Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
A moderately easy 5.5km 1 hour 50 minute walk that is beautiful and quite a good workout.
Map Data: Google, Digital Globe, Department of Conservation (DOC).

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Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This walk follows an old gold-mining water race which is now used to run a small hydro electric power station.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This walk bills itself as "The Best Walk In The World". That's a bold claim - but this is definitely a very nice walk.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The first part of the walk (as far as The Power Station) is very easy and suitable for all ages.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
At this point we turn left to visit the power station.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The Viewing Room is down the side of the building.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
"...when the lights were first turned on the township was transformed into a blaze of colour and brilliance with myriad coloured lights and floodlights placed in conspicuous places which made the huge crowd gasp at the first sight." - Golden Bay Times and Argus, Oct 17 1929.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This window (on the left) lets us see into the Power Station.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Construction of the original water race began in 1901 and took 8 months. Water was diverted from Campbell Creek across the steep hillside to a gold claim in the Waikoropupu Valley. In 1910 the gold mining stopped and the water race lay unused until a power station began operation here in 1929. The power station ran until 1980 when a "flashover" short circuit burned out the alternator stator. The power station was decommissioned and put up for sale by tender. Public interest led to the Pupu Hydro Society being formed and the power station being restored and put back into operation again in 1987.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
We turn left here and head back to the walkway...

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Now we go across the bridge.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Campbell Creek - named after Charles Campbell, the manager of the gold-mining company that constructed the water race we will see later in the walk.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Now the climb begins...

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
After a bit of climbing, the track levels out and the next half hour's walk is easy and flat.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The water race... Eight people at a time, working three 8 hour shifts a day for six months, constructed this 3 km water race to shift a river from one side of a steep hillside to the other side. And when they couldn't dig the channel into the hillside because it was too steep, they built aqueducts - graceful curving bridges to carry the river's flow. An amazing feat of engineering - and a visual highlight of this walk.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park61
From this point on we are strongly advised to carry small children in a backpack and watch other children carefully.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Here the water plunges 123 metres down the steep hillside to the power station below.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
As we can see here, in some places the path is only wide enough for one person. It can be quite amusing to meet a group coming the other way.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This is why we have to keep an eye on children. A narrow path, icy cold water on our right - and a big drop-off on our left.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
There are about eight picnic tables spread out along this walk.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
At the end of the water race we come to this bridge.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This the weir (the water intake). Part of Campbell Creek's flow is diverted down the concrete channel (on the right of this photo) to the water race. A metal gate is raised or lowered to control the amount of water that is diverted.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The end of the actual Pupu Hydro Walk is at the weir - so we have the choice of turning back and returning via the water race (the easy option) or we can walk along (well, up a hill and then down) the Pupu Hydro Society 4WD vehicle access track from the weir which makes the walkway into a loop walk (50 min) back to the carpark.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This is the Pupu Hydro Society 4WD access track. It starts with a fairly big climb.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
After a while the track levels out and just when we're congratulating ourselves on reaching the top, it climbs again. This is the actual top.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
This 160 metre Lookout Track is worth a look.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
And a sit...

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The view down Pupu Valley.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Now the 4WD access track begins to descend quite steeply.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
At this point we can look across the valley and see a nice waterfall in the distance.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Just when we first see the power station, we also see a small sign on the left side of the track.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The sign points to this side track.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
A few metres down the track is this delightful picnic spot with a view of Campbell's Creek as it flows by.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
Another small side track leads from the picnic spot down to Campbell's Creek.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
The Pupu Hydro Society 4WD access track brings us back to the power station.

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
We follow the track back through the bush...

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park

Pupu Hydro Walk, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

PUPU HYDRO WALK - Kahurangi National Park
And end up back at the carpark.