Tarraleah is a strange little place and full of Tasmanian highlandian history.
It is now a resort, but it was once a hydro village which began in the early 1930s and was a thriving town up until its closure in 1996. The hydro station still operates, but is automated.
What you’re seeing here is a miracle of human ingenuity. These pipes and the two power stations down in the valley are jus some of the visible signs of a mighty hydro generation system that is so vast it is almost impossible to grasp.
Built in rugged terrain against the odds of the Great Depression and WWII, the development includes three per schemes with 10 power stations, 16 dams and kilometres of canals, tunnels, pipelines and penstocks – pretty amazing!
Now Tarraleah offers luxury lodge suites, art deco cottages and the old school house. There are no permanent population now apart from the resort staff.
The lodge was originally built to be a highland get away and was the place to go, then it fell in to disrepair and sat derelict for a number of years before it was completely restored and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
They’ve restored all the old art deco doors and windows…..
And kept all the pressed tin ceilings and decorative cornices – so lovely.
One thing that probably wasn’t from the original plans was this bath in our room…… you turn the taps on from the wall, but the water comes out of the ceiling which when you are turning the taps on by leaning over the bath could possibly come as quite a surprise!
The town was well built with every modern convenience of the time with unlimited electrical heating, housing for the hydro employees, 3 public bars, 2 churches, post office, butcher shop, police station, supermarket, school and sports oval.
In 1996, when the town was officially closed down, most of the houses were sold then literally cut up and were loaded onto trucks to be relocated around Tasmania or simply bulldozed down, then the land slowly reverted back to bushland.
The lady who was hosting us in the lodge grew up in Tarraleah, moved away and lived a whole life and is now back living here and there is one other chap who runs the golf club who also grew up here, which amazes me cause there is NOTHING out here!
When people drive through Tarraleah, they can be forgiven for thinking that it is just a sleepy little village as the cottages look just like normal houses (from the movie Pleasantville!) but now apart from the minimal staff, the only permanent residents are 24 ducks, 2 goats, 6 geese and about 30 highland cows.
But…. the most famous tenant over the last 100 years in the lodge was Madame Lash, who specialised in S & M services.
That was a random fact!