Roaring Meg & the Kawarau River, Central Otago, New Zealand
The viewing platform at the Roaring Meg hydro scheme on the Kawarau River, Central Otago, New Zealand, is a popular stopping place for tourists.
- Kawarau River In the South of New Zealand
- Roaring Meg Hydro Scheme
- View to the Right of the Roaring Meg Platform
- Kawarau River to the Left of the Roaring Meg Platform
- The Drive between Queenstown and Cromwell
Kawarau River In the South of New Zealand
The region of Central Otago in New Zealand's south is steeped in history, but is especially known for it's gold digging past. An important feature of the region is the Kawarau River, along which much of State Highway 6 runs, between Queenstown's Lake Wakatipu and the small town of Cromwell.
The river was a major part of New Zealand's gold rush days in the late 1800s and for those who have time there are still numerous walks along the river and nearby hills where the remains of gold diggings and camps can be found. Many miners lost their lives in or along the river, ill prepared for the treacherous river and the rugged surrounding environment.
Roaring Meg Hydro Scheme
On our recent drive from Queenstown through Central Otago to Dunedin on the east coast, we stopped at the Roaring Meg hydro power station. It was a warm, sunny autumn day, perfect for enjoying the scenery and taking photos.
The Department of Conservation built a new viewing platform a few years ago, giving tourists the opportunity to get a better view of the river in all its turbulence. Last time we were there, the walk down to the viewing spot wasn't as well formed and could be tricky for those who were not sure footed.
The hydro power scheme was first built in 1934, and now consists of two smaller stations fed by the Roaring Meg dam.
There are differing stories about why this hydro station is named Roaring Meg. I prefer the one about it being named after a rather bawdy red headed barmaid named Meg who was working in the area during the gold rush days.
View to the Right of the Roaring Meg Platform
Part of the power station can be seen at the top right of the photo and behind it you can just make out the road that runs along the Kawarau.
You can see the rapids that are rather swift and noisy, producing the roaring noise for which it is known.
Kawarau River to the Left of the Roaring Meg Platform
The view to the left is quite different, rather serene on the day we visited.
In more recent times the Kawarau River has been a popular destination for those enjoying jet boating and white water rafting. The first commercial bungy jump in the world is located further along the Kawarau..
The Drive between Queenstown and Cromwell
Anyone fortunate enough to be driving between the tourist centre of Queenstown at Lake Wakatipu and Cromwell in New Zealand's south will enjoy the diversity of views and scenery.
Unfortunately we only stopped to take photos at the Roaring Meg, but there are many other equally stunning views to enjoy, especially on a fine day.
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