Vintage steam approaching Southern Alps, SI, NZ. Mountain daisy, Southern Alps, NZ
Autumn lends colour to Otago, NZ Marlborough Sounds, South Island, NZ
Restored Brill 77e.Worcester St Christchurch Yarra River, Melbourne, Aust
For tram buffs
Hard work in Fiji Capt. Cook, raising the Union Jack, Botany Bay. 1788
A brief glimpse of the South Western Pacific.
Picture :Courtesy of Images and their sponsors
* The prominent peak in the above photograph is Mt Cook 12,349 ft. (In Maori ...Aorangi meaning cloud piercer). If you follow down the left side of the mountain you come to the Hermitage, Glencoe and the village itself, served by an airport. Back in the 1970's that area of water that is directly above the line of fir trees did not exit. Lake Pukaki, which because of its 'glacial flour' content does not contain fish. The lake in the latter 1970's was raised 120ft as a result of the massive Waitaki hydro electric scheme,* that saw the Waitaki River spawn eight dams. The author of this site was the first inhabitant in November 1968 in the construction town of Twizel, which today is a resort centre, with tremendous fishing and water recreation. The Russel lupins in the late sixties somehow became established in the Mt Cook National Park. From the above picture the considered weed won the battle against eradication.
As mentioned above the author of this website worked as a contract painter and paperhanger in the Mackenzie country, Tarras, Wanaka and Haast areas during the time of great hydro-electric development in the South Island. For four years he was domiciled at the Hermitage Tourist Complex, where he met his wife of 34 years. Back in the sixties work began on the Herculean task of harnessing the waters of New Zealand's deepest and most majestic lake, Manapouri. By world standards it was a massive engineering undertaking, yet a country with a mere 3 million people rose to the task. There was much public anger as the scheme ultimately saw giant steel towers carry power to the aluminium smelter at Bluff, only miles from where the author was born. In time much of the damage done during construction was rectified as was always the intention and time has blended both man and nature, to its original grandeur and tranquillity.
As a New Zealander I was privileged to have been there at the time, but I am also proud of not only the achievement, obtained by many from all parts of the globe, but of the men who died during its construction. May these two great engineering feats remain a lasting testimony to their memory.
I also thank Meridian power for making these visual records available.
*This Website acknowledges the generosity of Meridian Energy in Christchurch NZ in granting permission to use their overview of the Waitaki River Hydro Electric Power Scheme. The PDF file allows for finer viewing. To view these short documentaries click Waitaki and then Manapouri . All material is copyright.