When completed in 1963, Wairākei was one of just two geothermal power stations in the world. However, it has adversely affected the surrounding thermal area – tourist attractions such as the famous Wairākei geyser and Champagne Pool have come to a halt, and the land is sinking. A nearby prawn farm takes advantage of heat from the power station’s waste water.
Listen to a Roadside Story about Wairākei. Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides to places around New Zealand.
Archival audio: Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga. People of the Waikato. National Film Unit, 1956.
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