Saturday, 28 February 2015

A Dam in the Mountains

On Friday there was a baby wombat on 'The Zoo',awww, and I want one. Then they showed a glimpse of a baby sugar glider or something like that so now I want one of them too. Clucky over baby animals. Awww. Friday was another day at home with work to look forward to at night. I got in some t.v. viewing in the afternoon before trying to nap and failing at napping. I even got to see the end of the first episode of the new series of Downton Abby. I love that show but never really watch it until it comes out on DVD. It usually ends up being on too late.

Other than doing nothing much and being sucked into the black hole of pinterest I did, well, nothing much. I did however manage to spend my morning driving up and then back down from Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris. I went there not that long ago, in the rain. This time there wasn't a skerrick of rain in sight just mostly clear endless blue sky and a very bitey sun.

Clear, still water surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Amazing!

Seeing it in the rain last time I thought it would be a beautiful spot, particularly when a bit less soggy.

It was also very quiet.

I did see a boat out on the Dam/ Lake and I assume it was the caretaker as any water based activities, other than water viewing, aren't allowed. Well that is as far as I know.

Knowing other Dams used for human consumption allow boating and fishing I assume the lack of boating is purely to stop people attempting to take boats up there. That road is not fit for that, nor wide enough. It also could be something to do with the national park surrounding it.

Other than the dam, something else destinctive were the high voltage towers that towered above the trees.

I learnt from a sign that they are 275 000 volt towers constructed by Powerlink Queensland in 1997. They were built to reinforce the high voltage power supply to Cairns. They are between 65 and 75 meters tall meaning the wires are well above the rainforest canopy. This means they only had to clear minimal vegetation, only around the base of each tower. What I thought was cool was that the towers that can't be easily accessed have a platform to land a helicopter so they can do maintenance.

From Cairns you can see the towers going up the mountains but it is only up close you realise just how huge they are.

I wandered around the upper level picnic area. There were BBQs, picnic tables, a playground and a fantastic view of the lake.

I then was really lazy and got in the car to drive down to the dam wall. The sign said 20min walk and I saw the hill I would have to come back up. I think whoever decided how long it would take was a very slow walker. Driving meant I got to drive over the bridge across part of the dam though which was pretty cool.

I did see a car down there but it turns out it was water people or something from the council. They must have been fixing something or checking levels or something or other useful. They weren't drinking cuppas or all standing around while one did the work so it must have been useful. 

Once they left it was just me and the birds.

I walked to the lookout over the over flow. It was 10cm over. It would have been really nice from the bottom but you can't go down there. Understandable, I guess.

I then walked back across the bridge I had driven across to walk out to the intake tower.


The clear sky and still water meant the water was very mirror like.

If you want to know a bit more about the dam below is some info from Wikipedia. If you don't, just skip it.

 Copperlode Dam

Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris is a fresh water reservoir dam servicing the city of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The dam is located in the range immediately west of the city.


Originally Cairns' water needs were met with water drawn from Freshwater Creek and also some from Behana Creek. It was evident to even the earliest setters that a larger source of water would need to be secured as Cairns grew.
With this in mind, one of the city's engineers, Mr F Morris, explored the Lamb Range to the west of the city to find a place to build a dam. In 1935 he found a site at Copperlode falls, near the headwaters of Freshwater Creek, that he thought would be suitable for the dam. Many years later, after a series of surveys confirmed the site's suitability, the State Government approved the site for construction of an earth and rock fill dam.
The State Government originally set aside A$3 million for the dam, but by the time the dam was completed on March 25, 1976, the total cost had risen to approximately $6.5 million. The reservoir holds 45,000 Megalitres of water (In comparison to Lake Tinaroo's 407 000 Megalitres). The reservoir is named "Lake Morris" after the city engineer that discovered its site, but the dam itself is named after the waterfalls it replaced - Copperlode Falls.

On reading council information when the dam it at 100% it holds 37 100 megalitres. At the moment it is running over so it is holding more than that and is at over 100% capacity. There is space for more water but it just means more will flow out. It doesn't have any gates to open and close the water just goes over the spillway when it is full.

I could have sat out there just watching and relaxing for ages but my skin has a habit of burning to a crisp.

On the way back I stopped at a mostly clear spot near the entrance to Copperlode Dam to check out the view of the mountains.

It is then that I realised just how high up I was. Surrounded by mountains and the rainforest it was like another world compared to the city just a short 16km drive away.

The only way you can get up there is with your own transport; car, bike or legs. There are plenty who ride bikes up there. Whatever floats their boat. Maybe that is why it is such a nice, quiet spot. A bit of a hidden gem.

Now I just have to get Mr Sparky up here, maybe a BBQ one day.

Do you have to drag you other half by the ear to come look at things with you?
Do you burn to a crisp in the sun, imitating a lobster, like I do?

My Memory Art six word fridays


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