WADDAMANA is a unique, hydro museum in northern central Tasmania. It is easy to reach and can be accessed by anyone. Here you can tour a real hydro electric station with all of the machinery still in place and read the explanation panels. There are no facilities at Waddamana, but there is accommodation at the workers hamlet.
Waddamana is just south of the A5 Highland Lakes Highway between Miena on the Great Lake and Bothwell in the south east. It is about 20 minutes south east of Miena on a gravel road into the wilderness, so this orientation is based on the locality of Miena.
From MIENA you are 50 minutes from DERWENT BRIDGE and DELORAINE. You are 60 minutes from WESTBURY, BOTHWELL, DEVONPORT and FRENCHMANS CAP. Nearby places are described in the CENTRAL MOUNTAINS REGION page.
View Region Central Mountains of Tasmania in a larger map
FACILITIES: There is only a museum at Waddamana. However there is accommodation at the Waddamana Field Study Centre: Telephone: (03) 6259 6158 This is the old, restored hamlet of Waddamana. The nearest stores, cafes, hotels and petrol pumps are at MIENA and at DERWENT BRIDGE.
TOURIST information telephone (03) 6259 6158 or contact www.hydro.com.au/community/waddamana-museum
SIGHTS: Waddamana was the first hydro electric power station in Tasmania and it is now a museum. It has restored equipment and displays teaching you about the early days of hydro power in Tasmania. Best of all admittance is free. If you interested in photographing ancient machines, then you will find Waddamana a rewarding experience.
Next to the old hydro station is the old workers' hamlet. This is a time warp of the 1920s, when it was built. When you walk down the old streets, you can easily think that you are back in the 1920s. It is now a field study, accommodation site for groups studying the local area. Near Waddamana are:
PENSTOCK LAGOON is just North of Waddamana. This is a popular fishing spot for Tasmanians.
BRONZE SCULPTURES are at the Steppes Hamlet, just West of Waddamana on the A5 Highland Lakes Highway.
ARTHURS LAKE is a popular fishing spot for Tasmanians. It is just north of Waddamana.
ROUTES: From the A5 Highland Lakes Highway drive east to a minor road C178, which is just south east of the GREAT LAKE. Then turn south west onto C178, a gravel road, which takes you to Waddamana about 17 kilometres to the south.
You can continue south east on C178, Waddamana Road, as it rejoins the A5 about 25 kilometres further south and then goes on to BOTHWELL. Beyond Bothwell the A5 joins the A1 Midland Highway, which goes on to HOBART.
1/ The Waddamana Power Station Museum is in northern central Tasmania. It is nestled in a small valley south of the Great Lake. This is the entrance to the power station museum. It shows a classic, post Victorian style.
2/ The Waddamana Power Station is a large structure. It was powered by the water flowing down the hill from the pipes to the right.
3/ This image shows the main power house from the down pipes view. The white building to the right is a more recent power house that was not open for inspection.
4/ This is a full view of the new power house with its feeder pipes.
5/ These giant pipes once brought water to the huge turbines in the power station from Pensock Lagoon to the north.
6/ This symmetrical view looks up the pipes to show how they bring the water at high speed from the top of the hill.
7/ As you enter the office of the Waddamana museum, you are greeted by these 1950s paintings of the then young Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip. Pictures like these were popular in buildings at this time.
8/ The Waddamana office was outfitted, as it was in the 1920s. It was good to see all these old business machines in their original working environment.
9/ The Waddamana engineers' office featured a model engineer dress in an outfit of the 1920s. The extensive use of wood paneling is obvious in this office. The whole business area was similar.
10/ As you walked into the shed, you are confronted by these rows of giant turbines. The control station was in the enclosed, wooden balcony to the right. It must have once been very noisy in the shed.
11/ The turbines at Waddamana have been restored to their original appearance. They ceased operating in 1965.
12/ This "runner" has had its guard removed to reveal its full mechanical appearance.
13/ This turbine has also had its guard removed to show how it was moved by falling water. This helps people to understand how the Waddamana turbines worked.
14/ This old poster at Waddamana had an ancient, sexist theme that advertised the safety advantages of using a wheel barrow.
15/ This diorama showed how water from the Great Lake was used to power the turbines at Waddamana.
16/ From the balcony you gained a great view of the many turbines below you. To the left were displays of ancient household machines that used the new electricity.
17/ Early electrical machines were also on display at Waddamana. This early electric stove was state of the art for kitchen machinery in the 1940s. It represented a tremendous leap forward from the old wood stove that grandma used.
18/ This old stove at Waddamana brought back tears of nostalgia, as my mother had one in the 1950s. She used to tell me how superior it was to the old wood stove.
19/ In this display are an electric sewing machine and a radio. The radio brought the World into your home, while the electric sewing machine was a tremendous time saver.
1/ A short walk from the power station brings you to the hamlet. Here the workers lived with their families. There were once many more structures in this hamlet than are extant today.
2/ All the houses were built in the 1920s, so walking amongst them was a time warp experience. The houses are now used by people touring the Great Lakes area. Waddamana is a great place to experience the serenity of the Tasmanian forests.
3/ These larger houses once housed the richer engineers.
4/ These more modest houses once housed the workers.
5/ Note how the houses of the hamlet are surrounded by forest. Waddamana was once a very isolated place. It frequently snows here in the winter.
6/ This empty area once held many portable houses. These were much cheaper constructions than the houses still extant and were long ago removed.
7/ This house belonged to the manager. It was the only one of its kind in the hamlet and was larger with more features
1/ This is your first view of the Waddamana Valley. The red building in the centre is the power station. The turbine feeder pipes are located in the forest to the right of the power lines. Recently a wind farm was built to the south of Waddamana.
2/ This is a telephoto view of the wind farm south of Waddamana. There were more than 20 turbines in this wind farm complex.
3/ This channel once took water from Pensock Lagoon to the turbine pipes at Waddamana. The strange colour was caused by the image being taken at sunset.
4/ This is Pensock Lagoon. It was a reservoir created to hold water from the Great Lake for use by the Waddamana Power Station.
5/ This is another view taken at sunset of Pensock Lagoon. This lagoon is popular with anglers.