Pupu Hydro Walkway
- Walks & Hikes
The Pupu Hydro Walkway is a 1.5-2 hour loop track that retraces an old gold-mining water race.
The short walk passes through a forest of young beech, rimu and mature podocarps, mixed in with silver pine, mountain cedar and mountain toatoa and thriving with tui, bellbird, weka and kereru.
Running over several aqueducts, the first section of the trail takes you across Te Waikoropupū River to the historic power station, before crossing Campbell Creek and zig-zagging up the penstock. From here, you’ll follow the path of the water race along the contoured hillside, sheltered from a steep drop by a railed, narrow boardwalk. Eventually, you’ll reach a lookout and wier (water intake) offering spectacular views of the Kahurangi National Park, with a picnic spot nearby.
The Pupu Hydro Power Scheme first opened in 1929 as the first power station in the Nelson Tasman region, but eventually closed in 1980 after damage to the generator. The Pupu Hydro Society and a number of volunteer groups campaigned to reopen the power scheme, restoring it in 1988 to supply electricity to the national grid. The walkway was constructed many years later, opening to the public in 2003.
How to get there: The Pupu Hydro Walkway begins at the end of Pupu Valley Road, turning right just before you reach the bridge to cross Te Waikoropupū River.