In the 1890s parts of the Ōtira gorge section of the road through Arthur’s Pass clung to the rock wall. When first built in 1865, the road's construction was regarded as remarkable. Its engineers dealt with mountainous topography, geological instability and narrow corridors. The laborers and others on site struggled with snow, heavy rain and temperatures below zero. Tools used were picks, shovels and two-horse drays. Deaths were common during construction, often through drowning. In one particularly disastrous week, six men lost their lives. Otira was originally a stop on the Cobb and Co stagecoach from Canterbury to the West Coast. The Midland Line was extended from Stillwater to Jacksons in 1894 and then Otira in 1899, when the pass was navigated by coach from Otira until the railway tunnel opened in 1923.
View of the Otira Gorge Road
Below you will find the message written on the back of the postcard. In the event we have duplicates of the same postcard, multiple messages may be found below.
57 Beach Road Christchurch 7
Thought you might like to have this memory of this magnificent duni down the Gorge and the rata in flower. All my love
Floppy xxx xxx xxx
5th June 1965
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