The view from the lookout, down the mighty penstocks that channel water into Tarraleah Power Station

Upper Derwent Valley

The upper Derwent Valley is a region rich in history, and is the location of a number of old ‘hydro construction villages’.  Hydro Tasmania began operation in this region in 1938 with Tarraleah Power Station, and today has four main power stations operating here as well as Nieterana mini-hydro. These stations use lakes and lagoons for storing water which can be released as needed to generate electricity, with a total capacity of approximately 260 MW.

Outdoor activity sites and amenities in the Upper Derwent Valley

The waterways of the upper Derwent Valley are used for outdoor activities, in particular paddling and fishing. Boat ramps with public access are located at Bronte LagoonBradys LakeLake BinneyTungatinah LagoonDee LagoonPine Tier LagoonLake King William and Lake Echo.  

Bronte Lagoon was created to supply Tungatinah Power Station, and has well conditioned trout for fly and lure anglers. 

The Bradys Lake Slalom Course is an internationally recognised white water site. Bradys Lake sits at the start of a chain of lakes, with canals flowing into Lake Binney and Tungatinah Lagoon. The Bradys Chain also offers a range of fishing experiences for anglers. Trolling and spin fishing is popular, as is bait fishing, and the waters are stocked with brown and rainbow trout of varying sizes. 

Other waters in the upper Derwent that offer excellent boat and shore-based fishing options using a variety of methods include Lake King William, Dee Lagoon and Lake Echo.  

There are a number of points of interest and attractions for visitors not seeking active outdoor pursuits. The Nive River picnic area provides visitor facilities including a barbecue and a toilet, and a striking view of the penstocks which deliver water to the Tarraleah and Tungatinah power stations. The nearby Tarraleah Penstocks Lookout and Surge Tower are must see stops that can be seen at the Tarraleah village.

The historic hydro construction village of Tarraleah, now privately owned, offers a range of accommodation from camping to award-winning luxury, as well as a café.

Much of the area surrounding Hydro Tasmania's lakes in the Upper Derwent Valley is managed with the support of the Southern Highlands Progress Association (SHPA) and community minded residents, who contribute to maintenance and hold annual clean up events. Hydro Tasmania acknowledges and greatly appreciates the support of the SHPA and local community members.

Planning a trip to the Upper Derwent?

Download our outdoor activities flier for information on fishing, paddling, camping and more!