Three tampers find a new lake in The Tararuas range, New Zealand

Franz Hubmann surveys the new lake from upstream of the slip (Source: Stuff) Photograph:( Others )

WION Delhi, India Mar 29, 2017, 01.14 PM (IST) Zeba Khan

In what seems like a geographical development, there is news of creation of a ‘quake lake’ in the Tararuas. 

Three tampers, Joe Nawalaniec, Franz Hubmann and Paul McCredie believe that they have discovered a new lake in the Tararua Ranges, thought to be a result of the 7.8 earthquake that shook the area on November 14, last year. 

The Tararua Range is one of several mountain ranges in the North Island of New Zealand. It runs northeast-southwest for 80 kilometres from near Palmerston North to the upper reaches of the Hutt Valley, where the northern tip of the Rimutaka Range begins. 

Quake lake in The Tararua Range (Source: Google Earth) (Others)


When these three tampers took a trip to the range, they were met with a massive slip into the less-visited upper headwaters of the Tauherenikau River, west of Masterton. They saw that the slip has dammed the river, resulting in the creation of a lake of up to 100 metres long and 18m wide. 

In conversation with Stuff, Nawalaniec said, “The slip was so big that we saw the top of it going several hundred metres up the side of the Beehive spur, from a kilometre downstream. It really was an impressive sight.”

Franz Hubmann looks upstream from the dam face. (Source: Stuff) (Others)


The three hiked for more than six hours to reach the spot and witnessed not just one but two small lakes on the waterfront at St Arnaud. 

Nawalaniec added, “When we got there, the dam and fresh broken rock and trees rose metres above us, and it was a bit of a clamber to get up.” 

Franz Hubmann surveys the new lake from upstream of the slip (Source: Stuff) (Others)


The Department of Conservation confirmed, “It was almost certainly caused by the Kaikoura earthquakes.”

The government agency also added that heavy rain followed after the quake flooded Lake Rotoiti and filled the new lakes with water since then. 

Nawalaniec said he had never seen a slip that size, 300m long – in the 35 years he had been tramping in the Tararuas.