On the face of the Great Western Tiers sits a magical place overlooking the Tasmanian Midlands. It’s situated on the Poatina Road between the town of Cressy and the Great Lakes where a gravel road takes us to a peculiar place.
As we pulled up the van Willow was eager to get out and stretch her legs, and so were Steph and I.
Laid out before us was the expanse of the Northern Midlands, 800 metres below. The view was panoramic and extended for as far as the eye could see. In the distance mountains peaked over the cloud layer forming fairytale islands in the sky.
Willow sat by the van and took it all in. The pastures, roads, and towns below stood like a diorama. Along the midlands highway a hectic stream of cars travel between Hobart and Launceston transporting the busy people to their destinations.
And there we were – in the clouds above – watching everything and nothing as we breathed in the mountain air.
Do we join them on that highway? I ask Willow. To live their lives. Get a proper job. Rent a house, or pay the bank until we get old..
Willow turns away.
At the lookout is a dilapidated picnic area, with tables and benches long gone. More interesting is the entry to the headrace adit. A tunnel has been carved through the mountain which connects the Great Lakes to the side of the Wester Tiers where a penstock delivers the water to the hydroelectric power station below us.
The adit provides maintenance access to the tunnel which was built in 1964. Though, in my imagination, it’s the entry to a supervillains lair.
Willow eyed off the entrance a few times but I was confident she had no interest in exploring. She was content to sniff the plants and roll around in the dust until her coat was shiny and conditioned.
Though, not content with the view afforded to her at the current altitude she found a tree to climb. She surveilled the plains and rivers below.
A car drove up the road. Willow jumped out of the tree and darted under the van to her safe place. It’s reassuring for us to know that if anything ever spooks her the van is the first place she goes. This gives us the confidence to let her out and to know that she will be safe.
The occupants of the car get out for a quick look before driving on, and Willow emerged from under the van. She returned to her seat next to me on a boulder, and ass I stroked her back the dust from her bath rose up.
Inside the van Steph was making us a cup of tea and feeding her sourdough. Soon the sun would be setting and it would be time to start thinking about dinner.
Maybe we would drive down the mountain. Maybe we would stay right there. What was sure was that the three of us would be together.
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What a special place! I love visiting this lookout every time we are in the area. Tasmania has lots of hydroelectric infrastructure carved out of the wilderness that makes you feel like you’re in a spy film.
Thanks for reading. Our next destination is the East Coast. We hope you will join us!