Kawarau River

The Kawarau River is a river in the South Island of New Zealand. It drains Lake Wakatipu in northwestern Otago via the lake's Frankton Arm. The river flows generally eastwards for about 60 kilometres (37 mi) and passes through the steep Kawarau Gorge until it joins Lake Dunstan near Cromwell. Before the construction of the Clyde High Dam, the Kawerau joined the Clutha River in a spectacular confluence at Cromwell. The Shotover River enters the Kawerau from the north; the Nevis River enters it from the south. With many rapids and strong currents, the river can be dangerous and has claimed many lives: it is also popular for bungy jumping and kayaking.

Kawarau River
Kawarau River with Roaring Meg hydro station
CountryNew Zealand
Physical characteristics
  locationLake Wakatipu
Lake Dunstan
Length60 km (37 mi)

A natural bridge, "Whatatorere", where the river narrows to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft), was important first to early Māori and then to goldminers as the only place the Clutha and Kawarau rivers could be crossed without boats. Māori were heading for the Cardrona Valley to reach Wanaka, and on to the Haast Pass to seek pounamu. The miners were seeking gold in the Arrow Goldfields.[1]

Now the main road to Queenstown, State Highway 6, runs through the Kawarau Gorge.