Township 21 km south-east of Whanganui, which developed after the Crown purchase of the Rangitīkei Block in 1849. The first European settlers were Gaelic-speaking Scots, and Caledonian Games have been an annual event since 1864. Turakina Māori Girls’ College was located in the township until 1928. From 1876 to 1925 Turakina was known as Lethbridge, after a local settler. The Lethbridge family property, Ann Bank, was the site of New Zealand’s first children’s health camp in 1919. The nearby beach village, Kōitiata, was built in the 1920s.

Meaning of place name
Named after the Turakina River. Lit: to be felled or thrown down. Hau, who gave so many names in the Rangitikei, Manawatu and Horowhenua districts, named Turakina because he was able to cross the river using a tree that had fallen across from one bank to the other.

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