Roaring Meg & the Kawarau River, Central Otago, New Zealand

Val MillsStarred Page By Val Mills, 10th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1y5ld7lf/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>New Zealand>Queenstown, Wanaka & The Gold Country

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

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.

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:
Autumn in Central Otago, New Zealand
T.S.S. Earnslaw: Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
Cruise Holiday in The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Tags

Central Otago, Gold Digging, Hydro Electricity Power Station, Kawarau River, New Zealand, Queenstown, Roaring Meg

Meet the author

author avatar Val Mills
Writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Just published 'West End the Best End - School Memories from the 1950s'; working on the next project
writingyourstories.wordpress.com

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Comments

author avatar johnnydod
10th Apr 2012 (#)

When I was 18 I came so close to moving to NZ Val, it was to be windy Wellington for me, I'm not sure what I changed my mind, but for that moment my music life took off, so maybe It was meant to be.
I enjoyed your article Val, maybe one day I will visit your lovely country

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author avatar Val Mills
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Johnny, the part of NZ shown here is stunning! Rather extremes of weather though.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
10th Apr 2012 (#)

I love Rivers, and the super innocent river of New Zealand is beautiful. I love it and thank you for the nice share and photos.

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author avatar Val Mills
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Md, the rivers in NZ's South Island are beautiful.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Great article and wonderful photographs. I never made it to New Zealand and I regret it. You are so far away but with articles like this, I feel I can travel right from my desk.

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author avatar Val Mills
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Christine. Like you, I enjoy travelling from my desk to other countries

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author avatar Buzz
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Lovely article on NZ, Val, and spectacular images. Congrats on the star.

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author avatar Val Mills
10th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Buzz, we were lucky to have such good weather.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Apr 2012 (#)

Very lovely...A "dream place" come true...thanks Val:0)

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author avatar rama devi nina
11th Apr 2012 (#)

Stunning pics and what an interesting stream that roared. Thanks for sharing. Great star page.

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author avatar Star aka Karen
15th Apr 2012 (#)

After reading this awesome piece and also looking at the beautiful pics, I suddenly feel like quitting my job and go round the world, though not ready yet, lol.

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