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A Manatū Taonga audio guide to the town of Mangaweka and surrounding railway viaducts. Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide in the image carousel above.

Rugged mountains, dense forest and Māori hostile to the Crown were all impediments to developing the main trunk railway line through the central North Island. Construction went ahead from the 1880s after the Ngāti Maniapoto tribe agreed to open up their lands to the railway. An impressive series of viaducts was built across ravines, with workers based at Mangaweka -- also the site of a major viaduct.

The North Island main trunk line,

First sod ceremony for North Island main trunk line,

Ngāti Maniapoto,

Peter Seton Hay,

Taihape district,

Mangaweka viaduct under construction,

Mangaweka deviation viaduct,

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way -- its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

Map showing Mangaweka, Main Trunk Line - Roadside Stories