Born in 1946, I grew up in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. There I enjoyed many bush walking expeditions and developed a strong love of the natural environment, as well as a curiosity to explore. In 1962, my father led a group of Blue Mountains boys, including myself, on the Cradle Mountain Reserve Overland Track walk. This was the beginning of my love of Tasmania and its wild beauty.
In May 1966 I returned to Tasmania to live in Launceston and to commence a Land Surveying career. There I met Sue Large from Hobart who at the time was teaching at a Launceston high school. We both joined the Launceston Walking Club (LWC) and enjoyed many walks and mountain climbs in the beautiful and rugged wilderness areas of Tasmania. We married in Launceston in 1969 with many of our walking club friends as guests
From 1967 to 1972, as members of the LWC and the Save Lake Pedder National Park Committee, we fought alongside thousands of other Australians and world-citizens / scientists to try to ‘save’ the lake from inundation. During these campaign years the club organized a number of weekend walks into Lake Pedder for members to camp, explore and photograph.
The club had its own bus and a 5pm Friday departure from Launceston was not unusual. The Pedder track off the Gordon River Road would not be reached until well after dark and then members would commence the 9km walk into the lake. One walk must have been planned to coincide with the full moon, because I remember that long walk, up over the saddle beside the Sentinel Range and across the swampy plains, being made a little bit easier by being able to see some of the bog holes!
The scene at Lake Pedder was one of quiet beauty with its magnificent pinkish-white quartzite beach, fringed by mountain ranges. It is difficult to describe the tranquility and spiritual refreshment experienced by walking into Pedder on a fine day and spending time in that unique natural environment.
My final visit to, and camp at, Lake Pedder was on the March 1972 long weekend. Sue and I flew in from Hobart with our two-year-old daughter Georgie, and Sue’s father. This was the last time that aircraft could land on the beach with visitors before the backing up Serpentine dam water permanently covered the lake and beach. During that visit we quietly enjoyed and absorbed that beautiful, tranquil, spiritual place and lamented its impending inundation. Since then it has been my lifelong wish that that the original Lake Pedder would one day be restored
The following photos are some we have scanned from my slide photography shot on that memorable weekend. My camera was a Canon 35mm SLR loaded with Kodak Ecktachrome 100 ASA slide film. The photos themselves probably best describe Lake Pedder and environs on a beautiful day, man interacting with the environment, camping, the vegetation, the topography / geology, the dam water backing up, the beach as an airfield, and the eco-tourism potential of this once jewel in the Tasmanian South West Wilderness.