See a video of Roaring Meg discharging into the Kawarau River along State Highway 6 between Cromwell and Queenstown on the South Island.
What and where is Roaring Meg?
Roaring Meg is a turbulent stream that drives a hydro-electric power station and merges with the Kawarau River, which runs between the towns of Cromwell and Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand.
The Kawarau River is Lake Wakatipu’s only outlet and flows to the east into Lake Dunstan near Cromwell.
The Kawarau River runs for a large part along State Highway 6 when driving from Cromwell to Queenstown.
Hydro electricity in New Zealand tends to be generated by big dams like Benmore Dam but not always. Many small power schemes were first developed in cooperation with gold mining, dredging, or irrigation companies.
The source of power generation where Roaring Meg is located is a 10-meter (33 ft) high dam, which lies 3.6 km (2.2 mi) north of Roaring Meg. It feeds two power generating stations.
How to get to Roaring Meg
You can reach the Roaring Meg discharge viewing site after driving for a couple of minutes from Cromwell on the Kawarau Gorge Road (State Highway 6) in the direction of Queenstown; it is located on the left side of the road.
You can also reach Roaring Meg when driving from Queenstown to Cromwell via the Kawarau Gorge Road; the viewing site would then be on the right side of the road.
Why visit Roaring Meg?
Roaring Meg is good as a brief stop or something to see either on your way to or from Cromwell or Queenstown on State Highway 6.
There are several information panels at the site that explain the history of the region and also a viewing platform where you can get a good view of Roaring Meg and the Kawarau River.
While the discharge itself might not be very impressive and perhaps a bit too loud, it does have a calming effect, especially when you listen to the sound of the water and look at the swirling water of the Kawarau River.
There is a picnic spot opposite the viewing site for Roaring Meg, which also marks the start of a hiking trail called the Pack Track.
So if you are up for a walk that follows the stream that feeds Roaring Meg all the way up to the dam, you could do this walk.
Video of Roaring Meg between Cromwell and Queenstown
There are several stories about how the stream came to be named Roaring Meg but all involve women who exhibited something noteworthy, including being too loud.
And indeed, Roaring Meg makes a lot of noise when the waterway is in flood and while it discharges into the Kawarau River as you will see and hear in this 1-minute video.
This article falls under Places to Visit.
Note: Places can change and/or become inaccessible. The information presented here was accurate when it was gathered.