Category Archives: landscape

the outskirts part 1


Scotts Peak Dam & Red Knoll Lookout

After leaving Gordon Dam we drove back along Gordon River Road to Scotts Peak Dam turnoff, about 53 km. We stopped at the Creepy Crawly Walk not far along the unsealed road.

20180712-126 Creepy Crawly Nature Trail copy

Creepy Crawly Walk

Continuing along the road we passed Edgar Dam and Scotts Peak Dam at the eastern end of the lake.

20180712-131 On Scotts Peak Dam Road

View from Scotts Peak Road

20180712-134 Edgar Pond maybe

I think this Edgar Pond

Scotts Peak Dam was built to dam the Huon River. At 43 metres high it’s only a baby compared to the Gordon Dam. Edgar Dam is even smaller, 17 metres. There’s no public access to either of these dams walls.

Passing the two dams, the road takes you to Red Knoll Lookout.

20180712-140 Red Knoll Lookout - Scotts Peak

Scotts Peak

20180712-151 Red Knoll Lookout

Looking back at the mountains

20180712-154 Red Knoll Lookout

Scotts Peak Dam and mountains

20180712-155 Red Knoll Lookout

Scotts Peak Dam

20180712-171 Red Knoll Lookout pano copy

Phone panorama 1 at Red Knoll Lookout

20180712-172 Red Knoll Lookout

Failed phone panorama. I like how the portrait image shows the layers of the landscape, almost like a core sample

20180712-173 Red Knoll Lookout pano

Phone panorama 2 at Red Knoll Lookout

We weren’t there at a great time of day to take photos and I probably would have got better results shooting RAW.

This is a place you’d want to spend an entire day, from sunrise to sunset, watching the light changing and photographing the different moods of the rocks and the mountains. And probably more than one day because of the fog in some places and the clouds over the mountains.

It’s not the sort of place to visit once and say you’d seen it.

Gordon Dam

After leaving the Serpentine Dam we continued along Gordon Rover Road to the end of the road, where we came to the Gordon Dam.

Lake Gordon, created by the dam, was still shrouded in fog so it was impossible to see how big it was, but we could see the dam wall itself, which is pretty impressive.

20180712-060 Lake Gordon

Lake Gordon

Completed in 1974, it’s 140 metres high and is the highest arch dam and the largest storage dam in Australia.

20180712-097 Looking down on the Gordon Dam wall

The view from near the top of the steps

It’s curved both horizontally and vertically, which allowed them to use less concrete in construction, reducing the overall cost. The dual arch explains why it doesn’t look straight. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!

20180712-100 Looking down on the Gordon Dam wall

View from the lookout. There are people walking along the wall.

20180712-092 Looking down on the Gordon Dam wall

Top of the dam wall

20180712-089 River side of Gordon Dam wall

Gordon River side of the dam wall

20180712-081 Gordon River

Gordon River

20180712-077 Gordon Dam wall

Looking back up to the road


Serpentine Dam

The Serpentine Dam is part of Lake Pedder or, to use its technical name, the Huon Serpentine Impoundment. The dam was constructed in 1971 on the Serpentine River.

About two km west of Strathgordon, you pass the Lake Pedder lookout. This day, it was foggy and the lookout view was non-existent.

20180712-003 Silhouettes in the fog at the lookout

At Lake Pedder lookout

20180712-011 Silhouettes in the fog at the lookout

Good for silhouettes

Continuing along Gordon River Road for another seven km, you reach the turnoff to the Serpentine Dam. From there, it’s a short drive to the boat ramp.

20180712-023 Serpentine Dam the other side

The road to the dam seen from near the boat ramp

20180712-028 Serpentine Dam the other side

Lifting fog over Serpentine Dam

20180712-037 Serpentine Dam

Fog over Serpentine Dam

20180712-040 Serpentine Dam

Hillsides peeking through the fog

20180712-035 Serpentine Dam

Mist emerging from mist

And from there, it’s another short drive to the dam wall.

20180712-043 Serpentine Dam wall

Serpentine Dam

This is a concrete-faced rockfill dam, which is basically a compacted rock wall that is made waterproof by a thin layer of concrete on the upstream face (the left side in this picture). The wall is 41.5 metres high at its highest point and 134 metres long. It contains 114 000 cubic metres of rockfill.


The Sentinels

Along the Gordon River Road heading towards Lake Pedder is a spectacular range called The Sentinels. It’s a quartzite range about five km long and one km high and it would seem the most common reaction of people seeing it for the first time as they drive round the bend is, “Wow!”

That was certainly my reaction. This range took my breath away when I saw it from the road. Over the three days we were in the area we made several photo stops here, and here’s what we saw.

Day one—sunny, beautiful sky

Photos from the road to Strathgordon.

20180711-057 The Sentinals edit copy

Day 1: From the road

20180711-061 The Sentinals edit copy

Day 1: From the road

20180711-062 The Sentinals edit copy

Day 1: From the road

Day two—started out foggy, mostly cleared up in the afternoon

Photos from a couple of roadside stops in the afternoon sun.

20180712-178 The Sentinels copy

Day 2: From a convenient cutaway

20180712-183 The Sentinels copy

Day 2: Zooming in

20180712-185 The Sentinels

Day 2

20180712-187 The Sentinels copy

Day 2: Looking up

20180712-194 The Sentinels

Day 2: Zooming in

20180712-195 The Sentinels edit copy

Day 2: In a different light

Day three—nothing to see here

Photos from a roadside stop on the way home in the fog.

20180713-021 Near the Sentinels copy

Day 3: Over the road

20180713-022 Sentinels copy

Day 3: Misty

20180713-030 Sentinels

Day 3: Still misty