The chances of the overly excitable, the imaginative and the paranoid of finding their Blowering Dam Wall public amenities experience more than a little stressful are better than average.
While answering nature’s call in this relief station’s unusually picturesque setting amidst the heavily wooded Tumut River Valley is a positive pleasure, its placement is a potential death trap.
And while considering the possible perils would probably only occur to the excitable and/or imaginative and/or paranoid, that doesn’t make them any less real.
Because behind the 114 m (374 ft) high dam wall towering above the amenities and stretching for 747 metres (2450ft) is holding back 1.6 MILLION megalitres (sorry, Imperial measurement countries, you’re on your own with this one) of water! 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 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 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.
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. As we saw on our March 2012 weekend visit. 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?!