Waddamana power station upgrades to support community recovery

Hydro Tasmania Waddamana
The front entrance at Waddamana. Image: Hydro Tas

Upgrades to Tasmania’s Waddamana Power Station heritage site unveiled today will help entice visitors to the Central Highlands region, and support community recovery from the recent bushfires.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the improvements to tourism infrastructure would help visitors to the Central Highlands better understand the role hydropower played in the region’s social and economic development.

“The history of hydropower in Tasmania began in the Central Highlands,” Mr Davy said.

“The area is where a bold vision became a reality that eventually changed the shape of Tasmania. At the heart of this region is Tasmania’s first power station at Waddamana that paved the way for 80 years of hydro-electricity development in Tasmania.

“The station is now a heritage site and we are working to ensure it reflects its importance in our history and helps to tell the stories of the people who built the station in this unforgiving landscape.”

Waddamana pelton wheel
Waddamana pelton wheel. Image: Hydro Tas

Thousands of visitors visit the Waddamana site each year. They can view the turbine hall and offices that have been restored to look exactly like they did in the 1950s, as well as new interpretive signs installed to immerse visitors in the stories, quirks and legends that built Tasmania’s modern life.

There are new exhibitions highlighting the challenges and achievements of the workers, as well as life in the Hydro villages.

Importantly, Waddamana is no longer an attraction in isolation. It lies at the halfway point of the Highlands Power Trail – a self-drive journey through the Great Lake Power Scheme, launched in 2017.

Related article: Hydro Tasmania reports huge profit

Hydro Tasmania has recently expanded the Trail from four to six visitor nodes. There are new interpretation signs at Shannon, and the picturesque settlement of Hermitage.

The upgrade of the heritage site, as well as work to create and extend the Highlands Power Trail touring route, were made possible thanks to a $400,000 joint funding commitment over three years by the Federal Government and Hydro Tasmania, and supported by the Central Highlands Council.