Category Archives: Cycling places

Cycle through the South West of Tasmania (part 2)

After one of the most significant environmental campaigns happened in Australian history the completed Gordon Dam which were eventually scrapped to build in 1983 was planned for the Franklin-Gordon basin.

We sought to trace the history of this region and explore the roads and dams that were developed along the way in setting out on our ride.

The Gordon River Road built in 1969 to house construction workers, linking Maydena to the small town of Strathgordon and the Gordon River. It is lined by towering celery top pines myrtles, and sassafras that winds its way deep into south west Tassie’s wilderness. During the building of the Gordon dams and the Pedder, Strathgordon was home to 2,000. Strathgordon is a sealed ribbon of tarmac and a more peaceful and smaller version of itself. Nowadays the township is best known as a tourist destination though its hydro heritage still has a link to.

We marvel at the feat of engineering which is required to create this road on our first day riding the Gordon River Road. At any moment, you find yourself in a dense envelope of temperate rainforest which engulfs the road, and you will have the feeling that nature is ready to reclaim what was cut into it.

This a clear path doesn’t necessarily mean, don’t be fooled. You might find a few unlocked gates to get through with a bit of luck. These roads get wild and remote. a way out at the other end has no guarantees.

One of the many forestry roads which winds into the hill to explore when we briefly off Gordon River Road through our plotted path— the area’s political and environmental controversy which is another juxtaposition of the magnificent natural landscape.

Recently both harsh environments and the cycling industry has carved the way of adventure cycling through. But this way of cycling is not new like the history of the Tassie hydro scheme’s early pioneers. Rather it’s an idea as old as cycling itself which starts a story.

Cycle through the South West of Tasmania (Part 1)

The south west of Tasmania owns a magnificent mountains, peaceful plains, wild forests and immense rivers. There is the Southwest National Park which is the largest national park in the state. This park is very ancient and wild. It is the remote place in the region which is suitable for cyclists to make their amazing adventures.

Go through the Gordon River Road and via Scotts Peak Road Access you can witness the wild and rage of the northern region. These roads make a remarkable point in the history of the region.

In the early 20th century, ordinary people who worked in extraordinary conditions made The Tasmanian hydroelectric power scheme. This has been carved out of the harsh interior of Tasmania and became a source of both controversy and inspiration. The people who built this work need to be very resilient and determined because the innitial construction of these power stations, roads and dams was very hard and dangerous.

Workers had to work very hard in extreme weather in the harsh conditions. During these efforts, they built communities and formed longlasting friendships. Migrants from various backgrounds became communiti and together they share a common goal.

In the Tasmanian hydro scheme, Lake Gordon and Lake Pedder are the most notorious and remarkable constructions. The Lake Pedder was first a natural lake but the it was expanded when three dams namely the Scotts Peak Dam, the Serpentine Dam, and the Edgar Dam are constructed. While the Gordon Dam is built, leading to the formation of Lake Gordon. This dam can hold back more than twelve million megalitres of water at its full capacity a that. It is the double curveted concrete arch dam containing largest amount of water in Tasmania.

These two constructions are not only full of water but also full of controversy. In the 1960s and ’70s during and after they were built there was a strong campaign to keep the origin of Lake Pedder. Inspite of not being sucessful, the protests helped to start the end for hydro-industrialisation in Tasmania and formed a political force named the Greens Party.