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

Highlands Power Trail


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 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 through the picturesque valley of Hermitage towards Waddamana Village and the power station. Continue along to Penstock Lagoon, Waddamana Canal and the final stop at Shannon, before re-joining the Highland Lakes Road for the return journey to Bothwell.

If you are 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.

Traffic delays travelling to and from Waddamana

Anyone travelling to Waddamana Power Station on the Highlands Power Trail is advised there may be significant delays due to large scale road works required for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm.

Motorists travelling from the Lake Highway past Penstock Lagoon to Waddamana will experience lengthy delays. Motorists travelling from Bothwell through to the Waddamana Crossroads will also experience lengthy delays at the Crossroads. This includes vehicles turning right to Penstock Lagoon, and turning left to Bashan. 

There will be delays between 6.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday when traffic will be escorted through the work site. There will be breaks in the work from 10-10.30am and again from 1-1.30pm each day. Work will also be taking place every second Saturday, starting Saturday 6th of October.

Thank you for your patience during this time, and travel safely. 


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

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

The developments in the Central Highlands were founded on a dream and a vision, and put in place by people who worked to deliver something the impact of which they could barely imagine.

Driving tips

Tasmania’s Central Highlands offers a unique combination of heritage and natural beauty. It is a landscape of picturesque farmland fringed by snowcapped mountains, colonial homesteads and heritage villages - but expect the unexpected while driving.

More information


Phone  1300 360 441 (business hours)

Email icon-dark  waddamana@hydro.com.au 


For more information download the Highlands Power Trail brochure here.
© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2018