Skip to main content

Drive only 100km but travel back more than 100 years on the Highlands Power Trail, tracing some of Tasmania’s most ambitious engineering feats.

This trail offers the chance to tour the Central Highlands, where alpine scenery is the backdrop to the story of Tasmania’s Great Lake Power Scheme, which included the state’s first hydro power station, Waddamana.

In 1910, when the Great Lake Power Scheme began, the Central Highlands were incredibly isolated. As the scheme grew into three hubs, the region would become a home for migrant workers, particularly from Poland, who settled here after World War II.

Pack a picnic and follow the history of the hydroelectric scheme, discovering the sites and stories of remote construction villages.

Image of a person in the foreground overlooking the penstocks feeding the Tarraleah Power Station, a hydroelectric power station located in the Central Highlands.
Marvel at the engineering feat of Tarraleah Power Station
Stu Gibson
Lake Margaret Power Station
Lake Margaret Power Station
We are Explorers

At the evocative museum at the Waddamana Power Station, learn the story of the Red Gate Tramway, a horse-drawn tram that transported 25,000 tonnes of equipment – from turbines to transformers and enormous generators imported from England – to create Tasmania’s first hydro power station.

The circular 130km trail starts in Bothwell and heads to Hermitage, Waddamana and Penstock Lagoon. It then continues to Miena, on the shores of yingina / Great Lake, where travellers can turn north for Launceston, or south to return to Bothwell and Hobart on the A5, also known as Highland Lakes Road.

The driving route passes often snowy peaks, calm lakes and historic villages and homesteads. Slow down on the unsealed Waddamana Road to spy wallabies and echidnas. Penstock Lagoon, created for the Waddamana Power Station, is a top fly fishing destination for wild brown and rainbow trout.


By creating an account on Discover Tasmania, you agree to the terms of use outlined in our Privacy Statement

Success! You are now logged in.

Add to trip

Which trip would you like to add this to?

Need to Remove from a trip?

Remove from trip

Select the trip you would like to remove this from.


You have nearly reached the Explore Map plot limit of 27 items per itinerary.

Try splitting itineraries, rather than creating one large itinerary.

Manage trips
Please try again in a few moments.