The main road north (or the Great North Eastern Highway as it was sometimes referred to) is called Opaki Road as it crosses Lansdowne. This is clearly because it leads to the district of Opaki. The word “paki” normally means clear or fine, so some suggest the name Opaki means fine, or dry, place. One authority states, however, that it refers to the dressing (pakipaki) of totara bark for medicinal use, while another suggests it could be a personal name.
Pic: Looking across the Lansdowne Dam at Opaki Road, circa 1910