yingina / Great Lake

Central Plateau

yingina / Great Lake in the Central Plateau was the first source of water for Hydro Tasmania with the commissioning of Waddamana Power Station in 1916. The station was the original centrepiece of the Great Lake scheme and heralded Tasmania’s move into the industrial era providing power to new factories, businesses and homes. Waddamana was decommissioned between 1964 and 1994 and is now open to visitors, providing an insight into some of Tasmania’s most important industrial heritage.

Today, the Great Lake scheme covers approximately 12 per cent of Tasmania and reaches through the Central Plateau and up to Launceston, comprising three power stations, five lakes and two lagoons. The stations in this region generate a combined total of just under 400 MW, the majority from Poatina which harnesses the 830-metre fall of water down the penstocks on the Great Western Tiers.

Arthurs Lake and yingina / Great Lake are the state’s most popular trout fisheries, and also provide great boating locations. Arthurs Lake is known for its good catch rate of wild brown trout. Brown trout are the only species of trout recorded here since the 1960s, and the population is self-sustaining.  

yingina / Great Lake, Australia’s second largest freshwater lake, is also dominated by brown trout, although rainbow trout make up about 10 per cent of the anglers catch.

Both lakes are recognised for their conservation value, with a number of endemic and threatened species of fish.  

Lake Augusta, located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, offers a quieter and more secluded site for anglers.

Little Pine Lagoon, Woods Lake and Penstock Lagoon rank in the top six fishing spots. Penstock Lagoon is reserved for fly fishing only and has a 5 knot speed limit.

Outdoor activity sites and amenities in the Central Plateau


yingina / 
Great Lake is a popular spot for outdoor activities and is accessible from five boat ramps.

Nearby Arthurs Lake has three boat ramps providing visitor access, as well as camp grounds at Jonah Bay and Pump House Bay.

Penstock Lagoon is managed for recreational fishing. A boat ramp and pontoon are located adjacent to the largest of four campgrounds at this lagoon. This campground is suitable for caravans and campervans. Three other sites at the lagoon offer beautiful and peaceful locations for a wilderness holiday: Ladys Walk, Beginners Bay and Tree Shore campgrounds. Visitors to Penstock Lagoon must adhere to a maximum stay of 14 days.

Penstock Lagoon also offers a picnic area for day visitors, and this is located near the South Levee and the heritage site of the original penstocks that carried water down the steep drop to Waddamana Power Station. 

While in the Central Highlands we encourage you take the opportunity to learn about the history of hydropower in Tasmania with a journey along the Highlands Power Trail and a tour through the Waddamana Power Station heritage site.    

© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2018