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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Limestone Bridge of Ototohu

Limestone Bridge of Ototohu.

Perhaps the most curious bridge of all is one at Ototohu, near Mahoenui, quite close to the main road between Te Kuiti and the Mokau. When some of us roamed about those parts of the limestone country, we walked up a smooth-bedded little creek from Mr. John Old's farmhouse, until we came to the natural bridge, which spanned the miniature canyon, fifty or sixty feet above our heads. It was a perfect bridge of rock, beneath which its white-walled stream had worn its way ages ago. Useful, too, as well as wonderful, for page 27 it enabled the settler to cross his cattle from one side to the other of the deep gulch. Long ago the Maori found it of strategic defensive value; there were ancient entrenchments in the bush and fern at each bridgehead.

The natural difficulties on the Rotorua line surmounted by the skilful engineers who constructed the great viaducts, concrete-bedded and steel-trussed and latticed, on the North Island Main Trunk railway, make that era of public works construction a quite splendid chapter in the story of our pioneering development. Elsewhere on our railway construction works there were incidents in which Tangata Maori took an obstructive hand.