THE EKETAHUNA COMMUNITY
Eketahuna is a friendly rural town nestled in the shadow of the Tararua Ranges. It is the most southerly in the Tararua District in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand, but is considered to be in northern Wairarapa. The early pioneers - Swedes, English, Norwegians and Germans – originally named the town Mellemskov. This name was eventually discarded in favour of ‘Eketahuna’, a Maori word which means to run aground on a sandbank (this name originated because Maori canoes could not paddle beyond this part of the Makakahi River). A sheep and dairy farming area, Eketahuna is also known for deer farming and horse breeding.
The town is located at the foot of the Tararua Ranges which lie to the west. It is 35 kilometres north of Masterton and a similar distance south of Palmerston North with Pahiatua 24 kilometers north. It is situated on State Highway 2 and the eastern bank of the Makakahi River.
Eketahuna is considered by some to be the stereotypical rural New Zealand town, and is occasionally used in conversation to represent "the real New Zealand". The 2001 census recorded Eketahuna's population at 579 with the surrounding farming district taking the total population up to approximately 1100. The economy is based primarily on dairy and sheep farming.
You can cool off in the town swimming pool over the summer or enjoy a game of tennis on the astroturf all-weather court. There is an outdoor bowling club and in the winter rugby, soccer and hockey are played at the sports ground.
Follow the Heritage trail or check out the Eketahuna Museum and Historic Buildings in town. If you're into hiking or tramping there is a 20 minute cliff walk beside the Makakahi River and a longer tramp through the Putara Valley into the Tararua Ranges and Forest Park. This is also a popular place for hunting fishing and horse trekking.
Fortunately we're easier to get to now than in 1878!
For more information about the Tararua District click here.