The “Daleks” of Khancoban Pondage

Last Updated on May 6, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ

Khancoban Pondage at Sunset, New South Wales
Khancoban Pondage at Sunset, New South Wales

Aglow in the setting sun, the Khancoban Pondage encircled with impossibly high mountains* was a calendar shot just waiting to happen**.

So picturesquely pleasing, the scene seemed perfect.

Reflections at Khancoban Pondage, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
Reflections at Khancoban Pondage, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales

We looked out from the vantage point of our campsite in the Khancoban Lakeside Holiday Resort. Perhaps instead of crossing the River Murray border from Victoria into New South Wales, we’d inadvertently stumbled through a portal into another country.

Was this REALLY Australia?

Who knew what may have been unleashed when the tunnels deep beneath the Snowy Mountain Range towering behind us were blasted over 60 years ago?

Still life with Pelican at Khancoban Pondage, New South Wales
Still life with Pelican at Khancoban Pondage, New South Wales

The Snowy Mountains Scheme was ahead of its time and considered one of the engineering wonders of the modern world.  The complex series of tunnels, lakes*** and dams that harness and divert the Snowy River for irrigation and hydro-electricity flow ever downwards to the Khancoban Pondage.

It’s in a setting so soporifically serene it’s hard to imagine what’s buried within the mountains behind. We fell asleep only to awaken to the rising sun, lighting the pondage from the other side.

Dawn at Khancoban Pondage, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
Dawn at Khancoban Pondage, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales

Yes, it really IS too otherworldly.

BUT … there’s good reason for it.

Murray 1 Power Station, Khancoban
Murray 1 Power Station, Khancoban

Just a few kilometres up the road is the start of the Alpine Way traversing the Snowy Mountains to link Khancoban with the much higher skiing village of Thredbo.  There, the Murray 1 Power Station viewing platform looks down to an astonishing sight.

Through its windows far below, we spotted them.

Yes, although they’re cunningly disguised as generators, their distinctive and unmistakeable shape would never fool a die-hard Dr Who fan for a moment!

Daleks? At Khancoban??

The "Daleks" of Khancoban
The “Daleks” of Khancoban

Did the Snowy Mountains Scheme blasting that tunnelled under the mountains apart crack open a portal? Maybe the influx of 100,000 overseas workers who helped build the Scheme included some aliens? Or perhaps they’ve been enslaved – doomed forever to produce clean, green energy for Australia, the uncanny perfection of the Khancoban Pondage a distraction from what lies beneath.

Although the authorities will doubtless deny that the Snowy Mountains Scheme is just a front to contain a Dalek invasion of Earth, it’s surely not impossible.

Is that a Dalek I see before me?!?!
Is that a Dalek I see before me?!?!

Is it??

* By Australian standards!!

** But not for long …

*** aka ‘Pondages’

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  1. A Dr. Who fan in the house??!! I had a good laugh. I believe they are Daleks! Exterminate!!! Exterminate!!! I love all your landscape photos. Thanks for sharing your part of the world. Lots of wonderful places to see….so until I have enough money to travel out yonder, I will be living my dreams thru you:)

  2. @Mary – Well, you’re in luck! I’ve no intention of ending my adventures anytime soon!! Not until the Daleks take over, anyway!
    @Mark – Haha, yeah – maybe I’ll stun them with exotic scenery pix!!
    @Friko – Yes, this ‘little’ continent sure packs a punch!! I’m still going strong after exploring for 20+ years!!
    @PDP – We should be plotting to prevent the rise of the Daleks NOW! How do we contact the Doctor again?? Glad to find another fan out there – and I’ll be on full alert for more villains in my travels!!
    @diane b – It’s unlike anywhere else we’ve been so far!! But I’ll keep my eyes open …
    @ImageBloke – I’m sure I had even more pleasure taking them than you did looking at them!!!

  3. @Hilda – It was so weird to see the ‘Daleks’ – I just HAD to capture them!
    @Jill – Thank you!! It’s always exciting to visit a new place and take a new (for me) kind of photo!
    @Iris – I should have put a link … and when I was young we used to get calendars with photos of Canadian mountains – these look VERY similar!! Keep checking CafePress – I have written to them a number of times without much success. They tell me that it’s always 3 months in advance … I’m actually looking for a new shop, but there aren’t many around!
    @SFlaGuy – Yeah, well maybe I passed through a portal without knowing. It sure didn’t look like any part of OZ we’d been to before!!!
    @TMWH – Hahaha, I knew there was something I was missing … maybe it’s too late & I’ve already been brainwashed …

  4. @FrankandMary – HAha, the ‘too perfect’ always turns into a nightmare in Hollywood … the influence of which has infiltrated even this unspoiled perfection!
    @Sallie – HHHMMMmmm… so how do I know if I’ve been through a portal??!! I certainly seem to be back in the real world now, haha!
    @LONDONLULU – This is the only kind of ‘oil painting’ I’ll ever be guilty of!!! Maybe I should try printing the shots onto canvas … watch this space!!
    @NatureFootstep – Not me!! I KNOW I’m not a painter, so taking a shot that looks like an oil painting is as good as it gets!
    @Eileeninmd – It’s a pleasure and privilege to show it to you!
    @Stewart M – If there was, it happened after we left!!

