guessing the ice-cream salesman would be happy to welcome a crowd of tourists any time… and not just when the Trevallyn Dam is creating a spectacle!
Interesting facts about the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area…
- Aboriginal cultural heritage sites
- 26 threatened flora species and five threatened fauna species
- shared boundaries, Cataract Gorge Reserve (Launceston City Council)
- weed invasion, soil erosion and exotic animals (including domestic cats)… could threaten the future value of the area