Six mile electricity plant (1922) and walk is a must do activity. The first hydroelectric plant in New Zealand looks as though you could flick a switch and its light action and electricity. A treasured piece of New Zealand’s economic history on a gravel road, off the beaten track waiting for visitors to respect the locals who came up with the idea of electricity. You open the door to the weathered building, behind strong mesh fencing is the electric generators. The hydro scheme provided power to Murchison and the scattered homesteads in the Six Mile valley and Four Rivers Plain. It operated for 54 years before being deemed uneconomic and closed in November 1975. The Six Mile Creek Bridge is just beyond the small grassed carpark. The hydroelectric plant is located in the Mātakitaki River valley. With the discovery of gold in 1863 the area was opened up by gold prospectors trekking for days over the valleys and mountains. The head of the Mātakitaki River valley and the nearby Tūtaki River valley provide access to lesser known tracks of Nelson Lakes National Park. The valley floor is farmed.
4.5 – 5.5km depending on track chosen. On the return there is the option of a loop track which descends from the upper terrace to follow along the water race, before rejoining the main track.
1 ½ – 2 hours
Easy / Moderate