Visit one of the oldest power generators in New Zealand. The generator is one of New Zealand's oldest still operating, and one of just a few of any great age in the country. It was built by the General Electric Company, New York, USA, no earlier than 1896. Originally used for power generation in Tasmania, it was sold to the New Zealand Army for use at the Trentham Military Camp near Wellington until the eventual arrival of mains power to the Wellington Region in 1922.
The generator was eventually purchased by the Egmont National Park Board and installed at Dawson Falls and an official opening took place on the 30th June 1934. On the 21st of February 1935 a huge flood nearly carried it away. It was then relocated to its present location. The Dawson Falls power station has provided heating and lighting more or less continuously since 1935 by way of a pelton wheel, which turns 300 revolutions per minute, giving an output of 27 kilowatts of electricity.
Located on the south eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki, in Egmont National Park.
Dawson Falls sits at the top end of Manaia Road 14 km from Kaponga. The drive to the roadend is through scenic native forest. Kaponga is an easy drive west of Stratford and Eltham.
Plan & Prepare
Weather on Mt Taranaki is very changeable and difficult to predict. It is advisable to carry enough clothing and equipment to ensure you are prepared for any weather type, and to enjoy your stay. Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.