It was a reasonably short drive of 40km to our next stop at Karapiro Lake Domain Motor Camp. The camp sits at the edge of Lake Karapiro and we had the whole camp to ourselves. It was a matter of “camp anywhere”, the sites were on two levels and we decided that down by the lake would be the place to be.
Lake Karapiro is a world class rowing venue, and is also used for sailing, water skiing and power boat racing. The 8sq km lake was formed by the construction of the Karapiro Dam. The large turbine on display from Awapuni Power Station was donated by Electricorp to recognise the important role of the Waikato River in electricity production and recreational enjoyment.
After setting up on site, we drove over the narrow curving road on top of the dam. The maximum weight allowed over this dam is 2500kg, so there is no way we could have towed the caravan across behind us. Traffic lights at each end control the one way traffic. The powerhouse was completed in 1947, and the three turbines generate 90,000 kw of power.
There were a couple of New Zealand Scaup paddling around the lake. These birds, also known as Black Teal, are New Zealand’s smallest ducks, and are the only true diving ducks in NZ. They can dive down two 2 metres, and maintain these depths while feeding, by paddling their feet.
This is the home of rowing, and the whole complex is very well maintained, with beautifully kept grounds, with the motor camp just a small part of the business. We saw several crews out practicing in the early evening and some more turned up almost before daylight this morning.
The garden by the office has an attractive series of box hedges clipped in the shape of a kiwi, NZ, and a fern.
We were the only ones camping here, so had the whole place to ourselves. Guess that means that there won’t be a queue for the showers in the morning.