Story: King Country places

Raurimu spiral from the air

Raurimu spiral from the air

The only way of really appreciating the engineering excellence and sinuous beauty of the Raurimu spiral is to see it from the air. The spiral was devised by Department of Public Works engineer Robert Holmes in 1898. His design was a clever solution to a major problem – the land between between Raurimu and National Park dropped significantly and was too steep for a train to travel along directly. Holmes's spiral increased the distance between these two locations to by employing sweeping curves and tunnels, which allowed the railway track to follow a manageable incline. It was constructed between 1905 and 1908. The Historic Places Trust registered the spiral as a category one historic place in 2005.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Whites Aviation Collection
Reference: WA-42886-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'King Country places - National Park', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/34814/raurimu-spiral-from-the-air (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, updated 30 Mar 2015