Following the interest in the 1955 map of Turangi yesterday we now move forward to 1963…
Spot the differences…
The main anglers camp was located on the main road north of the ‘Tongariro Trout Hatchery’. Some of the names of the upper Tongariro Fishing Pools (which have now disappeared) included Dreadnought Reach, Bank Pool, Breakaway Pool, The parade, Gentlemen’s Pool, The Racecourse, Gun Club Reach, etc. This indicates how the river has changed so much.
Back then the lower river pools were just as important – with access by boat from Tokaanu – including Dans Pool, Willow Reach, Cherry Pool, Poplar Pool, Gull Reach, Jellicoe Pool, Graces Pool Downs Pool, Toi Pool, Boat Pool, The Nursery, The Hut Pool (which referred to the anglers huts at Bridge Lodge). Most of these are now gone or changed. The lower river beyond De Latours is now deserted apart from the occasional boat in Summer.
The 1963 & 1967 maps also noted the wooden suspension anglers access bridge below ‘The Rip’, and at Red Hut the cage across the river to replace the old suspension bridge (washed out by flooding in the 1950’s) .
SH 41 & 47 (known as the Saddle Road) were completed. Turangi’s suburban street pattern was evident – even if it was not completely developed.
SH1 had been developed to bypass Taupahi Road. The prison farm roads were completed. Exciting times for a new town.
By then the tail race from the Tokaanu Power Station was in place. A tourist brochure writing about Turangi back then advised:
The New Town
Construction on the power development and the new town began late in 1964. Progress was rapid and a boom town atmosphere was created. By May 1966, the population of Turangi had jumped from 500 to 2,500 people and by 1968 the population reached a high of 6,500. The rural countryside around the old Turangi village was rapidly transformed into an urban landscape. Even today, the township still bears the distinctive marks of the Ministry of Works planners and the Government who invested $16 million in the development. A model town with curving streets and cul-de-sacs, uniform houses, pedestrian shopping centre, parking lots and separation from the traffic on the main highway was created. Following the withdrawal of the Ministry of Works at the completion of the power scheme in 1985, the Turangi/Tongariro area has been through a period of retrenchment. By the late 1990’s the town has entered a new era, having consolidated and diversified as a tourism and service centre for the southern end of Lake Taupo. Today, tourism and forestry are the mainstay of the community with the Justice Department’s two prisons, the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, the Department of Conservation and farming being the main employers. In the years since 1964, the appearance of Turangi has mellowed and thousands of trees have grown to maturity. In spring, the roads are lined with cherry blossom and in autumn the leaves are beautiful. Project homes have changed to private ownership and many have been modified. More than 30 years on, Turangi has now evolved into a more settled community but retains a distinctive character imposed by the physical and economic domination of the power project. The prediction made in the mid-60’s that ‘Turangi will become a centre for farmers, tourism, forestry, fishing and hunting and the holiday trade in general’ has largely come true. Post-power scheme population estimates were also near the mark – with Turangi’s current population being just over 4,000 people.
Now in 2016 Turangi’s resident population has continued to shrink to under 3,000.