Retaruke Kaitieke Valley.
The Retaruke River is a river on the North Island of New Zealand. It joins with the Whanganui River just above Wade’s Landing and downstream from Taumarunui. The river flows through the farming communities of Upper and then Lower Retaruke Valley. Downstream from this junction is the Mangapurua Landing with its Bridge to Nowhere, servicing the ill-fated Mangapurua Valley farming community.
Portions of the Lower Retaruke Valley were settled about 1900 by government run farm ballot. Other portions were independently purchased from the Māori community. The land was then cleared, grassed, and sheep flocks herded in from Raurimu to stock the hills.
The valley previously had a tiny Mangaroa Primary School.
Access to the Valley is via three main roads: Oio Road, Kawautahi Road or the Raurimu-Kaitieke Road from Raurimu. However on foot the valley can be accessed via the old Mangapurua Road, or by jetboat or via the Whanganui River. (Other access routes such as the Kokako Road & Kuotoroa East Road (to Ruatiti), Te Mata Road from Whakahoro to Taumarunui have long since been abandoned. Some of these roads were examples of pack horse tracks that were expanded to roads during the Great Depression 1930s as job creation schemes.)
Historically the wealth of the valley has come from the production of wool. Early on there were also some small dairy farms producing cream/”butterfat” for the Kaitieke dairy factory that was located in Piriaka near Taumarunui.