The banks of the serendipitous Maraetotara River are shaded with willows, poplars and other Northern Hemisphere species, giving the riverside walk a very English feel. The falls cascade from a concrete weir into a large hole, perfect for swimming on a hot summer’s day.
At the start of the walk there is a parking area with a white archway, 2.4 km up Maraetotara Road on the right.
Descend to the junction with the Maraetotara River.
Left is a 10-minute return walk to Maraetotara Falls, which empty into an idyllic swimming hole. A ladder reaches a concrete weir and returns to the road 150 metres above the parking area.
Right takes 10 minutes to discover the concrete surge tower. There is little of interest past here, although the track rejoins the road 10 minutes further on.
The hydro-electric power station was built around the turn of the 19th Century to provide power to Havelock North Borough. In 1940-1 413,700 kW were generated and the peak output was around 60kW. The static head on the surge tower was 17.6 metres. A cross flow turbine and induction generator were placed in the powerhouse below. The diversion weir at the Maraetotara Falls supplied a 724-metre long concrete conduit with an internal diameter of 0.76 metres. This set up could provide power economically at 11kV. The station was disbanded in the 1950s. You may find it bizarre to stu
North Island ▷ Hawkes Bay ▷ Havelock North
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