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and so it goes: The Cruickshank Legacy (Uppr Hutt)

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Hidden : 03/28/2016
2.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

and so it goes

The Cache

This cache recognises Upper Hutt's unbroken history of milling and forestry development since James Cruickshank turned the first saw in 1852. The cache is a camouflaged pill bottle hidden on top of Cruickshanks Hill (as it was called in 1915 and 1929 military maps), the highest point of a pine forest near Cruickshanks Tunnel.

Getting there

Follow the instructions for navigating to Apex. As you exit the eastern end of the tunnel turn right and take the 4WD track up to the pine forest. Walk through the pines to the very highest point and look for the furthest pine in the forest. When eventually these pines are milled this vantage point will command a great view of the surrounding countryside.

The Cruickshank Legacy series

The Cruickshank Legacy series of caches consists of:

Cruickshank Tunnel

This series of caches centres around the Cruickshank Tunnel on the original route of the Upper Hutt to Featherston railway line. The 120 metre tunnel passes under the hills that separate Maoribank and Mangaroa and sits in an isolated spot only accessible by an informal bush track. The tunnel, with a gradient of 1 in 35, was built in 1875 and opened on 28 December 1877. It closed 29 October 1955, three weeks after the opeing of it's replacement, the Rimutaka rail Tunnel.

James Cruickshank's mill

Standing beside the underpass at the top of Cruickshank Road you can look down on the site of James Cruickshank's sawmill which he set up in 1852. James landed at Port Chalmers on the "Phoebe Dunbar", and moved north, settling in the Hutt valley and eyeing up the bush around Maoribank and the surrounding hills.

Cruickshank powered his saws with an impressive 30 ft water-wheel fed with water from the Mangaroa river. He excavated the original tunnel for his water race though the hills above, taking advantage of the higher elevation of the Mangaroa Valley on the other side; and the stream was caught in a lake before gravitating to the mill wheel. The western section of the rough-hewn race can still be seen as you approach the entrance of the Cruickshank Rail Tunnel.

The Cruickshank home overlooked the mill and he cleared land for the north end of the township.

Cruickshank sat for some time on the Wellington Provincial Council, was prominent in politics, the militia and free-masonary.

War Games

In the book 'NZ's First World War Heritage', Imelda Bargas mentions that Cruickshanks Tunnel and the surrounding area was used as an arena to train troops during battle simulations;
"One group of recruits defended the tunnel while the other group attacked it. It provided a meaningful stand-in for the real strategic points the men would fight over at the front." The troops were based at Maymorn camp which sat on the railway line just down from Cruickshanks tunnel.

The proposed cycleway

In 2015 Upper Hutt City Council considered a proposal to create a walkway/cycleway from Park St to Cruickshank Tunnel along the original route of the Upper Hutt to Featherston railway line. However, at a cost of $452,000, it was put on the back-burner.

  jojo&dobby  agcnz  Tufty

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Onfr bs shegurfg cvar

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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