Geothermal power at Wairākei - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Wairākei

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to Wairākei in the Video tab.

When completed in 1963, Wairākei was one of just two geothermal power stations in the world. However, it has adversely affected the surrounding thermal area – tourist attractions such as the famous Wairākei geyser and Champagne Pool have come to a halt, and the land is sinking. A nearby prawn farm takes advantage of heat from the power station’s waste water.

Related web links:
Geothermal energy
Geyser Valley, 1950s
Wairākei to Ōhakuri
Opening Wairākei power station

Archival audio: Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga People of the Waikato. National Film Unit, 1956.

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way – its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit 

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