Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to Haast Pass in the Video tab above.
Once a walking track used by Māori heading for West Coast reserves of pounamu (greenstone), Haast Pass was first crossed by Europeans during the 1860s gold rushes. Construction of a proper road began in the 1920s and 1930s depression, with unemployed workers wielding picks and shovels – but the road wasn’t completed until the early 1960s.
Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit http://www.mch.govt.nz/roadside/