The Roads Less Travelled

This will be a post with more pictures than words. There’s been a bit of an illness out and about in the world in 2020 putting paid to most people’s travel plans. We’ve been very fortunate in New Zealand to have avoided most of the worst of Covid, so far. Our borders are closed to all but returning NZ citizens and residents, and workers coming in who are deemed essential.

What this means for peoples holidays though, is that if you want to take your chances overseas, you are forced into 2 weeks managed isolation upon your return. So for the foreseeable future, we kiwis will have to holiday in our own back yard. That’s not such a trial of course, it’s quite nice here.

One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is take a small road trip down remote rural roads to see what there is to see. The stuff you wouldn’t otherwise see unless you lived there, or made a special trip. We all know where the big famous scenery is in New Zealand, the mountains and lakes, the amazing beaches, the volcanoes and bubbling mud. The Geysers and Fjords. There’s been enough of our remarkable landscape starring in numerous movies for everyone who’s heard of New Zealand, to have seen the most scenic places.

However, the rest of New Zealand which isn’t famous is also pretty awesome. This isn’t an attempt to show off landscape photography, this is about simply showing off some landscapes.

All these images are from remote rural roads in the lower central North Island. I’ll try to name the road if I can recall it specifically. Enjoy the ride.

Kiwi Rail Freight train crossing the South Rangitikei Viaduct near Mangaweka.
Woolshed in the high Rangitikei region, between Hunterville and Taihape
Looking across the Rangitikei River and cliffs towards the Ruahine Ranges. Watershed Road, near Hunterville.
Sun rays, early morning, Kawhatau Valley Road, near Mangaweka
Wairarapa Farmland, near Eketahuna
Heading South towards the Tararua Ranges on Mangamaire Road, near Pahiatua, Tararua District
On the way to the Whitecliffs Boulders, Peka Road. Near Mangaweka.
About to cross the top of the Puketoi Range on Towai Road, near Pongaroa, Tararua District.
Heading East down Towai Road, Puketoi Range, near Pongaroa.
Farther along Towai Road. Near Pongaroa, Tararua District.
Looking West across very remote farmland, Waitawhiti Station. Waitawhiti Road, near Tiraumea. Tararua District.
Rauhine Ranges beyond the farmland. Otanga Road, Near Dannevirke. Tararua District.
You can just make out the Pacific Ocean in the horizon in part of this photo. Looking east across Mangaorapa Station. Te Uri Road, near Porangahau. Hawkes Bay.
On the Eastern Side of the Puketoi Range, Pori Road, Tararua District.
Western side of the Puketoi Range, Pori Road, Tararua District.
Derelict farm buildings, near Dannevirke on Weber Road. Tararua District.
Maunga Road heading West across farmland, near Dannevirke,
Manawatu River, near Kumeroa. Tararua District,
Looking across farmland from Cowper Road, near Dannevirke, Tararua District.
The “Three Kings’, from Huia Road, near Pongaroa, Tararua District.
Akitio Coast, from the Akitio Coast Road. Tararua District. That gravel road you can see is someones driveway.
Looking across rolling farmland from Mangahei Road, near Awariki. Dannevirke. Tararua District.
Cattle Drovers from Waewaepa Station, with horses and dogs on the Waitahora Road, Near Dannevirke. Tararua District.
Farm near Weber, on Weber Road, near Dannevirke. Tararua District.
Farm beside Thompsons Road, near Mangatainoka, Tararua District.
Ruahine Ranges, Makaretu Road, Ashley Clinton. Central Hawkes Bay.
From The Gentle Annie route, Taihape-Napier Road. Moawhango, Rangitikei District.
Ngamatea Station, Gentle Annie Route, Taihape-Napier Road. Rangitikei District.
Mt’s Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu from the Forgotten World Highway. Whangamomona. Taranaki.

That’ll do for now, I hope you get a chance to explore some back roads in rural New Zealand some day when the world is back to ‘normal’.

15 replies »

  1. If you really want to know how 7 billion people locked up around the world react to your travels in paradise, just take a guess. Is there some hidden message that we should all eat cake together? Gawd! All very loverly, but just half a cut above frolicking in the Pacific with the idle rich. In other words, TONE DEAF!! Cheers

  2. Bitter Pom. Very few people are locked up. Most people are free to travel round their own country. Just have to avoid the Covid. Enjoy your dried up, stale cake Johnny. I’m sorry your PM has ruined your country.

  3. Hi Sandy great photos even more enjoyable for me to view as lived in a couple of the areas depicted. My children attended the 2 room school on Mangaorapa Station (now closed down). We also farmed at Takapau near to Makaretu and those Ruahine Ranges.! Lovely scenery in your photos.

    Regards Margaret
    P.S. Yes their PM has wrecked their country.

  4. Lovely photos, great little country. Boris in cockney rhyming slang is a merchant banker. Always has been, but he has had massive help in bringing the coutry to where it is from a failed political and corrupt Establishment. The same you see in most of the western world. The fact is geopolitics works in long cycles around 80 years. We are effectively in 1939, 1859, 1779,1700, facing a difficult and challenging decade, sometimes called the Thucydides trap, as power swings inexorably to the east.

    NZ is as good a place as any to hunker down as long as you don’t let too many of those crazy, corrupt US billionaires, like Peter Thiel, buy their way in and take you over.

    Apologies for the rant. Enjoy your blog.

  5. Hope you don’t mind Sandy but I liked your photos so much I have shared them on my fb page. My family are familiar with the areas you have photographed. True NZ farming countryside. Super.

  6. Hey Sandy, I really enjoyed your photos as they brought back memories to me. When I was 7 going on 8 my father drew a return soldiers ballot farm at Te Uri. I went to boarding school at Dannevirke High School for three yearsI left home when I was about 17 and shortly afterwards I was employed as a shepherd on Waewaepa station. I later worked with a David Udy from Mangamaire. So you will understand why I enjoyed the nostalgia that you provided.

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