Photo taken from The Ruahine Road Lookout into the Ruahine Dress Circle. Photo - Mary Bielski
Tucked away on a side road off Ruahine Road in the northern Manawatu and about 5 minutes north of Rangiwahia is an amazing swimming and picnic spot. According to one of our older Rangiwahia residents, Ngaire Hancock, this area has been a popular spot for over 100 years. It had featured in AA magazines and was known all over New Zealand. Of course past and present residents are very familiar with this area. There are two swimming holes; one near a permanent waterfall, which flows from a side stream near the swimming hole and the other a little further downstream below a deeper, wider fall.
I remember an advert a number of years ago about the garage door – “Get a garage door, a super garage door, you get much more with a roller door”. The problem was you needed a garage first! The new Manawatu Cycleway from Mangaweka to Palmerston North is a bit like that super roller door. It’s all up and running with unique-cyclist signposts, picnic tables, places to stop along the way and of course great scenery. One problem! How do you get your bikes and gear to the start and finish of the Cycleway (The Garage)?
It’s not everyday that Rangiwahia becomes the focus of a fiftieth anniversary. It is probable that the majority of the present-day residents had no idea that one of its past residents was the proud owner of a Ramsomes, Sims and Jefferies No 24090 of 1912 Steam Traction Engine. Half a dozen young men purchased this particular engine fifty years ago and so began The Steam Traction Engine Society Incorporated with the goal of collecting and restoring steam traction engines.