Meander your way to Mahinerangi

The village on the banks of Lake Mahinerangi consists of holiday homes or cribs. Photo: Stephen...
The village on the banks of Lake Mahinerangi consists of holiday homes or cribs. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Grant Miller takes a side trip from Outram in the second of our five road trips around the region.


Route: Outram to Mahinerangi Wind Farm and Lake Mahinerangi (round trip 95km, 1hr 50min)

The drive

Head along State Highway 87 through the plains and rolling pasture. A left turn into Mahinerangi Rd is swiftly followed by steeper contour and the tarseal surface changes to gravel.

Sheep and beef roam the countryside and broader vistas include the Rock and Pillar Range and Strath Taieri glacial valley and river plateau.

A right into the Eldorado Track leads on through TrustPower’s Mahinerangi Wind Farm.

Retrace the trip along the track and turn right at the Mahinerangi Rd intersection.

Lake Mahinerangi, with its eye-catching blue hue, is a pleasant place to pause.

Cross the lake on the bridge and turn left into Waipori Falls Rd.

The road is sometimes steep, with tight corners.

Forestry is the predominant land use.

The Waipori Falls village is set on a hillside amid native bush.

The road winds on to Berwick.

Turning left into Maungatua Rd, carrying on to Huntly Rd, left into Formby St and right into SH87 completes the circuit.

Travellers diverting on to the Eldorado Track can get close to Mahinerangi Wind Farm turbines....
Travellers diverting on to the Eldorado Track can get close to Mahinerangi Wind Farm turbines. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Attractions

Mahinerangi Wind Farm has turbines reaching up to 145m.

Lake Mahinerangi is a popular fishing spot for freshwater crayfish, brown trout and perch.

Waipori Falls Rd provides access to a view of Waipori Falls, as well as Government Track, for walking and mountain-biking.

Fuel

Be sure to have enough. There is a service station in Outram.

Eat and drink

Just before Outram, fresh fruit ice cream at Outram Berry Farm is a delightful entree.

Or start with a coffee at the Wobbly Goat Cafe, Outram.

An area by one of the Waipori power stations and near the Waipori village is an option for a picnic.

History

Lake Mahinerangi was formed early in the 20th century when a dam was built on the Waipori River for a hydro-electric power scheme supplying Dunedin.

The Waipori Falls village was established by the Waipori Falls Electric Power Company in 1902 to house workers for the scheme.

Mahinerangi Wind Farm started generating power in 2011 from two turbines and then 10 more.

Outram was initially developed at a ferry crossing of the Taieri River on the route to the goldfields in the 1860s. The town shifted after a flood in the late 19th century.

Scorecard: 4/5. Ideal for travellers seeking variety.

 

 

 

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