Our first stop in Whanganui was Durie Hill. The Durie Hill Elevator is the only earthbound elevator in New Zealand and one of only two in the world. It was built in 1919 and the elevator shaft is 65.8 meters. To get to the elevator, Cally and I walked down a 213 meter long, concrete tunnel. It was eerie, like a horror movie. Our voices echoed as we walked down the tunnel that didn’t seem to end. At the end of the tunnel, we rang a bell for the elevator. It slowly creaked down to get us. An elevator operator greeted us. Inside the elevator is carpeted and has a wooden bench.
Once at the top of the hill, we climbed the stairs to the top of the elevator’s platform. A stunning panoramic view of Whanganui and the river that runs through it awaited us.
Behind the elevator platform is the Durie Memorial Tower. It commemorates fallen soldiers from World War I. Instead of taking the elevator back down, we continued to enjoy the view by taking the stairs down the hill.