Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Manawatu Gorge (in Maori Te Apiti, meaning 'The Narrow Passage') runs between the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges of the North Island of New Zealand, linking the Manawatu and Hawke's Bay regions. It lies to the northeast of Palmerston North - its western end is near the small town of Ashhurst; its eastern end is close to the town of Woodville.
The Manawatu Gorge is considered significant because, unlike most gorges, the Manawatu River runs directly through the surrounding ranges from one side to the other. This was caused by the ranges moving upwards at the same time as the gorge was eroded by the river, instead of the more usual erosion of an already existing range.
The road through the Manawatu Gorge was completed in 1872, and acts as the primary link between the two halves of the lower North Island. It is sometimes closed by slips, especially in inclement weather. A rail connection was also established on the opposite wall of the gorge; it was completed in 1891.
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