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Romahapa is a locality in the Catlins region of Otago in New Zealand's South Island. [1] It is located between the towns of Balclutha and Owaka. The last shop closed in 1977.

The Catlins

The Catlins comprises an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island's southernmost point, Slope Point.

Otago Region of New Zealand in South Island

Otago is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island administered by the Otago Regional Council. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi), making it the country's third largest local government region. Its population was 229,200 in June 2018.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.



Romahapa has a small primary school, named Romahapa School. It was established in 1856 and is one of the oldest schools in South Otago. [2] In mid-October 2006, it celebrated its 150th anniversary. [3]

South Otago lies in the south east of the South Island of New Zealand. As the name suggests, it forms the southernmost part of the geographical region of Otago.


On 15 December 1885, a branch line railway (the Catlins Branch Line) from the Main South Line in Balclutha was opened to Romahapa. The village became a railway terminus for a few years and a number of bush tramways also operated in the area during the 1890s. Romahapa lost its terminal status on 7 July 1891 when an extension opened to Glenomaru. [4] The railway line came to be known as the Catlins River Branch and ultimately terminated in Tahakopa; it serviced Romahapa until its closure on 27 February 1971. In the early 1900s, up to sixteen trains ran through Romahapa a week; these were predominantly mixed trains. [5] Today, the Romahapa station's goods shed remains in its old location, while the station building has been resited a few kilometres away, and the wooden railway bridge over the Romahapa Creek still stands. [6]

Branch line Minor railway line

A branch line is a secondary railway line which branches off a more important through route, usually a main line. A very short branch line may be called a spur line. David Blyth Hanna, the first president of the Canadian National Railway, said that although most branch lines cannot pay for themselves, they are essential to make main lines pay.

Main South Line

The Main South Line, sometimes referred to as part of the South Island Main Trunk Railway, is a railway line that runs north and south from Lyttelton in New Zealand through Christchurch and along the east coast of the South Island to Invercargill via Dunedin. It is one of the most important railway lines in New Zealand and was one of the first to be built, with construction commencing in the 1860s. At Christchurch it connects with the Main North Line to Picton, the other part of the South Island Main Trunk.

Tramway (industrial) type of industrial railway

Tramways are lightly laid railways, sometimes worked without locomotives. Since individual tramway cars are not intended to carry the weight of typical standard-gauge railway equipment, the tramways over which they operate may be built of less substantial materials. Tramways can take many forms, sometimes just tracks temporarily laid on the ground to move materials around a factory, mine or quarry. Many, if not most, are narrow gauge railway technologies. Motive power can be manual, animal, cable hauled by stationary engine, or utilize small locomotives. At the other extreme they could be complex and lengthy systems, such as the Lee Moor Tramway in the county of Devonshire, England, in the United Kingdom.

Notable people

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Glenomaru human settlement in New Zealand

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  1. "Place name detail: Romahapa". New Zealand Gazetteer. Land Information New Zealand . Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  2. Romahapa School, "School Detail" Archived 25 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine , accessed 27 November 2007. The title of oldest school in South Otago is also claimed by Tokomairiro High School in Milton, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in June 2006. The latter school has undergone several organisational changes during that time, however, notably from District High School to High School.
  3. "Romahapa School 150th Jubilee 1856-2006", Education Gazette New Zealand 85(16) [18 September 2006].
  4. New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas, fourth edition, edited by John Yonge (Essex: Quail Map Company, 1993), 28.
  5. David Leitch and Brian Scott, Exploring New Zealand's Ghost Railways, revised edition (Wellington: Grantham House, 1998 [1995]), 103-4.
  6. Leitch and Scott, Exploring New Zealand's Ghost Railways, 104-5.

Coordinates: 46°21′S169°44′E / 46.350°S 169.733°E / -46.350; 169.733

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.