Pupu Hydro Walkway

Pupu Hydro Walkway



15 Rankers Reviews

11 Face-to-Face

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The track follows a man-made weir through native bush
View the working hydroelectric power station


Time: 1hr 50 min

The Pupu Hydro Walkway retraces an old gold-mining water race, which has been reused for power generation. Although the climb to the water race line is a little steep, the first section, across Waikoropupu River to the power station is an easy grade suitable for all ages. Beyond the power station the track crosses Campbell Creek and zigzags upwards to reach the race after about 30 minutes' climb.

From here the track levels out and follows the race 'upstream' for a short distance to a lookout point above the power station.

From here on you are strongly advised to carry small children in a backpack and watch other children carefully; a fall from the race and the water itself are potentially dangerous. The water race, which follows the steep contours of the hillside and is part canal and part aquaduct, was an engineering masterpiece for its time. If you look carefully in the water you might see large koura (freshwater crayfish).

Follow the race for 30 minutes or so to the weir (the water intake), which marks the end of the walkway and is a beautiful picnic spot. The weir channels water from the creek into the race; a large shutter was raised or lowered to vary the amount of water taken from the stream. The Hydro Society 4WD vehicle access track from the weir makes the walkway a loop walk (50 min) back to the carpark.


Feature Value Info


DOC Nelson/Tasman

Central government organisation


South IslandNelson RegionGolden Bay


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 15.

Romain Richardot's avatar

Romain Richardot


Ranking: 10/10

Really nice view.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Clavel's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Nice view and nice source.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Leonie Brabers's avatar

Leonie Brabers


Ranking: 6/10

The stunning climb is awesome and so is the part walking on a small boardwalk next to a stream of rapidly streaming water. The part downhill is long and boring.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Kiwigirl27's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

There were some good views and it was a great way to get fit. The only thing was that I'm not very fit so I found the track a little hard at some parts.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

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Daniela Wall's avatar

Daniela Wall


Ranking: 7/10

Clearest water I have ever seen, but the walkway is nothing special. Good to wait for better weather at Cape Reinga.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

FlyingKiwiGirl's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

A very interesting walk and well worth the effort especially the steep and uneven climb up to the walkway from the carpark. Amazing feat of engineering and a thrill to walk the narrow walkway attached to the side of the cliff. Look out for freshwater crayfish (Koura) in the channel.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in August 2014

Koen Vanlede's avatar

Koen Vanlede


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful walk, nice and calm.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Jim & Rebecca's avatar

Jim & Rebecca

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

This 1 hour 45 min walk is a real mix of forest and engineering. Not too busy. All stages of forestation. Some very uneven paths and in places narrow bridges.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

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De Groot's avatar

De Groot


Ranking: 8/10

Very nice walk.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Bruce & Bonnie Childs's avatar

Bruce & Bonnie Childs


Ranking: 8/10

Trails through forest and past a water race used in old gold workings. Side trip to the Springs - very scenic. Beautiful path - nicely shaded.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

rinusm's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Interesting walk for two hours.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago and experienced in May 2010

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

The lesser known cousin to the better known Pupu springs located nearby. I would rate this walk just as highly, yet it's far less busy. It kicks off with a small 20 minute climb. You then join the water race which provides the highlight. It's quite unlike any other stream I have seen. Follow it for 30 minutes and look for the fresh water crayfish. Return by the same route or take a round trip via a 4WD track that descends down the other side of the valley which gives variety - but isn't nearly as nice as following the water race.

Reviewed about 12 years ago

Raewyn's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Recyclers dream - take a goldminers aquaduct, now abandoned, use it for the first hydro power scheme in the area, then when superseded, rebuild it - still putting power into the grid! Engineering, flora, fauna, history = one good walk.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in April 2009

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner