Putaruru is a town on state highway 1 that, in a bygone era was a busy and vibrant community. Today Putaruru is a struggling township that has taken severe negative impacts from the changes taking place with the timber industry. In the early days Putaruru was major sawmilling town that boasted a number of sawmills. Today none.This monument a symbol of historic activity.
Putaruru is an interesting town that is split by the railway line. The original commercial area was on the south of the line, with the northern commercial area carrying and feeding off the through traffic.
The War Memorials have great presences near the municipal offices.
The Putaruru Hotel clearly demonstrates how the town and residents were, and that today is shell of its former glory. Clearly fourty/fifty years ago this building would have hosted business and governmental leaders. Now, only operates as a tavern. For those with a sense of history the town and hotel is a must visit.
The nearby Blue Spring is the current source of about 60% of New Zealand's bottled water.
The putaruru economy is still based on farming, forestry and timber production. State Highway 1 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town.