State Highway 2 (Rimutaka Hill Road) near the top of the range
|Elevation||940 m (3,080 ft)|
|Location||Wairarapa/Wellington, New Zealand|
The Rimutaka Range (often called the Rimutakas) is one of several mountain ranges in the North Island of New Zealand that form a ridge running parallel with the east coast between East Cape and Wellington. The ridge is at its most pronounced in the southern part, where it consists of the Ruahine, Tararua, and Rimutaka Ranges.
The Rimutakas run north-east/south-west for 55 kilometres from the upper reaches of the Hutt Valley, where they join the southern end of the Tararuas, to Turakirae Head at the eastern end of Palliser Bay. The highest peak is Mount Matthews, at 940 metres.
Narrow and winding State Highway 2 crosses the ridge from the Hutt Valley to Featherston. At the summit is a lookout point where there was a cafe, but after disputes over toilets and land ownership between the Greater Wellington Regional Council and a series of tenants the building sat empty and was severely damaged by fire in April 2009 and later demolished.
The Wairarapa Line railway used to climb across the Rimutakas, including the famous Rimutaka Incline, a rare example of the Fell mountain railway system. It opened on 12 August 1878 and closed on 30 October 1955, when it was replaced by the Rimutaka Tunnel. The former route is now the popular Rimutaka Rail Trail and part of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail. The Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust has plans to rebuild the railway from Maymorn, including the Incline, as a tourist and historical attraction.
- Don Farmer, Summit a shambles, Wairarapa Times-Age, 2009-03-29, retrieved 2009-10-02.
- "Rimutaka cafe fire treated as arson". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Geoffrey B. Churchman and Tony Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand: A Journey Through History (Auckland: HarperCollins, 1991), pp. 154-9.
- Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust - About Us
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