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A Paris Hidden In The Rainforest

Along the banks of the Cascade River in North East Tasmania is a spectacular sight. Hidden among the ferns and reclaiming forest you'll find the heritage listed Mount Paris Dam. Construction of the dam began in 1935, and was completed less than a year later, in 1936. It was previously referred to as the Morning Star Dam. The dam is the only one of a buttress and slab construction in Tasmania, and one of just handful of that construction in the country.


Images L-R: A Photography Haven, by Dex Photography | Mt Paris Dam from above, by Steve Greenwood.

The late 1800s and early 1900s witnessed a major mining boom across the whole North East, with the towns of Derby, Branxholm and Weldborough thriving. ⠀

The Dam, built for the Mt Paris Tin Mining Company major tin mine, played a valuable part in the regions history. It was built entirely by hand and was one of the biggest in the area. Over 70 men worked construction, with single men accommodated on site, and those married offered camping at a nearby picnic site with their families. Today the Dam is no longer used, but accessible via Branxholm.

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Images: Family Adventures at Mt Paris Dam by Adventrues in Melbourne

The walk is wonderful for all ages: in and around the giant slabs and in between the wall itself. Wildlife surrounds the dam due to the lush ground cover and running water; its a haven for wallabies, wombats and an array of bird species. Even snakes in the warmer months.

A swimming hole is nearby, follow the creek and you'll find a perfect spot to lay your towels, have a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.


Images L-R: Family Adventures at Mt Paris Dam by Adventrues in Melbourne| Swimming at the Dam by Nathan Mckinnell

To get there from Branxholm:

Follow the Tasman Highway towards Derby until you reach the Mt Paris Dam Road. Turn right onto the road. Set your odometer to 0 and drive 11.4 km. This is gravel road but OK for cars. Once you've traveled the distance, you'll find the Mt Paris Dam turn off, just past the Cascade River crossing. Park your car and walk, as the rest of the way is 4 wheel drive only. After a short distance you'll find the Dam wall.

Thanks to @melbourneminor for sharing your photo with us! ⠀