A two-day technical tour on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th February will take in 6 stops and spend the night in Taupō, located in the central North Island. An overview of the tour and details on each stop are provided below. Pricing will be advised in due course.
For those with less time there will be a half-day social tour on Saturday 15th February to Auckland’s beautiful Waiheke Island, known for its 30+ wineries, olive groves and stunning beaches. Further details on the social tour will be available shortly.
Technical Tour Overview
|10am||Packed lunch at Huntly Power Station Lookout|
|1.15pm||Tour of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland|
|3.10pm||Tours of Wairakei and Te Mihi Power Stations|
|5.30pm||Arrive at Wairakei Resort Taupo (hotel)|
|Until 11.45am||Free morning in Taupō (options include 9-hole golf, visit to Huka Falls or explore Taupō city)|
|11.50am||Bus departs hotel|
|12pm||Visit to Huka Prawn Farm (prawn cultivation and fishing followed by lunch)|
|2.55pm||Viewing of Kairapiro Power Station|
|5.30pm||Arrive back in Auckland|
Technical Tour Details
Huntly Power Station Lookout
The Huntly Power Station is the largest thermal power station in New Zealand and is located in the town of Huntly in the Waikato. It is operated by Genesis Energy Limited, and is capable of supplying over 31% of the country’s current electricity needs. The station has four operational generating units – two 250 MW coal-and-gas-fired steam turbine units, a 50 MW gas peaking plant, and a 403 MW combined cycle gas turbine plant. The station also plays an important role in voltage support for the Northland, Auckland and Waikato regions.
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, known as ‘one of the most surreal places on earth’, is a spectacular showcase of New Zealand’s most colorful and unique geothermal elements sculpted by thousands of years of volcanic activity. The eruptions in Wai-O-Tapu aren’t like those for example in Hawaii, where molten lava flows into the ocean. They are mainly observed as gaseous expulsions from vents, cauldrons and colourful geothermal pools. The distinct sulphur smell, similar to that of rotting eggs will accompany you throughout your visit to this fascinating natural wonder.
Wairakei Power Station
Commissioned in November 1958, the Wairakei power plant is situated on the Wairakei geothermal system. Wairakei, the first geothermal plant of its kind anywhere in the world, is an iconic symbol of New Zealand’s electricity generation system. The Wairakei A and B stations have 10 steam turbines ranging in size from 4–30 megawatts (MW). The station’s capacity is 132 MW.
Te Mihi Power Station
Te Mihi geothermal power station is part of Contact Energy Limited’s dedication to providing New Zealander’s energy needs in a safe, reliable and efficient manner. Te Mihi uses heat from deep inside the earth to generate electricity. Te Mihi power station has a 166 megawatt (MW) of generating capacity, enough to power over 160,000 Kiwi homes and is located on the Wairakei geothermal field, northwest of Taupo.
Karapiro Power Station
The Karapiro Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on Waikato River. Karapiro is 30 kilometres upstream from the city of Hamilton and is the last of the eight hydroelectric power stations on the Waikato River. Karapiro is a baseload power station, as it is required to maintain water flow in the lower Waikato River even during low inflows to the catchment and during low electricity demand. Like all of the hydroelectric power stations on the Waikato River, Karapiro is operated by electricity generator Mercury Energy.