"Lake Pedder" Top 5 Page for this destination State of Tasmania Favorite Tip by iandsmith
State of Tasmania General: 61 reviews and 180 photos
Favorite thing: I had chanced upon the book in the library one day and flicked casually through it. Here I learned of the legacy of the Latvian born Olegas Truchanas, for it was a volume dedicated to his photography and ideals.
In it I learned that he had lost all his transparencies in a bushfire and had to reshoot the scenes he treasured. Indeed, it was his picture of the now-lost Lake Pedder that really fired up the conservation swell that ultimately led to the saving of the Franklin, the river Olegas tragically drowned in. After his passing the book was published, a 5,000 run that the publishers said they would have trouble selling. By the fifth reprint it is fair to suggest they had probably changed their minds!
Olegas’ upturned kayak was found by Peter Dombrovskis, the photographer who took up the mantle and whose photo of Rock Island Bend was beamed around the world, inspiring international outrage.
Dombrovskis also died in the wilderness he loved, walking along a trail where he suffered a heart attack, but by then the Franklin at least had been preserved.
Thus it was I found myself on the road to Lake Pedder, making my own personal pilgrimage as it were, in homage to Truchanas and all those who came after.
Fondest memory: It was drizzling rain and whatever views there may have been were obscured by the forests.
Then a gap appeared. Rock cliffs thrust themselves onto the scene like dominant overseers of the landscape. “Wow” was all I could utter before they disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.
From another gap an even more inspiring range made its presence felt. I remember thinking that if this was all I saw I would still have gone away satisfied.
At the highest point in the road (650 metres) you are directly below the Needles, the first cliffs I had glimpsed.
I then drove for about 30 kilometres when suddenly the second lot of mountains were upon me, flaunting their magnificence. A pewter sky clung limpet-like to the peaks as the showers intermittently obscured the massif.
The Precambrian quartzite remnants towered over the road, the almost bare stone ramparts wrinkled with age yet seemingly defiant of all that nature could throw at them. Yet, everywhere narrow watercourses and tumbled rocks bespoke of the dominance of time and weather.
It’s impossible to drive past The Sentinel Range and not be moved. Personally I already had goose bumps and Lake Pedder was yet to come.
The excellent road almost belies the wilderness that you are encroaching upon.
The first indications that water is nearby are the “boat ramp” signs but here the lake isn’t as scenically attractive and, by this time, you will have been disenchanted by the scars of the powerlines and poles that would have taunted Olegas’ vision of his beloved south western Tasmania.
Of course, one legacy of all this is the sealed road that today’s tourists enjoy and that ultimately leads you to Strathgordon and the Lake Pedder lookout just beyond.
Today’s view is predominantly that of water and former mountains are sometimes islands, sometimes peninsulas.
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