The town is situated east of the Ruahine Mountain range and is located 20 kilometres northeast of Dannevirke. Norsewood was founded by Scandinavian settlers in 1872 as a loggers settlement  and was subsequently destroyed in a fire in 1888.
A fishing boat, the Bindalsfaering, is displayed in a glassed boat-house in the town. It was a gift from the Norwegian government.
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