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This well graded track performs a loop, taking in sights of the former Egmont Branch Railway Line. A series of numbered sites are located around the track, which is best attempted in an anticlockwise direction.
4.5 km south of Tariki and 1.5 km north of Midhurst on SH3, turn into York Road. This becomes unsealed and terminates after 7.5 km at the start of the track.
At the remains of the crusher site (a 7-metre high 100-metre long concrete wall), a short detour leads to the site of the bunkhouse and cottage. As the track ascends gradually, you pass through the pipeline cutting to the sand trap, a large concrete sump with well-preserved wheels and gears for the operation of the valve gates. On the detour to the river quarry, there are rusting rails, just before a sidetrack to the middle quarry station. At the apex of the track, in a large grass clearing, is the site of the foot station, before the descent starts back to the carpark.
In the early 1900s, Taranaki experienced a shortage of road metal for the burgeoning province. Between 1901 and the 1920s, the Egmont Branch Line transported up to 50,000 tonnes per year of quarried road metal from the Manganui Stream area. The operation employed around 200 men at peak production. After World War 2, demand slumped and the railway closed in the late 1940s.
North Island ▷ Taranaki ▷ Stratford
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