Last Updated on May 6, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ
The chances of the overly excitable, imaginative and paranoid of finding their Blowering Dam Wall public amenities experience a little stressful are better than average.
Answering nature’s call in this relief station’s picturesque setting in the heavily wooded Tumut River Valley is a positive pleasure. But its placement is a potential death trap.
And while the possible perils would probably only occur to the excitable and/or imaginative and/or paranoid, that doesn’t make them any less real.
The 114 m (374 ft) high dam wall towering above the amenities stretches for 747 metres (2450ft). And it holds back 1.6 MILLION megalitres of water. Sorry, Imperial measurement countries, you’re on your own with this one!
When it’s full, that is.
And this little loo in the picnic area below the dam wall is right in the firing line!!
Blowering Dam is on the Tumut River 13 km upstream from the small town of Tumut in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in the New South Wales Riverina Highlands. It isn’t Australia’s biggest lake, nor is it a natural one. Completed in 1968, it’s not even the biggest lake in the Snowy Mountains Scheme for irrigation and hydro-electricity, of which it is a part.
World Water Speed Record
But the staggering view from atop the dam wall is a fitting place for the successful World Water Speed Record attempt on 8 October 1978.
Although it’s doubtful that still current world record-holder Ken Warby was taking in the view while travelling at 511 kph (317.6 mph) in his boat ‘Spirit of Australia’ … there’s an 85% chance of a fatality amongst those who have attempted this feat!
Nowadays, there’s plenty of room for camping, fishing and water sports around the edge of the dam’s 44.6 km2 surface area. But the picnic area below the dam remained strangely devoid of visitors … did the locals know something WE didn’t know??
While the odds of a dam wall failure delivering a 1.6 million megalitre Royal Flush instead of the 12 litres usually required for loos of this vintage are pretty long, low risk isn’t quite the same as NO risk, is it?!
Not to the neurotic, anyway!!
Or is that just me?
“…but the thought of ALL THAT WATER … nearly makes me want to go again!”
LOL, Red, gotta go! 😉
@TMWH – Haha! Then you can also feel what it’s like to have that crushing amount of water looming above, right?!?!?!
@Jo – Thank you! That’d be my overactive imagination leaping to the fore!!
@Stewart – Hahaha! And that’s probably one of the more mild witticisms that sprang to mind!!
@TFG – All the hydro stuff is well & truly there behind the scenes – this is just a ‘holding’ pond (don’t know the technical terminology). And ‘seldom’ doesn’t mean NEVER!!!
@Betty – You’ll just have to try one of my Aussie loos one day, my friend!!
@Alessandra – If there was a scorpion in THIS loo I would have moved even faster!!!
@Fernando – Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed your visit here!!
@Haddock – If I’d been the planner, I’d have put it up near the dam wall that everyone walks across! But weirdly, they didn’t ask my opinion …
@FruitCake – Ah yes … so many ‘witticisms’ gone unsaid … we’ll have to compare notes should we ever meet!
@Iris – I’m sure there’s no REAL danger … but the thought of ALL THAT WATER … nearly makes me want to go again!
@ladyfi – The blues were SO stunning – where I live further south is MUCH drier!
@Filip – Nature is my religion!
@Carole – Haha! I’m an earth sign … but happy to accept the charge of ‘over-imaginative’!! That way EVERYTHING is an adventure!
@River – I guess that means your Mum & I have something in common!!! The things I do for this blog …!!!
@eileeninmd – I thought at first the frog was an oversized hunk of used chewing gum until I looked more closely!
@Saucy Kod – A camper out in the middle of nowhere is most likely seeking solitude … it was the weekend, so also surprised how few people there were!
@MJWC – Haha! But I’ve only shown you the GOOD ones!!!
Yes I think that you need to relax when you visit these spectacular loos Red! Me, I am more scared of scorpions that of zillions of gallons of water :-).
Interesting place. Doesn’t look like hydroelectric or irrigation projects are up and running yet. Didn’t know about speed record, but don’t think I’ll challenge it given the odds of death. Love the little frog. It was probably hiding out to avoid the sun. Thank for your photos and story. Damns seldom fail, so no need to panic.
I’d be a little bit faster than normal if I had to use that loo – especially now that you’ve laid all the facts bare, so to speak. Incredible pics Red, and as always I love your humorous take in making the ordinary extraordinary!
what an amazing scenery! what a gorgeous view!
great loo. ha a loo with a view!
wonderful landscape/seascape photos!
Thats a nice watering spot so to speak.
Stewart M – Melbourne
There are some who would have had a conniption if they saw that frog/toad! Another epic visit to the loo for you, Red. Your explorations are always so wonderfully presented, I feel as though I am right there next to the dam.
Beautiful scenaries. You certainly have a heart for nature.
Awww, that´s beautiful! Yet, the thought of using that loo… with all the more than 12 l water behind… 😉
Wow – that really is scenic! Such lovely blues in sky and water.
A funny (but essential) place to have a loo. Get your point from the safety point of view.
Well done Red – another interesting and entertaining post and without resorting to scatological humour. I could not have done it.
If I would show you our public toilets… you would run away screaming. You have seen so many scenic loos in your travels
I thought it was only me who’d come up with something like that; we must both be Pisces or something? Definately not pessimistic, just an imaginative mind, yes, that’s it Red! Never been to Tumut, enjoyed your photos and commentary as always
what an absolutely stunning view from your “scenic loos” – Did you meet the camper – hard to believe a wonderful area such as this devoid of campers or beach mongrels. Like the little froggy all nestled in there 🙂
Uh, OK. Nah I’ll wait — I don’t really have to go THAT bad.
But what a beautiful view. So if you were there a few years ago, I guess it’s still standing?
Love the froggy.
Another great loo and view! The scenery is gorgeous and I love the cute frog. Have a happy day!
That’s the sort of loo my mum would visit on purpose, just to be able to say she’d been and gone and didn’t get washed away. I’m a little that way myself, if I had to “go” and that was the available loo, I’d go, but I’d be pretty quick about it, just in case.
Still, in spite of the looming mega-litres of water, that sure is a pretty place. Envy and love your posts about your travels. Please keep them coming 🙂
Can’t remember how I found you but so glad I did. You get to places I didn’t reach on my journey around Australia and it’s lovely to travel by proxy.
@Along these Lines – It’s amazing how many there are in OZ! Ynot check out the other 34 I’ve discovered so far?!!
@Rosemary – I almost missed it with the colour & all …
@SFlaGuy – Two minds with but a single thought (or smutty schoolboy series of thoughts) … I really had to censor myself for this one!!!
@Tez – Keeping them coming as ordered!!! Don’t CARE how you found my site – glad of your company!! And if I can inspire another visit, my work is done!
@Rose – Ha! I never thought of the frog as being chameleon-like! But of COURSE that’s the best explanation for the colour!! Now all I have to do is find out what sort of frog it is …
@Andrew – I am SO with you on camping there! Spectacular and all, but for no reason I can put my finger on, it makes ME feel uneasy too … maybe it’s all those unpredictable megalitres of water all around????
@Sallie – No, we were there in March 2013!! And I think I’ve self-diagnosed as paranoid – or egotistical! Why would the dam choose to burst after all those years just when I got there?!?!?!
Love the froggie.
A loo with a view!
I am thinking camping and tides, but no. Crocs? No. Flash flooding filling the dam? No. Still, for some reason I would not feel comfortable camping so close to the shore of the dam.
G’day Red, great photos and info! The little frog fellow has changed his colour beautifully in the wall!
Oh all the potty jokes swirling around in my head but then to use them would just get me flushed from your blog.