- Rimutaka Range
Wairarapa/ Wellington, New Zealand
Easiest route=The Rimutaka Range (often referred to as the "Rimutakas") is one of several mountain ranges in the
North Islandof New Zealandwhich form a ridge running parallel with the east coast of the island between East Capeand Wellington.
The Rimutakas run southwest-northeast for 55 kilometres from
Turakirae Headat the eastern end of Palliser Bayto the upper reaches of the Hutt Valley where it joins the southern end of the Tararua Range. The highest peak in the Rimutakas is Mount Matthews, at 940 metres.
To cross the ridges from the
Hutt Valleyto Featherston and beyond, there is a narrow, winding road that forms part of State Highway 2. At the summit is a seasonal cafe and lookout point. A railwayalso used to climb across the Rimutakas; it included the famous Rimutaka Incline, a rare example of the Fell mountain railway system. It opened on 12 August 1878and operated until 30 October 1955, when it was replaced by the Rimutaka Tunnel. This tunnel allows the Wairarapa Lineto pass directly beneath the range, and the former route of the Incline is now a popular rail trail. [Geoffrey B. Churchman and Tony Hurst, "The Railways of New Zealand: A Journey Through History" (Auckland: HarperCollins, 1991), pp. 154-9.] A heritage society, the Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust, is currently seeking to rebuild the Incline as a tourist and historical attraction. [ [http://www.rimutaka-incline-railway.org.nz/about-us.html Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust - About Us] ]
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