Bronte Park, Tasmania
If you've ever wondered where the geographic centre of the island of Tasmania is, Bronte Park is about as to it as you are going to get by car. North of Bronte Lagoon, an artificial lake in the Central Highlands, Bronte Park is in fact just 3.2km from the centre.
This small locality on the Marlborough Highway at the southern edge of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, is located just north of the Lyell Highway and approximately halfway in between Hobart and Queenstown.
Bronte Park is now primarily a tourist village catering to trout fishermen, kayakers and walkers, but was established in the 1940s as accommodation for workers on the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission's 'Tungatinah Scheme', 'Nive River Scheme' and other associated works in the vicinity. By the 1950s it was a bustling village of over 700 workers, with a store, police station, post office, school, cinema, hospital, dairy and a church, but now many of the original houses and buildings have been removed, with only a few remaining now as part of the Bronte Lagoon Chalet. Bronte Park Post Office opened on 1 July 1948 and closed in 1979. By 1991 the Hydro Electric Commission (now Hydro Tasmania) sold the chalets into private ownership.
Most of the homes have been removed leaving 19 cottages, the Chalet and a small general store. Denis and Robin Wiss and their family purchased the village in 1991 from the Hydro Electric Commission, after having leased the property since 1978. In 2005 the Wiss family moved on. The Carmichael and Bailey families ran the property from 2005 until January 2009.
From January 2009 Bronte Park Highland Village has been operating under new management. Under the new management Bronte Park Highland Village has come back to life enjoying numbers that have not been seen since the departure of the Wiss family in 2005.
The village is set in a farm-like environment with various domestic and native animals providing attractions. Bronte Park offers a range of accommodation options including cottages and chalet (motel style) rooms. We offer extensive tourism information, a gift shop, restaurant and bar facilities.
Bronte Park Village Website
Butlers Gorge Power Station
The Butlers Gorge Power Station (46km south-west) is a conventional hydroelectric power station built by the Hydro Electric Commission staff who lived at Bronte Park and Tarraleah. Part of the Derwent scheme that comprises eleven hydroelectric power stations, the Butlers Gorge Power Station is the first station in the scheme. The power station is located aboveground at the foot of the concrete arched Clark Dam across the River Derwent that forms Lake King William. Water from the lake is fed to the power station, coupled to one of two discharge regulating valves to ensure water flow to Tarraleah Power Station located further downstream.
The power station was commissioned in 1951 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) and officially opened on 22 November 1952. The station has one English Electric Francis turbine, with a generating capacity of 12.2 megawatts (16,400 hp) of electricity. The station building houses a single alternator and the turbine has a fully embedded spiral casing with water flow controlled via a butterfly type valve. It also houses a 125 kVA diesel generator for alternate station services supply when needed. The station output, estimated to be 684 gigawatt-hours (2,460 TJ) annually, is fed to TasNetworks' transmission grid via an 11 kV/110 kV three-phase English Electric generator transformer to the outdoor switchyard.
The water discharged from the Butlers Gorge Power Station flows via three conduits to either Nieterana mini-hydro, Tarraleah Power Station, or to Wally's Weir and back into the Derwent.
Clark Dam and Lake King William
Lake King William is a massive body of water, located behind the 67 m high Clark Dam and part of the Tarraleah Power Development. Full supply is 719.94 m above sea level. Lake King William is a large hydro impoundment fed by the Derwent River from Lake St Clair. When the lake was created, the retaining Clark Dam at Butlers Gorge was the highest in the southern hemisphere.
Present day Butlers Gorge consists of the dam and infrastructure. A small power station was built at the base of the Clarke Dam, when in 1964 the dam was raised and additional water diverted via another overland channel from the lake to Tarraleah for power generation. Butlers Gorge is situated approximately 16 kilometres off the Lyell Highway, heading west on a road which originates approximately 4 kilometres south of Tarraleah. This road gives access to Butlers Gorge camping area beside the lake. Keep to existing tracks, remove all rubbish, no shooting, fires in formal fireplaces or firepots only.
Walking The Derwent: Butlers Gorge pictorial
Tungatinah Power Station
Tungatinah Power Station
The Tungatinah Power Station is a conventional hydroelectric power station built by the Hydro Electric Commission staff who lived at Bronte Park and Tarraleah. The power station is situated on the Upper River Derwent catchment and is owned and operated by Hydro Tasmania.
Part of the Derwent scheme, the Tungatinah Power Station is the second station in the scheme, adjacent to the Nive River. The power station is located aboveground adjacent to the Nive River. The headworks are quite complex with several dams (including the Bronte Lagoon formed by Bronte Dam, Bradys Lake formed by Bradys Dam, Lake Binney and the Tungatinah Lagoon), a tunnel, canals, pipelines, flumes their associated control gates and a pump station. Water is diverted from the Tungatinah Lagoon by a short tunnel with surge shaft and then descends 290 metres (950 ft) through five steel penstocks to the power station.
