Great Lake (Tasmania)

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Great Lake
Great Lake, Tasmania.jpg
The northern end of the Great Lake
Great Lake is located in Tasmania
Great Lake
Great Lake
Location in Tasmania
Location Central Northern Tasmania
Coordinates 41°52′S 146°45′E / 41.867°S 146.750°E / -41.867; 146.750Coordinates: 41°52′S 146°45′E / 41.867°S 146.750°E / -41.867; 146.750
Type Natural lake; reservoir
Primary inflows
  • Pine Rivulet
  • Breton Rivulet
Primary outflows Shannon River
Catchment area 399 square kilometres (154 sq mi)[1]
Basin countries Australia
Built 1967 (1967)
Max. length 24.6 km (15.3 mi)
Max. width 12 km (7.5 mi)
Surface area 176 km2 (68 sq mi)[1]
Surface elevation 1,030 m (3,380 ft)
Frozen During some winters.
Islands Reynolds ;Howells Neck; Pine; Helen; Kangaroo; and Maclanachans Point
Settlements Miena, Breona, Liaweenee
References [1]

The Great Lake is a natural lake and man-made reservoir that is located in the central northern region of Tasmania, Australia.

Location and features[edit]

Fed by the Pine Rivulet and Breton Rivulet, the original natural freshwater lake, much smaller in size than its current 176-square-kilometre (68 sq mi) surface area, was expanded as a result of the 1922 construction of Miena Dam #2 at its southern outflow into the Shannon River. This dam is considered to be of high heritage value by The Institution of Engineers Australia.[2]

Miena Dam #2 created the once-famous Shannon Rise,[3] in the 500-metre section of the Shannon River between the dam and Shannon Lagoon. The hatching of thousands of caddis moths in early summer, attracted large numbers of trout and fishermen.

In 1967, a sloping-core rock-fill dam was built just downstream of Miena Dam #2 to increase the maximum-capacity level, destroying the Shannon Rise. It was raised a further six metres in 1982,[4] causing Miena Dam #2 to be periodically submerged.

After Lake Pedder, the Great Lake is the state's second largest freshwater lake.[1]

At 1,030 metres (3,380 ft) above sea level, the lake's uses include hydro-electric power, fishing, and tourism. Water from the lake flows into Poatina Power Station to generate hydro-electric power.[5]

The nearby towns of Liaweenee and Miena are popular holiday shack destinations for local tourists, despite the area's reputation as being one of the coldest places in the generally mild-weathered state. During the winter months, when the weather is hardly conducive to camping, the population of these two small towns drops to two or three hundred. Parts of the lake surface have frozen during July in some years.

The Lake Highway or Highland Lakes Road runs along the west side of the lake and is sometimes snowed under in winter.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Jetson, Tim (1989) The roof of Tasmania : a history of the Central Plateau. Launceston, Tas. : Pelion Press. ISBN 0-7316-7214-3
  • Tasmania. Hydro-Electric Commission (1925), The hydro-electric power of Tasmania : a description of the Great Lake Hydro-Electric Development and of the Tasmanian Electricity Supply System Published under authority, Hydro-Electric Department of Tasmania, Tait, Melbourne