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Ashhurst is situated 14 kilometres northeast of the city of Palmerston North and is a small rural town.
The town stands under the Ruahine Ranges, beneath the tallest peak, Wharite, upon which is the television and radio transmitter. Also at the Ashhurst Domain (cnr of Cambridge and the Main Road (SH3), one can view the Ruahine Ranges, the Tararua Ranges and the wind farm.
Ashhurst's importance stems from its location at the western end of the Manawatu Gorge. As such, it is close to the easiest road and rail link between the east and west coasts of the southern North Island.
Ashhurst is the location of Palmerston North's second bridge crossing over the Manawatu.
There is an occasional bus which links Palmerston North with Ashhurst.
Ashhurst was named for Lord Henry Ashhurst, who owned land in the immediate area.
The M‚ori name for the area is Raukawa, after a native aromatic plant which Māhinaarangi used as perfume for her nightly rendezvous with her Tainui lover, Tūrongo