Thomson River Diversion Tunnel

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Thomson River Diversion Tunnel
Victoria
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
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Thomson River Diversion Tunnel
Nearest town or city Walhalla
Coordinates 37°58′20″S146°25′29″E / 37.97222°S 146.42472°E / -37.97222; 146.42472 Coordinates: 37°58′20″S146°25′29″E / 37.97222°S 146.42472°E / -37.97222; 146.42472
See also Protected areas of Victoria

The Thomson River Diversion Tunnel, also known as the Horseshoe Bend Tunnel or the Chinese Tunnel, is located on the Thomson River near the junction with Coopers Creek (and the locality of Platina), approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south-west of Walhalla, Victoria, Australia. The site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and covered by a Heritage Overlay. [1]

Thomson River (Victoria) river in Victoria, Australia

The Thomson River, a perennial river of the West Gippsland catchment, is located in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria.

Walhalla, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

Walhalla is a small town in Victoria, Australia, founded as a gold-mining community in late 1862 and at its peak home to around 4,000 residents. Today, the town has a population of 20 permanent residents, though it has a large proportion of houses owned as holiday properties. It attracts large numbers of tourists and is a major focus of the regional tourism industry. The town's name is taken from an early gold mine in the area, named for the German hall of fame, the Walhalla temple.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Location and features

The river flows around Stockriders Spur in a horseshoe bend. The tunnel was driven through the spur diverting the river and allowing the exposed river bed to be sluiced for alluvial gold. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The Thomson River Alluvial Gold and Tailings Recovery Company began construction of the tunnel in August 1911 and the tunnel was completed circa October 1912. The total length of the tunnel is about 220 metres (720 ft). The tunnel is one of around thirteen river diversions surviving from the Victorian gold rush.

Victorian gold rush

The Victorian gold rush was a period in the history of Victoria, Australia approximately between 1851 and the late 1860s. It led to a period of extreme prosperity for the Australian colony, and an influx of population growth and financial capital for Melbourne, which was dubbed "Marvellous Melbourne" as a result of the procurement of wealth.

The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority believe that the tunnel may have interrupted the migration path of threatened native fish such as the Australian grayling. They are considering diverting the river back to its original course. [7] This proposal is meeting some opposition. [3]

West Gippsland, a region of Gippsland in Victoria, Australia, extends from the southeastern limits of metropolitan Melbourne and Western Port Bay in the west to the Latrobe Valley in the east, and is bounded by the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau in the Great Dividing Range to the north.

Catchment Management Authority (Victoria)

The Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) were established in Victoria, Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. Originally known as Catchment and Land Protection Boards, the CMAs were changed to their present name in 1997.

Australian grayling species of fish

The Australian grayling is a primarily freshwater fish found in coastal rivers in south-eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania. In past decades it has also been known as the “cucumber mullet” or “cucumber herring,” for its cucumber-like odor.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Thomson River Diversion Tunnel, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H1990, Heritage Overlay Number HO261". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  2. "Historic Gold Mining Sites in Gippsland Mining Division, Gazetteer: State & Regional Significant Sites". Victorian Goldfields Project. Department of Natural Resources and Environment. February 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2011.
  3. 1 2 "Friends of the Horseshoe Bend Tunnel" . Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  4. "The Horseshoe Bend Tunnel" (PDF). Latrobe City Link. Morwell: Latrobe City Council. December 2005. p. 6. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  5. Rucki, Alexander (2007). Walhalla Gold. Haymarket: Little Red Apple Publishing. p. 31. ISBN   978-1-875329-96-0.
  6. Kaufman, Rob (2010), Historic Heritage Survey: Horseshoe Bend Gold Mining Area, Thomson River, Vic (PDF), prepared by LRGM – Services for West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
  7. Ker, Peter (26 October 2010). "Diversion of views from a bend in the river". The Age . Melbourne. Retrieved 7 February 2011.