Water levels were high at Lake Manapouri, the final stop on our winter roadtrip. Good news for power prices I assume, as the lake is connected to Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station, the largest hydro station in NZ at 800MW capacity. When the power station was built there was a plan to raise lake levels by 30m, but the decade-long 'Save Manapouri' campaign prevented this and now the lake levels are tightly controlled near to their natural height. The Save Manapouri Campaign is considered one of the milestones in environmental protection in New Zealand. Of course at times of high rainfall and low consumption it gets pretty high, and this was nearly as high as it gets. I haven't been there before to see the normal level, but the semi-submerged picnic tables on the beach were a good clue.
We drove around the outside of the lake through the township and parked by the boat owned by Meridian Energy, which goes out to the power station. It was a pretty quiet day down by the lake, but patches of sun were coming out and it was quite pleasant to walk around and take some photos of the boat and the mist rising from the water. We ambled around for perhaps an hour before starting our journey back to Invercargill early enough so as not to be driving home through a snowstorm again in the dark!