Highway 23 is the road to Raglan. It’s history has as many twists and turns as the road itself.
Raglan only became Raglan in 1858 after an official name change from Whaingaroa. However, at that time the Hamilton to Raglan road did not exist – there was only a walking track.
In 1864 six bridges were built to make it into a packhorse trail. Work began in 1878 to make it passable by stagecoach.
This coach road was completed by 1880, and metal was laid between 1907 and 1921.
In the meantime the deviation over the main range (by-passing the old mountain road) was completed in 1912.
By 1961 the road had been tar sealed, and at that time it was gazetted as “State Highway 23” and that’s when it lost its old handle.