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Hydroelectric pioneering history

 

Tarraleah isn’t just special place with stunning views of the Tasmanian Highlands and wilderness, it was once the home of hundreds of Hydroelectric pioneers.

 

First scouted in the late 1800’s, the site was cleared as part of the Hydro development in the area during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Initially, the workforce lived in tents and basic huts. Then in the late 1930’s more permanent houses were constructed on the escarpment, designed as family homes to attract the large number of skilled engineers and tradesmen required to work on the Hydro project. In the same year, the Chalet (now the Lodge) was also constructed. The Chalet was the centrepiece of the Tarraleah settlement and was built to host visiting Hydro Engineers and Company Directors.

 

For a number of years, the village grew, with many more roads, houses and public buildings being constructed, including; churches, a town hall and picture theatre, public house, supermarket, hospital, roadhouse and more. The population grew to several thousand until in the 1980’s and 1990’s the village suffered a decline, as capital works in the area were completed and the population moved onto other projects around the state. Eventually, the town closed altogether, and then parts of the remaining buildings were leased to short-term businesses. In 2006 the village was purchased and transformed into what it is today – a hotel on a village scale.

 

Today Tarraleah Estate includes a spectacular lookout point, a range of walks, exciting Tasmanian wildlife, a range of holiday and luxury accommodation options, as well as dining and function spaces. The estate also maintains a close association with Tarraleah Golf Club. Visitors can see the original church, the Great Hall and Pub, as well as stay in one of 15 original houses, one of the 9 Luxury rooms in the Lodge or even sleep in a schoolroom in the old schoolhouse.