Tinui is ready this year to re-enact its pioneering Anzac Day trek of 100 years ago, with a rebuilt track to the top of Mt Maunsell where the first known Anzac memorial cross was erected, organisers said.

On April 25, 1916, the Reverend Basil Ashcroft held a 7.30am service at Tinui Church of the Good Shepherd, then walked with a group of volunteers carrying a large wooden cross, which was erected on the rocky tops of the Tinui 'taipo', otherwise known as Mt Maunsell.

In 1965 the cross was replaced with the current aluminium one, and a new walking track has now been built to make the cross accessible to those who want to relive that journey 100 years later.

The story of the track is one of local and Wairarapa-wide generosity, according to Tinui Parish Anzac Trust chairman Alan Emerson.


Hardworking Tinui locals hand built the walking track during 2014, but the summit at the end of it only officially shifted to the trust's ownership last September.

Workers were "local people getting on a shovel and an axe", Mr Emerson said.

"The actual walking track was done with spade, axe and slasher -- which believe me is bloody hard work."

The track was opened by Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson in November 2014.

The landowners "have been absolutely superb in allowing us to establish it", Mr Emerson said. "They've given us access freely ... without that goodwill there wouldn't be a track."

Access was granted through land owned by Mike and Lesley Hodgins, and by the Tinui Forest Park. The summit itself, the site of the cross, was owned by Kelso and Jane Rushton, and it is this site which has now been donated to the Tinui Parish Anzac Trust.

The entire track and the summit area was surveyed by Tomlinson and Carruthers, who donated what Mr Emerson has estimated could be $40,000 worth of work. WCM legal also donated a significant amount of conveyancing work in changing the title at the summit.

Mr Emerson described the circular track, which can be walked in two hours, as "spectacular".

Preparation for Anzac Day this year also includes upgrade of the vehicle track to the top of the mountain, initially bulldozed by Bill Maunsell, a member of the family for whom the mountain is named.

Money for this, "the first actual money we've been given", has come in the shape of a grant from the Department of Conservation.

The New Zealand Army is doing some of the work on the four-wheel drive track, which includes work on a bridge and culverts to ensure access in wet weather.

The Anzac Service this year at Tinui, at 10.30am, will have "a strong military presence", Mr Emerson said. It will be preceded by an Anzac Ball in the Tinui War Memorial Hall on Saturday, April 23, and followed by a public walk up to the cross.

"I'm sure it will be one big party on Saturday night, and a sombre, reflective service on Monday morning," Mr Emerson said.

Last year more than 2000 people attended the Tinui service, Mr Emerson said.

"How many we are going to get this year, we honestly don't know."