Ashhurst is a typical small rural New Zealand town, a population of about 3500 people and nestled under the south western Ruahine ranges.
It is the southern gateway to the beautiful and fertile Pohangina Valley. Ashhurst is also the gateway to the east coast of the North Island, to Hastings, Napier, Gisborne, Pahiatua, Masterton and Woodville, through the awesome Manawatu Gorge.
Traveling west takes you to Palmerston North City, and north west to the Rangitikei district through Feilding , Bulls and Wanganui. Traveling south takes you to Massey University, and beyond Linton, Shannon, Foxton, Levin, the Kapiti Coast and Wellington.
Ashhurst from the Saddle Road
Ashhurst was named for HG Ashhurst Esq., who owned land in the immediate area - part of the larger Manchester Block - click here for more information.
The Maori name for the area is Raukawa, after a native aromatic plant (Pseudopanax edgerleyi). (source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashhurst ). Today, Raukawa is known as an area between Ashhurst and Palmerston North, with Raukawa Road providing angler access to the Manawatu River and both the Higgins and Blackley Contractors shingle pits.
When it was first settled, Ashhurst was the main center for the Valley, and a transport link. Up until the late 1950's, and before motor vehicles became the main form of transport, the passenger and freight trains did stop at the station here and they were well patronised. Stock yards for the stock trains also operated here. The road ramp as it exists now was a railway level crossing. Those days are long since history and remembered only by the older folk.
The Commercial Tavern
Ashhurst had originally been part of the Oroua County Council and as far as the locals were concerned, was not catered for adequately. It was incorporated as part of Palmerston North City in 1989. Major changes have taken place for Ashhurst since then. Perhaps the most important one was the new water supply, replacing one that tasted unpleasant, looked and smelled bad and one that fell far short of what was publicly acceptable. A new sewerage treatment plant, new storm water pipe upgrades, several roadway reconstructions including Winchester Street improvements and a new North Street culvert, footpaths, the Domain sports ground changing sheds, the new Domain access road and yet to be completed beautification and landscaping, and better public services like the Library have also been introduced since the incorporation.
Refuse and recycling information can be found here. Household refuse is collected weekly on Tuesdays - refuse bags are available from the local Four Square stores.
Being a satellite of Palmerston North, a large percentage of the population travel into P.N. to work. But Ashhurst has two motor vehicle workshops, numerous small business enterprises, had two pubs (bars) although in 2009 the Masonic Tavern closed and has since opened as the Ashhurst Inn, several Churches, and a tourism/adventure company. Over the years, shops have closed down and businesses have moved into Palmerston North. Ashhurst once had two banks and a post office. Until recently it had it's own GP, and did have it's own pharmacy - it is now just a "medicine depot" with prescriptions being filled from within the city. Click for a list of Ashhurst Businesses.
If you are thinking of buying or renting property, there is a selection of Real Estate Companies that cover Ashhurst
Ashhurst Inn - New Winter Opening Hours
MONDAY 3 PM – 7 PM :: TUESDAY 3 PM – 10 PM :: WEDNESDAY 3 PM – LATE :: THURSDAY 11.30 AM – LATE : FRIDAY 11.30 AM – LATE
SATURDAY 10.30 AM – LATE :: SUNDAY 10.30 AM - LATE
Hours will be commencing from Monday 18th June 2012. Sorry for any inconveniance, however we will still open up 4 groups of 10 or more if you want to book 4 lunch.
For many years Ashhurst also had two sources of petrol and diesel, but BP pulled out some years ago. In 2009 Mobil decided that it's underground fuel tanks were past their use-by date, and were going to charge the local operator over $500,000 to replace them. Thankfully a new supplier has been found. There is a Manawatu Evening Standard newspaper story here. A big thanks you to Allied Petroleum for coming to Ashhurst.
NZ Post Services are handled by the Ashhurst Four Square. Mail deliveries are provided by NZ Post, and there are Private Boxes available. Rural mail delivery in the Pohangina Valley is by private contract from NZ Post. Private mail company DX has a post box plus mail delivery service in Ashhurst. The Ashhurst 4 Square is an agency for the PNCC and a Palmerston North dry cleaner.
Ashhurst School caters for children up to Form 2 (year 8). Ashhurst also has one child care centre, one play center and one Kindergarten. The Anglican church is running a kids playgroup Tuesday Mornings.
Students wishing to attend a separate intermediate school (years 7-8) need to go into one of the 3 Palmerston North intermediate schools. High school students (years 9-13) are bussed into the Palmerston North High Schools.
Click for list of schools and educational institutions.
The Village and Valley Center is one of Ashhurst's crown jewels. Basketball, squash, a good kitchen facility, and lounge space for meetings etc. One of Ashhurst's churches use this facility on Sundays. It has been used most years for the Ashhurst Craft Fair. Contact Ken at the Ashhurst Domain for more information and for booking.
Good winter and summer sport grounds at both the Ashhurst Domain and Lincoln park. Athletics held at Lincoln Park during the summer months. Different grades Rugby and Soccer teams, plus junior hockey through Ashhurst School.
Click here for information about the domain and other parks in Ashhurst.
Also check out the lists of Organisations and Clubs here in Ashhurst and the Pohangina Valley.
Brookfield's public golf course 7 minutes away. Other golf courses close by at Fielding, Pahiatua (eastern side of the Tararua Rangers), and several within Palmerston North.