Farewell ol’ Causeway - Rangitahi

Farewell ol’ Causeway

The time has come to say goodbye to the bumpy old causeway and the rickety footbridge at the end of Raglan’s Opotoru Road, but not without first taking a quick trip down memory lane.

Despite claiming a number of exhaust pipes over the years, the Causeway access will most likely be remembered for the fond memories of days spent swimming beneath the wooden bridge on an outgoing tide.

This is certainly not the first time the Raglan community has connected different legs of the inner harbour and it’s exciting to be a part of history in the making.

Photos and information supplied by Beverly Barker: “This photo was taken in 1939 when the causeway was constructed over the channel to enable vehicle crossings for a few more hours a day. Rocks were used to build it up and metal was put on the mud which was already fairly firm.”


Photo above: (taken approx 1948) The access was built up further with a culvert pipe nearer the Opotoru Road end of the causeway enabling a few more hours of vehicle accessibility. The culvert is not visible in the photo but would sit at the edge where the photo finishes on the right hand side.

Photo above: “The original footbridge was built around 1944 – 45 in order to provide all time access when I started to school. Prior to that our mother would have to row us across the estuary when the tide was in and for someone who couldn’t swim this was very daunting with a 5yr old and a 3yr old seated in the boat. We don’t know how our father, Aubrey Butterworth, managed to build the footbridge. We know he felled the Kanuka on the farm with his axe or hand saw and carted it to the beach on his old Morris truck nick named Gertie.”

Photo above: The original footbridge was constructed with the trimmed Kanuka being used as poles and stringers. This photo shows the footbridge and also causeway submerged at half tide.

The Rangitahi team are excited to add to the unique history of the Raglan township and we look forward to sharing the continued progress and developments of the peninsula with the wider community, both through the Rangitahi Facebook page and our website journal posts. We welcome you to follow us and share in the journey as it unfolds.

With regards to the upcoming developments, there will be no public access onto the peninsula over the next 12 months; the Causeway will officially close on June 6, while pedestrian access across the footbridge will cease on June 12. In addition, both the walking and biking tracks on the farm are also closed until further notice. Please ensure you pass this information on to friends and family so as to avoid any confusion.

In the meantime, if you have any fond memories of time spent at the causeway that you’d like to share, please email them to info@rangitahi.co.nz

Till next time…