Greytown's past seen in its buildings

SELINA POWELL
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2013
greytown
FAIRFAX NZ

RICH IN HISTORY: Greytown's Main Street.

Relevant offers

Capital Life

Momentum gathering for permanent conscientious objector memorial Finding a buddy at school using recycled plastic CuriousCity: What's gone on behind the scenes at Santa's sleigh workshop in Wellington Web series about Wellington suburbs gears up for second series Concert Review: Orchestra Wellington conducted by Marc Taddei Thorndon Fair delivers the goods Tui head brewer preparing to 'unleash the beast' after revamp at Mangatainoka Group crowdfunding to get mural of Rita Angus on central Wellington wall National Portrait: Earth's rumblings a fascination for scientist Dr Ken Gledhill Cottage in Thorndon sells under the hammer for over $1m - with RV of $580K

The drive to Greytown over the winding, narrow road of the Rimutakas may make many travellers queasy, but the trip is idyllic compared to the journey that the town's first residents took.

Settlers travelled by foot to Greytown in 1854 over the Rimutaka Ranges, using several hardy bulls to carry their belongings.

Cottages, shops and a hotel were built within five years of settlement at the town named after Governor George Grey.

At one time, it was the largest settlement in the Wellington region, but Greytown's popularity suffered after the railroad bypassed the town in the 1870s because of flooding concerns.

The distinctive colonial style of Greytown's buildings has its roots in this early lull, with few buildings constructed between the 1920s and 1970s. The Greytown Hotel, Borough Chambers and Hornblow House are among a host of settler buildings that have been preserved and lend a historical air to Greytown's main street.

The town held New Zealand's first Arbor Day in 1890.

It provides a home to several historical trees – including a eucalyptus that was carried from Wellington by wheelbarrow more than a century ago.

Just out of Greytown, the Papawai Marae provided a base for the Maori Parliament at the end of the 19th century, with leaders from around the country travelling to the meeting place to discuss government plans.

Eighteen ancestral statues line the perimeter of Papawai. In an unusual feature of the marae, the monuments face inwards as a symbol of peace and self-determination.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will you go to CubaDupa, the Cuba St carnival?

Yes, it looks like it'll be amazing!

I'll see what the weather does

No, it's basically just another community fair

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content