Tour the Highlands Power Trail for a unique experience in the rugged Central Highlands of Tasmania, where a bold vision became a reality and changed the shape of Tasmania.

This self-guided driving trail provides visitors with an insight into the history of hydro power within Tasmania, and the extraordinary challenges and achievements of the workers and community.


Located in Tasmania’s rugged Central Highlands, Waddamana is the site of Hydro Tasmania’s first power station and the centre-piece of the Great Lake Power Scheme.

Development of Waddamana Power Station and the scheme commenced in 1910 through a private company, however financial struggles forced a sale to the Tasmanian government in 1914. Tasmania’s Hydro-Electric Department was formed to continue the ambitious development.

Construction in this isolated region was difficult, with limited access in for workers, supplies and equipment. However the resilience and determination of the Central Highlands' people prevailed, with Waddamana A Power Station commissioned in 1916 with two operational generators.

This visionary development deep in the centre of Tasmania was officially opened with great ceremony by Governor General Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson on 6 May 1916, and heralded Tasmania’s move into the industrial age.