Manapouri Power Station
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| Manapouri Power (Hydro) Station
First commissioned in 1969, the Manapouri Power Station is an impressive engineering feat. Defying the harsh Fiordland conditions, the power station machine hall and tailrace discharge tunnels were blasted out of solid granite rock deep beneath the Fiordland Mountains. An awesome monument to the men who worked and died to build the Power Station.
During operation, water from Lake Manapouri enters the intake gates (above) and drops some some 25 metres straight down 3.7m diameter penstocks onto the turbines in a powerhouse 213m below ground level.
This vertical drop, and the difference in levels between Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound, produces the necessary head to drive the turbines.
From here the water flows for 10km down a 9.2m diameter tailrace tunnel and out into Doubtful Sound.
Visits are available to the Power Station with a number of operators.
After disembarking at West Arm, you travel down a 2.1km spiral tunnel through solid rock with a gradient of 1 in 10 to the cathedral-like powerhouse buried deep within the mountain.
After your visit the power station, you have the option of traveling over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove.