Highlands Power Trail

Highlands Power Trail

Highlands people dared to take on the impossible, powering a mighty hydro scheme that ultimately created today’s Tasmania.

Tour the Highlands Power Trail for a unique experience in the rugged Central Highlands of Tasmania, where a bold vision became a reality and changed the shape of Tasmania.

This self-guided driving trail provides visitors with an insight into the history of hydro power within Tasmania. Stop at points of interest on the journey to see key sites and learn about the extraordinary challenges faced by the workers.

In this unforgiving landscape a hardy community came together in the early 1900s to create the Great Lake Power Scheme. Waddamana Power Station, commissioned in 1916, was the centrepiece of the scheme which paved the way for eight decades of hydro-electricity developments in Tasmania.

A self-guided touring trail

Take the circular trail north from Bothwell, heading towards Waddamana Village and the power station. Continue along to Penstock Lagoon and Waddamana Canal before re-joining the Highland Lakes Road for the return journey to Bothwell.

For visitors travelling south from yingina / Great Lake, follow the trail in the opposite direction to Waddamana and then continue on to Bothwell and enjoy a stop at this historic township.

To make the most of your journey along the Highlands Power Trail, ensure you allow plenty of time to tour through Waddamana Power Station Heritage Site – we recommend at least an hour.

You may wish to break for lunch. There is an electric barbecue and picnic seating located onsite at Waddamana  for visitors. No food is available, so pick up your supplies on the way at Bothwell, Miena, Hamilton or Ouse.


The development of the Highlands Power Trail has been supported by Hydro Tasmania, the Central Highlands Council and the Australian Government.