World War I on SH2

This self guided tour takes you straight up State Highway 2 to see Wairarapa's World War I highlights. If you have a bit more time and want to see a bit more of the Wairarapa then you might prefer the World War I; Wairarapa Wide itinerary.


Rimutaka Summit
State Highway 2

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

From September 1915 until April 1918 about 60,000 infantry reinforcements marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp. The Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men as they passed the summit.

Cuppa time at Rimutaka Summit with women from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

Setting off before dawn and accompanied by the camp's brass band, the soldiers would reach the summit by mid-morning. The next night they would stage a simulated night attack in the Mangaroa hills, before the final morning's march to Trentham.


Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here. The hospital area was south of SH2 bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.


Papawai Camp

Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd

Papawai Camp 1916

Set up in 1915 after training began at Tauherenikau Camp, the camp was next to Papawai Rifle Range where soldiers undertook their musketry (shooting) courses. 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.


Memorial Square, Carterton
State Highway 2

Memorial Square, Carterton

The square and its central memorial were dedicated in1921, commemorating 114 Carterton area men.


Vintage Aviator

South Road

British fighters at Vintage Aviator

The Vintage Aviator is the largest collection of airworthy World War I aircraft in the world.

The stories you will hear on the guided tour bring out the characters of the remarkable young men who flew these aircraft in theatres of war.


Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial
Queen Elizabeth Park
Dixon Street

Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial

This memorial was unveiled on 16 September 1923. The 441 names on the panels include men and one woman from Woodville to Palliser Bay rather than just Masterton town and district.

The four sided marble memorial is surmounted by a bronze statue of 'The last ANZAC' by Frank 'Guy' Lynch, modelled on his brother Joseph.

Other major campaigns are inscribed around the memorial and World War II names were added to the cenotaph.


ANZAC Bridge, Kaiparoro

State Highway 2
Makakahi River Bridge

Kaiparoro ANZAC Bridge

The one-way concrete bridge crosses the Makakahi River just north of Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Reserve. It was built in 1922 by Alfred Falker, father of one of six local soldiers commemorated on the bridge. There is a walkway from Millers Reserve, south of the bridge.

The two-way bridge on SH2 replaced the ANZAC Bridge in the 1950s.


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