Peppered across the Ruahine and nearby Tararua ranges, and visible from many spots throughout the city and region, take the opportunity to see the wind turbines up close at the Meridian Energy Te Āpiti Wind Farm Lookout.
You can stand directly beneath a turbine and read all about how they work. With giant turbine blades whirring overhead, these surreal machines are quite a spectacle to behold. The rolling Ruahine Ranges are home to 55 of Meridian Energy’s turbines, and with three blades each, and each blade measuring 35 metres in length, these truly are giants. Built in 2003, the Te Āpiti Windfarm was the first wind farm in New Zealand to supply electricity to the national grid. Today, this wind farm generates enough power for approximately 45,000 average New Zealand homes.
The views from here are worth the visit, on clear days you can see as far as Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki and out across the horizon.
At the top of Saddle road, there is a car park and information display. Please note that the gates are closed from 5:30pm to 8am, and occasionally for turbine maintenance.
From Palmerston North, turn off State Highway 3 at Ashhurst and follow the Saddle Road signs. From Woodville, on the eastern side of the Manawatū Gorge, turn off State Highway 3 at Woodlands Road then into Oxford Road and continue over Saddle Road to Ashhurst.