Paekākāriki Hill Road
Paekakariki Hill Road looking north. Narrowest point (still the same 1981) with good view of gradient and unsealed surface. Heavily laden Ford model T truck making the ascent. Paekakariki,1924 S C Smith Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library
The Paekākāriki Hill Road was built to pacify Wellington region after the Hutt Valley War of 1845-6. British Army engineers with Māori road-building gangs completed the road in November 1849, linking Wellington and Porirua with the beach road to Whanganui. Māori produce, mail, livestock, and settlers used Paekākāriki and its hotel as a resting point for travellers and horses. From 1866 a scheduled mail coach service operated until the railway opened in 1886.
Paekākāriki Hill remained the main highway north until 1939, when Centennial Highway eliminated the arduous and often dangerous climb.
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