Dawson Falls Power Station

Engineering Work (eg road, bridge, sawmill, dam)


Opened in 1935, the Dawson Falls Power Station is a direct current (DC) station in Taranaki. It was designed to provide power to the isolated Dawson Falls Tourist Lodge in Egmont National Park, which at that time was unable to be connected to other electricity distribution systems.

This is a rare survivor of a small rural New Zealand power station. While the Lodge was connected to the national grid in 1982, the DC system remains the principal form of electrical energy used.

To minimise costs the acquired plant was predominately secondhand. Of particular note is the DC generator. This was built by General Electric Corporation in the United States of America in 1901, and had previously been used at the Wellington Cable Car. It is the oldest DC generator in continuous operation in New Zealand, and amongst the oldest operating in the world.

'Historic Dawson Falls Power Station,' Department of Conservation (www.doc.govt.nz)


Dawson Falls Pwr submission.pdf


Manaia Road, Kapanui, Egmont National Park.


Access Info
Access information is available from the Department of Conservation website (www.doc.govt.nz)

Nature of Engineering
Electrical Power Generation and Distribution


(Click image to enlarge )

(Click image to enlarge )

IPENZ Engineering Heritage plaque, 23 December 2013. Image courtesy of Jack Wagstaff

(Click image to enlarge )

Lat: -39.322764 Long: 174.103909