THE HISTORY OF TULLAH
TULLAH LAKESIDE LODGE
Tullah was originally a mining town called Mt Farrell which was first established in 1900 following the discovery of silver lead ore by Tom Farrell in 1892.
On the 9th of April 1901 the Development of Lands, without consultation with the locals, gave the town the name of Tullah, which in aboriginal means 'meeting of waters'.
In March 1908 the Mt Farrell tramway was completed which was the first mode of transportation out of the town except horse or foot. The Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway was linked to the Emu Bay Railway in 1924. In 1964 after the completion of the Murchison Highway the tramway was closed.
In 1973 the Hydro Electric Commission commenced building of the Pieman River Power Development.
All of the construction for this project was undertaken in Tullah, boosting it's population up to 2500. The Hydro used Tullah as a base for construction on the West Coast up until 1994. Tullah Lakeside Lodge was first built as part of the Hydro Electric Commission workers accommodation. Since then, it has been sold a couple of times to different people to run as backpackers accommodation & motels. The current Tasmanian owners have had the business since late 2009 and have made a lot of improvements in and around the Lodge, from beautifying and installing gardens, renovating rooms to even building a new function centre overlooking the lake. It is the perfect venue for a wedding, corporate event or other celebration.
HYDRO TASMANIA POWER DEVELOPMENT
The Pieman catchment has been developed in two stages and contains four hydroelectric power stations. The first stage – The Pieman River Power Development was approved by parliament in 1971.
Construction started in 1974 and completed in 1987. The development consists of three power stations, five dams and a range of associated works. It harnesses the waters of one of the western Tasmania’s major rivers, the Pieman, and its two major tributaries, the Mackintosh, and the Murchison.
A single dam was constructed on the Murchison River, water from the resulting Lake Murchison is diverted via the Sophia Tunnel into Lake Mackintosh. This lake serves as the major storage for the scheme and was created by the construction of the large Mackintosh Dam and the smaller Tullabardine Dam.
The Mackintosh Power Station, which is at the foot of the Mackintosh Dam, has a capacity of 79.9MW.
It discharges it’s water into Lake Rosebery, the first of two storages formed by dams across the Pieman River.
Water for Lake Rosebery passes through the 79.9MW capacity Bastyan Power Station at the foot of the Bastyan Dam. It then flows into Lake Pieman and eventually through the 231.2MW capacity Reece Power Station at the foot of Reece Dam.
WEE GEORGIE WOOD
The Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway Inc commenced operations in 1987 utilising some 1.8 kilometres of 2 foot (610mm) gauge track and the restored 1924 Wee Georgie Wood steam locomotive as well as rolling stock of that era from other West Coast tramways.
Following the commencement of mining in the Tullah area in 1897 the Tullah township became established as a small mining settlement by 1900. The original transport in and out of Tullah was by foot and pack-horse following pack tracks to Mole Creek and to Rosebery.
For several years only high grade lead silver ore from the mine was sent by pack horse for transfer to the Emu Bay Railway line near the old Pieman bridge down river. This system was replaced by the North Mount Farrell Tramway which was opened in November 1902.
WEE GEORGIE WOOD
is a 6 ton Fowler locomotive and arrived to replace the ageing Krauss.
With the advent of the new Murchison Highway in 1964 Wee Georgie Wood and No 9, the only locos working, became redundant and Wee Georgie Wood was headed for the scrap heap or for mounting as a monument.
After a lot of hard work by a dedicated band of volunteers and generous support from local and coastal businesses, Wee Georgie was back in steam. The 1.8km of track was
re-established and a passenger carriage, previously used on the Lake Margaret Tramway, was restored for use.
On Thursday, the 5th of February 1987, the dream was finally achieved when Mr Robin Gray, The Hon. Premier of Tasmania officially opened Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway Inc. to the public.
There are several man made lakes in the area which are all part of the Anthony Power Scheme.
is a large lake to the east of Tullah. This lake has a boat ramp for fishing, some breathtaking views and camping spots. The road to the dam is formed onto the dam wall so be prepared to see some of the best views you can drive to in Tassie! Lake Mackintosh has to be one of the most popular fishing spots in the area.
is located south east of Tullah. You can drive up to the dam wall area and then it is just a short walk to the dam wall.
LAKE PIEMAN is the last lake in the Anthony power scheme and sits about 40 minutes west of Tullah. Reece Dam sits on the end of this lake and is the largest dam wall in the Anthony Power Scheme. This dam wall, same as Mackintosh dam wall, has the road built on top of it as part of the wall. This dam is definitely worth a visit and has some of the most spectacular views. Lake Pieman is also a popular fishing destination and has a boat ramp.