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Underpass: The Cruickshank Legacy (Upper Hutt)

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Hidden : 04/05/2016
3.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:


The Cache

The cache is a screwtop container. It's a park and grab, or you may wish to continue on to the rest of The Cruickshank Legacy series of caches.

The Game Zone

The cache is hidden at the entrance to a concrete accessway under Bridge 35B on the Wairarapa railway line.
This is the main railway to Featherston and is frequented by large, diesel locomotives.

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 opening of it's replacement, the Rimutaka rail Tunnel.

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 cache is situated at the site of the Cruickshank homestead which overlooked the mill. James and his workers 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.

  MAC 42
  jojo&dobby  agcnz  Tufty 

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Qbja cvcr

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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