  5. @Greg – Aha! So you’ve been taken in by their ‘makeover’ then?!?!?! Be afraid … be VERY afraid!!
    @Barb – Thank you! But it was even better live!
    @Fun60 – I’m sworn to secrecy – you’ll just have to come over again on a fact finding mission and see for yourself!
    @Lorac – And I’d like to visit there AGAIN! Is it a date??!!
    @Kath – Although I’d visited the Snowies before, I don’t really remember much – in my defence, I was only 4! It’s certainly going on the ‘must go again’ list!! See you there?!?!
    @Filip – And with my photographic skill level, you can be assured that the photos aren’t doctored!

  6. @River – Thanx! It’s clear Daleks are a universal menace if they’ve made it downunder!!!
    @Andrew – Hahaha, that’s a leading question … of COURSE it’s my skill!!! Actually, I just stand there and take the shot – lucky for me, I’m in the right place at the right time!!
    @FruitCake – I wonder would the Doctor be lured by a glass & metal Telstra phone booth with a non-working phone?? I guess we’ll find out soon!
    @MJWC – Sometimes I look through the viewfinder and gasp at what I see. I can’t claim responsibility – I just shoot the scene!
    @Joan – I’m sure we’ll all be laughing on the other side of our faces come the Dalek uprising!!!!
    @Saucy Kod – Haha, you’ll find the Daleks where you least expect them … and it would be a pleasure to shoot the changing face of the pond over a year! If the Daleks didn’t get me first …

  7. It sure is different landscape to the usual for Australia but it is still unique with its flora and fauna. Another wonderful area of our country.

  8. Best post ever Red..apart from the absabloominfabulous scenery which is beyond found DALEKS…as a huge Dr. Who fan, I just knew they would be lurking waiting to attack at any given time 🙂

  9. The names alone of the places here are something to conjure with. So Daleks would certainly not be out of place here.

    Wonderful, your pictures of Oz scenery never cease to amaze me. How can one little (hihihi) continent alone have so much perfection to spread around? And what are the Sheilas and Bruces in Earl’s Court doing there when they could be paddling in the pondage?

  10. What wonderful photos. Count me in for this trip , Daleks and all. I’ll hate it when your adventures come to an end. I hope your week is off to a great start. Blessings…Mary

  11. That still life looks stunning. Perhaps that is how the Daleks lure in their prey? Stun them with fascinating vistas!

  12. Oh, btw, I checked the calendar again – I could choose Jan-June 2013 as starting month… I need September for Spouse, are they working on it? It would be a perfect birthday-pressie and I´d like to order 2 months in advance the latest…

  13. How embarassing… I had to google “Dalek”! And I´ve never seen Doctor Who…. Well, guess I´m just an old Trekkie (I even brought the whole original James Blish-series home, went into every second-hand bookshop throughout Australia for that!).
    The pics remind me of Canada! Not that I´ve ever been there…

  14. what amazing views! and I love the softness of your reflection image. so beautiful. Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by my blog today Red. Yes, I am so lucky to have some wonderful beaches to walk on in my lunch hour – they certainly soften the day for me.

  15. Dr Who – Where are you? Probably the same place I would be – on that gorgeous lake. Are you sure you are still in Australia? In fact the way you get around down under I’m starting to wonder if you are hitching a ride in a blue phone booth.

  16. Some of your scenic shots do look like paintings, very pretty. The Snowy Mountain range looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing another part of Australia. Have a happy week!

  17. So that’s where Dr Who banished them. Is that scenery for real or just a digitised image to prevent us seeing the real Aussie countryside.

  18. When I was a kid the Daleks were one of the most terrifying monsters ever. Now when I look back, they’re remarkably lame! Their squeaky voices don’t sound so scary these days!

  19. Daleks? Any room for a scythe & medieval folklore? Open to new ideas, imaginative, & clever. Always beware of the too perfect, but you put it in a fun way. ~Mary

  20. I have never been to the Snowy mountain area and your photos are just utterly gorgeous. Will add to my bucket list!

  21. On the lookout for Daleks, but alas, not spotted yet in our tiny town. What a delightful twist on your post Red. I sure would enjoy waking up to that view on the pond every morning. Have a wonderful day 🙂

  22. Well, you’ve proven there are Daleks at Khancoban, but is there a telephone booth of any colour within cooee?

  23. I am not keen on daleks, so thank you for warning us of their presence. Is it your skill with the camera or is Australia very photogenic?

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