Place Comment: Ruin: Opera House Hut (1966) (Approx)

Submitted: Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 07:23
ThreadID: 143667 Views:2700 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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The Opera House hut was as a refuge by the Snowy Mountains Scheme. It is for anyone seeking refuge on the south side of Watsons Crags (Lady Northcote Tunnel in operation). The roof structure was burnt out in the 2003 fire but was repaired shortly there after. It was called the Opera House because it supposedly cost more per square metre to build than the real thing in Sydney but?
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Reply By: JOHN C36 - Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 08:55

Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 08:55
Hi Owen,

I spent a night in the Opera House Hut in 1980. I had parked my Datsun1200 at Geehi, walked up Hannel’s Spur toMount Kosciuszko, camped at Lake Albina Lodge ( the hut was removed a few years later), walked out to the final trig on Watson’s Crags and then dropped straight down to the Opera House. The next day I climbed up Mount Townsend, followed a spur down to the Geehi River and then walked in the middle of the river for a few hours to get back to my car.

I noticed the tunnel near the Opera House and wondered where it went. I learnt later that that it is possible to walk through the tunnel to access the hut.

How did you get there? Thank you for your photos.

AnswerID: 640423

Follow Up By: Member - Owen H1 - Friday, May 06, 2022 at 06:41

Friday, May 06, 2022 at 06:41
Hello John,
The tunnel cuts directly through under Watsons Crags (spur), on the Lady Northcote side it has a aqueduct (buried pipe line) entering from the side of a bulkhead, this bulkhead has "stop logs" to make the collected water run through to the Siren Song intake thus ends up in Geehi Dam via a buried pipe line. This known as the "Geehi River Aqueduct". The tunnel runs water all of the time but the level is dependent on weather conditions (runoff).
People have been know to walk through the tunnel whilst flows are low but this would be risky?!? The only time the tunnel is not running water is when the an outage for maintenance, usually in late Summer early Autumn, which means the intakes are "turned out" (creeks returned to their original beds) and the tunnel is drained thus the above mentioned "stop Logs" are removed to allow vehicular access through the tunnel to the Opera House and the intakes on that side. Please note that this all behind locked gates, and the tunnel is 95% bare rock 2.3-4 Km's through and water levels can rise very quickly from localised storms on the main range.
FollowupID: 919499

Reply By: Erad - Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 21:02

Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 21:02
I have not been to the Opera House Hut, but I do know the area fairly well. The tunnel forms part of the Geehi River Aqueduct, and in periods of high flows (snowmelt or after heavy rains), the tunnel can run full or very near so. Access to the hut would then be via a rough track around the face of the spur - a walk which I would rather not have to do.

Vehicular access to Geehi Dam is limited, so to physically get to the hut other than coming down from the top is going to involve a lot of walking or cycling. You could certainly cycle along the aqueduct bench quite easily.
AnswerID: 640436

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