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Mt Paris Dam - Shannon's Blog

DATE 22/09/2011

“Hi, I'm Shannon, during the summer of 2011 as a bursary student with Forestry Tasmania, I took the challenge to visit Forestry Tamania's 52 visitor sites.

I hope you enjoy my blogs and are inspired to visit some or all of these places for yourself."


Heading east through Branxholm, there is a turnoff to Mt Paris Road. About 13 km along this road is the Mt Paris Dam which is fascinating and rich in history from back in the early days of mining in the area.

The dam was designed in 1935 for the Mt Paris Mining Company Ltd. It was then built a year later and named the Morning Star Dam, connecting the Mt Paris Mine by an 11km water race. When at full capacity, the dam was 250m long, 16m high, and could hold up to 1300 mega litres.

During its time, the dam passed through several hands. In 1939, it was sold to Briseis Consolidated NL of Derby, then in 1947 when they stopped operating; the Government purchased it and it was maintained by the Ringarooma Cascade Water Board until they were disbanded in 1985.

It was in 1985 that the Rivers and Water Supply Commission gained ownership, and as the dam storage had been empty since the 1970s they blasted a hole in the dam wall to let water pass freely through to the Cascade River.

The dam wall still stands today, and if you walk down to the river you can see where the holes were blasted to let the water run through. You can walk through the holes and to the other side which would have been full of water once upon a time. Now standing in the middle of the dam, with most of the vegetation grown back, the only thing to indicate that it was ever any different is the dam wall which still stands quite solidly in front of you.

You can see the craftsmanship and hard work which went in to building the dam, and it certainly does not replicate any of the more modern dam walls I have seen anywhere else.

This really is something I haven’t seen anywhere else, and is quite an interesting experience. It’s hard to imagine, standing there in the middle of what used to be a dam, that there could have ever been any water in it.

GPS Coordinates :

LAT :  41°10'14.84"S
LON : 147°49'20.95"E

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