Allow a minimum of one hour for this activity: 15 mins drive each way, 10 minute walk, take lots of photos, wander along the creek, enjoy! You may decide to drive on to Welborough. How to get there: From Tin Dragon Trail Cottages turn right onto the Tasman Highway (A3). Drive up over the hill out of Branxholm. Just past the town boundary, turn right into the Mt Paris Dam Rd (C425)—set odometer to 0. This is a gravel road which is well maintained and suitable for a small car. As you drive along this road: Less than 1 km along the road (0.7 km)
there is a small car-parking area. From here you can walk a section of the Briseis race all the way into Derby. This walk was cleared as a community project ~8 years ago, but has not been maintained. The first short section (<1 km) is an easy walk worth taking. The remainder is for experienced walkers only. It may be very over-grown!
Trigger plants blooming along Ah Foo Road At 11.3 km Ah Foo road turns off to the
right . This is an interesting drive which winds up onto Mt Paris and Ah Foo’s settlement, which was a tin-mining area. The views across the mountains during late JanFeb are clothed in pink from the flowering Trigger plants. This is a 4WD track. Note: Forestry may remove the signage when trees are being logged in this area. At 11.4 km Mt Paris Dam Rd crosses over the Cascade River then meets the Mt Paris Dam turn-off to the left (at 13.1 km). Take this turn and park your car close to the turn-off. The road along the dam wall is a 4WD track. A short walk under the dam wall takes you to an entrance through the wall.
Collapsed pipe on the Briseis Water Race
The Mt Paris Dam was designed in 1935 by consulting engineers, Haskins and Davey of Sydney for Mt Paris Tin Mines Ltd and was built in 1936 as the Morning Star Dam. It was connected to the Mount Paris Mine by a water race 11 km long. The structure remains as an important part of the mining heritage of North East Tasmania. The dam construction was supervised by mining engineer, John Proud. He was a member of the well-known family of jewellers who were also major shareholders in the Mount Paris Mine. John was a (miraculous) survivor of the Stinson plane crash in Southern Queensland.
The external dam wall
The dam is described as a re-enforced concrete slab and buttress dam, having a length of 250m and a maximum height of 16m. The dam creates water storage of about 1300 megalitres, covering an area of almost 21 hectares (52 Acres). During 1939, the Tasmanian assets of the Mount Paris Company were sold to Briseis Consolidated NL of Derby, who continued to maintain the dam till operations ceased in 1947. The dam was then purchased by the Government and managed by the Ringarooma-Cascade Water Board under the provisions of the Ringarooma and Cascade Water System (Agreement) Act, 1947. Briseis Tin NL, the new owners of the Briseis operations, continued to maintain the dam under an agreement with the Board. This agreement ceased with the closure of the mine in December 1961.
A hole was blasted in the wall after the dam was decommissioned
Minimum maintenance was carried out by the Board till 1984 when feasibility investigations were carried out with the view to incorporate the dam into the Winnaleah Water Scheme. When the Ringarooma-Cascade Water Board was disbanded in 1985 the ownership of the Morning Star Dam was transferred to the Rivers and Waters Supply Commission. Although the storage has remained empty since about 1970, the Commission blasted an opening at the base of the dam wall to allow the natural flow of the Cascade River to be maintained in June 1985.
Original diversion tunnel used during dam construction
Exploring the Cascade River below the dam
After viewing the dam, you could continue along the Mt Paris Dam Road to Weldborough (19 km from Tin Dragon Trail Cottages to Weldborough). **Information taken from interpretation sign at the dam