Visit New Zealand’s largest hydroelectric power station, the Manapouri Underground Power Station, located deep beneath Fiordland.
The construction of this power station was one of New Zealand's greatest engineering achievements, with the majority of the work completed underground in a remote location. The only external signs are the above-ground control building, a switchyard and two sets of transmission lines that loop across the head of the lake on their way to join the national grid.
A visit to the Manapouri Underground Power Station begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Manapouri. You will then travel by coach down a 2km (1.2 miles) spiral tunnel to view the immense underground machine hall and learn the story behind this power station.
Picnic lunch options (must be pre-ordered)
Te Anau coach connections depart Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Lakefront Drive only
Suitable for all ages
PLEASE NOTE: The Manapouri Underground Power Station is CLOSED due to ongoing maintenance work by Meridian Energy. Therefore Real Journeys has not been granted access and is unable to run tours. Re-opening date is yet to be confirmed, the Power Station is currently closed for an indefinite period.
Original power station plans required Lake Manapouri be raised up 30m, it would have devastated much of the area’s beauty.
Almost 10% of NZ’s population signed the 'Save Manapouri' petition. Two of the leaders of this protest movement were Real Journeys' owners, Les and Olive Hutchins.
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PLEASE NOTE: Update as of October 2018: The Manapouri Underground Power Station is CLOSED due to ongoing maintenance work by Meridian Energy. Therefore Real Journeys has not been granted access and is unable to run tours. Re-opening date is yet to be confirmed, the Power Station is currently closed for an indefinite period.
All our Doubtful Sound experiences start in Manapouri which is around 2.5 – 3 hours from Queenstown and 30 minutes from Te Anau.
You can drive there yourself or if you’d much rather relax and let us do the driving, we offer coach connections from Te Anau.
Our coach drivers are extremely knowledgeable about the area, its history and local flora and fauna and will provide you with informative commentary along the way.
Fresh filled wrap, ham & cheese croissant, chopped fruit with yogurt, cheese and crackers, muesli slice, nuts, chocolate served in a recyclable cardboard lunch box. Complimentary tea, coffee and water.
Please note: If you require a vegetarian lunch, or if you have any special dietary needs please add this into the comments box during the booking process. Please order your lunch when you make your booking. Lunches to be picked up at the Manapouri Visitor Centre prior to boarding the vessel. Lunch menus are indicative only.
From Queenstown to Manapouri by car or coach takes around 2 hrs 45 mins and from Te Anau around 30 minutes. For more information refer to our Driving Times webpage.
Is there car parking at Manapouri?
Yes, we have plenty of free parking at Manapouri. Daytime car parking is provided adjacent to the Visitor Centre. Overnight car parking is a available on View St, a short 2 minute walk from our Manapouri Visitor Centre.
Are there luggage storage facilities at Manapouri?
Yes, there is very limited luggage storage available in the waiting area at our Manapouri Visitor Centre for our overnight cruise passengers (maximum one bag only per person).
Is the Manapouri Underground Power Station accessible?
The Manapouri Underground Power Station visit is CLOSED indefinitely due to maintenance by operators Meridian Energy. We are not permitted to access the Power Station for tours during this time. The Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise tour will still operate without the visit underground to the Powerstation.
How long does it take to travel to Te Anau?
From Queenstown to Te Anau by car or coach takes around 2 hrs 45 mins and from Manapouri around 30 minutes. For more information refer to our Driving Times webpage.
What happens if there is an emergency ?
Our staff are trained to deal with incidents and in case of an emergency you should listen to their instructions. We have a portable defibrillator on each of our overnight cruise vessels (Milford Mariner, Milford Wanderer and Fiordland Navigator). In addition to this we also have portable defibrillators at the following locations: • Milford Sound Visitor Terminal • Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Manapouri • Cavern House (Te Anau Glowworm Caves) • Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant, Walter Peak • TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship • Stewart Island Ferry (Bluff - Oban - Bluff).