Tungatinah Power Station
The power station was commissioned between 1953 and 1956 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) and the station has five Boving Francis turbines, with a total generating capacity of 125 megawatts (168,000 hp) of electricity. Within the station building, each turbine has a semi-embedded spiral casing and water flow is controlled via a spherical rotary inlet valve and a relief valve designed to prevent spiral casing over pressure. The station output, estimated to be 579 gigawatt-hours (2,080 TJ) annually, is fed to TasNetworks' transmission grid via five 11 kV/110 kV three-phase GEC generator transformer to the outdoor switchyard.
After passing through the five turbines, water is discharged into the Nive River where it combines with the water from the Tarraleah Power Station to supply the six Lower Derwent stations.
Lake Binney, Bradys Lake and Tungatinah Lagoon are popular trout fishing spots. Bronte Lagoon is reserved for the use of artificial lures and fly-fishing. Trolling and spin fishing with cobra style lures is very popular. There are good opportunities for polaroiding, with tailing fish both early in the morning and in the evening a highlight at Bronte Lagoon. Good hatches of duns and beetles provide sport for the fly fisher during the summer months.
Bronte Lagoon: Fishing
Tungatinah Lagoon Campground is a free campground with toilet facilities with a maximum stay of 7 days. The pet friendly campsite is accessible to caravans and big rigs with area suitable for tents. It is advisable to be self sufficient, bring your own gas/fuel stove, drinking water, food and portable toilet. There is a gas barbecue and basic toilets at the nearby Tungatinah Dam Power Station but no faciliitiues at this campsite. If you are camping it is recommended that you bring your own fuel stove, water and portable toilet.
The lake and river system in this area is dominated by naturally spawned brown trout however rainbow trout in smaller numbers exist in both Bronte Lagoon and Bradys Lake. More recently Atlantic salmon and brook trout have been stocked into these water systems. Please note, camping is only allowed in designated areas and there are no facilities. To camp in this area, you must be largely self sufficient.
Lake Echo Power Station
Lake Echo Power Station
Lake Echo Power Station is a conventional hydroelectric power station built by the Hydro Electric Commission staff who lived at Bronte Park. Part of the Derwent scheme that comprises eleven hydroelectric power stations, the Lake Echo Power Station is the first station on the Dee River section of the scheme. The power station is located aboveground on the shores of the Dee Lagoon formed below Lake Echo on the Dee River. Water is diverted from Lake Echo by a single 2.5-kilometre (1.6 mi)-long flume and 700-metre (2,300 ft)-long canal. It then descends 168 metres (551 ft) through a single steel penstock to the station with a surge tower located midway along the penstock.
The power station was commissioned in 1956 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) and the station has one English Electric Francis turbine, with a generating capacity of 32 megawatts (43,000 hp) of electricity. The station building houses a single alternator and the turbine has a fully embedded spiral casing and water flow is controlled via a straight flow main inlet valve and a relief valve designed to prevent spiral casing overpressure. The station output, estimated to be 84 gigawatt-hours (300 TJ) annually, is fed to TasNetworks' transmission grid via an 11 kV/110 kV three-phase English Electric generator transformer to the outdoor switchyard.
Lake Echo is one of the main headwater storages for the Dee Lagoon, Bradys, Binney, Tungatinah Lagoon and the Lower River Derwent catchments, releasing water to a further seven stations downstream.
Lake Echo (20 km east) is a large, expansive hydro-electric impoundment with generally deep and clear water. Much of the lake is surrounded by steep sided eucalypt bushland although movement along the shoreline is reasonable owing to the large draw-down in lake level exposing expanses of rocky shore. Some larger areas of marsh occur along the north-western shore. Lake Echo has a bush camping around the shores of the expansive Lake Echo. Informal lakeshore camping is permitted, with many options to choose from and some requiring a 4WD for access.
Dee Lagoon (24 km south east) is an excellent lake for fishing from a kayak or canoe. Please note there are no facilities provided; campers must be fully self sufficient and carry your own water, firewood and provisions. It is also recommended that when camping at Dee Lagoon you carry a chemical or portable toilet. Both fly fishing and artificial lures are allowed in Dee Lagoon, with the fishing season running from the Saturday nearest to the 1st October to the Sunday nearest the 31st May each year. There is a single lane boat ramp at Dee Lagoon, and a 4WD vehicle is recommended. To access Dee Lagoon from the Lyell Highway (A10), take the Osterley turn off at Bradys Lake.
Derwent Hydro Plan