Day 310, Tuesday, 2 February, 2010

Distance travelled – 57.0 km
Avg speed – 16.2 kph
Max speed – 44.9 kph

Lake St Clair to Tarraleah

Lake St Clair is one of Tasmania’s draw cards and serves as the track head to the very popular Overland Track. However, we were very disappointed by our stay here. Lake St Clair Lodge offers a range of accommodation but it is severely over priced. Because of the high prices ($200 per night for a cabin plus $24 national park entry), we decided to camp. The campground is in very poor condition and most of the conversations around us centred on the high cost. The general consensus was that if it were cheaper most would stay more than a single night. Our experience went further downhill during breakfast in the restaurant when Denise discovered a dead fly embedded in her fried egg. To add to our grumpiness we were kept awake most of the night by possums trying to get into our bags.

Most significantly for us from this point the road to Hobart is now predominantly downhill, although we began to doubt this fact as we climbed 250 metres from the Nive River to our destination today at Tarraleah. Tarraleah is an ex ‘hydro’ town and housed the workers during the construction of the Derwent River hydro scheme. Started in the 1930’s the hydro scheme has diverted the Derwent River through a series of man made lagoons, canals and tunnels and generates electricity in a chain of 8 power stations before it flows past Hobart into the ocean.

At its peak Tarraleah had a working population of 1800 but closed as a town in the late 1980s. Sold for $500K the town is now privately owned and operates as a retreat and adventure centre. We stayed in the very comfortable Scholars Lodge, which used to be the old school. There is also the more comfortable Tarraleah Lodge. On the locked front door there is a sign asking booked guests to please ring the bell “and one of our butlers” will let you in. It sounded and looked very posh.

Another day of excellent views and riding.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.



Lake St Clair and bushfire smoke

Phillip & Judith from Newcastle in the UK

Denise crossing the Nive River before the climb to Tarraleah

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