Abseiling Gordon Dam
The mighty Gordon River Dam is an engineering marvel, 11 meters taller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge and holding back 30 times the volume of water in the Harbour itself. Located in South West Tasmania at the edge of the famed World Heritage Wilderness Area, the dam appears to be the only manmade creation for miles, its curved concrete façade standing in stark contrast to the surrounding natural scenery.
Constructed in 1974 for the purpose of generating hydro-electric power via the Gordon Power Station below, this 140m-tall icon has since become a mecca of sorts for thrill seekers across the state, and indeed mainland Australia.
The dam wall serves as the site of the world’s highest abseil, run by Hobart-based tour operator Aardvark Adventures. The day begins with a two-and-a-half hour drive from the state capital through the South West Wilderness, known for its unspoilt scenery, rugged peaks, wild rivers, and unique flora and fauna. It’s a soothing lead-up to your arrival at Strathgordon, when those nerves of yours will inevitably make themselves known.
If you can suppress that voice in your head raging at you to step back from the guard rail, you can appreciate just what an incredibly special experience this is. The panoramic view from the top is nothing short of amazing, particularly if there’s fog about, as it’s like staring Mother Nature in the face in one of her wildest moods.
Abseilers can try the 30 metre or 50 metre descents before taking the leap of faith and attempting the 140 metre drop. The Dam itself is concave, which means that abseilers will not be touching the wall for most of the journey down the face when making the 140 metre descent. Aardvark Adventures supplies all specialist abseiling equipment and even provide digital photographs of the day—so you’ll have a reminder of the moments you braved the unthinkable.
Need to know
The Gordon Dam abseil costs $210 per person. Aardvark Adventures operates all year round (weather permitting). No abseiling experience is necessary.