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"NO MORTGAGE, NO MOWING" - The Grey Nomad Journeys of Keith and Frances Thompson

Weldborough District

by Aug 30, 2019Post0 comments

Photos Courtesy Free Range Camping.

fAbove: Weldborough from Mount Paris Dam Road.

The tiny settlement of Weldborough sits about half way between Scottsdale and St Helens nestled between 2 parts of the mountain ranges through this part of Tasmania.  To the North you pass over the range between Moorina and Weldborough, and to the South lies the Weldborough Pass on the way to Pyengana and St Helens.

Weldborough is best know for it’s historic hotel which is now heritage listed; our journey through here saw us stopping in for lunch which was a great meal with a log fire to keep us warm.

Behind the hotel is a campground provided by the Hotel which is currently free of charge and includes toilet and shower facilities.

 

Outside of Weldborough we have already posted our visit to Harridge Falls, this time we will look at our trip out to Mount Paris Dam and other nearby locations:

Mount Paris Dam was constructed on the Weld River in 1936 to serve the mining activities of the Mount Paris Mine 11km away via a water race; one of the principal engineers was Sir John Proud, later to be better known for the Proud’s Jewelers chain. .  The remarkable historical fact about this dam was that it was constructed by hand.  All the concrete was mixed on site in traditional builders concrete mixers and the wall progressively “poured” from end to end and top to bottom.  This was an amazing feat, and believed to be the only one in Australia and certainly the only one in Tasmania built this way, also considering it is 16m high and 250m long.

Here we see water spilling through the openings in the wall.

Article extract courtesy Think-Tasmania.com: The mining agreement ceased with the closure of The Mt Paris Tin Mine in December, 1961. Very little maintenance was provided at the dam after this. The Ringarooma–Cascade Water Board was disbanded in 1985 and ownership of The Morning Star Dam was at this time transferred to The Rivers and Water Supply Commission. At this time the dam storage had been virtually empty since the 1970s, and it was in June 1985 the Commission blasted a hole in the base of the dam wall to allow the natural flow of the Cascade River to occur once more. Around 1994 further alterations were made to prevent the dam holding water.

 

On the way back from the dam we followed a signfor a “Picnic Ground” in the State Forest; this turned out to be a very neglected area alongside a small lake, known as the Maa Mon Chin Picnic Ground.  This courtesy of the Australian Chinese Museum:

“Maa Mon Chinn (1846-18.5.1923) was a highly respected clan headman, storekeeper and tinminer who lived in Weldborough, North East Tasmania, for most of his life.

He came to Tasmania from Guangdong province with his father, and older brother, Maa Pahn, in the 1860s, to make money from tin mining. At that time Maa Mon Chinn was in his mid-teens. They were among the first Chinese to emigrate to Tasmania.”

After Lunch at the Weldborough Hotel we called in to the short Rainforest Walk on the way up the Weldborough Pass.  This is just a short loop of a few hindred metres but is very different from other walks in the area being almost entirely Myrtle Forest.

 

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