Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is peaceful Karapiro Lake
with Maungatautari in the background.
(Maunga in maori means mountain)
Because I was in Cambridge today, I took a detour out to Lake Karapiro.
(Maungatautari is the mountain bird sanctuary with the rat proof fence.)

The World Rowing Competitions will be held on this Lake next month.
These are the waters of the mighty Waikato River
dammed to form the lake.

We have had so much rain lately, all spillways are open
and the rush of water is deafening.

I wanted to feel the exhilarating power of the water,
the wind, the water spray, the noise...
to feel the spirit of the river that sustains us.
It is not the biggest hydro power dam, but the man-made waterfall is a thrilling sight just now.
This dam was built in the 1940's. Beneath the deep lake is the original Horahora dam.
How we have managed to change the river in less than 200 years!

In pre-European times it took 6 days for the Waikato waters to travel from its source to the sea...now it takes around 40 days.... a fact taken from..

THE WATERS OF THE WAIKATO: Ecology of New Zealand's Longest River.
Published by Environment Waikato and The Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology, Uni. of Waikato.


  1. This dam and the lake itself are also part of my childhood memories; this was our local swimming place every summer.

  2. Joan, your pictures are a powerful as the dam. Isn't it amazing how man has harnessed power in ways such as your Waikato river has been diverted. I imagine the rowing competitions to be pretty exciting.

    Your spring looks so refreshing and isn't it nice to meet a friend for lunch?