Mt Ruahepu photo courtesy – Follash – wikimedia.org
I knew I was closer to Australia than I’d been in a long time in Te Kumi, because the burger I ordered for lunch had beetroot and there were lamingtons. But phrases reminded me I was still in New Zealand with “hey,” “there you are,” “there you go.”
Heading south along highway four, low clouds covered the valley below. Fog dimmed the road ahead and parts of the highway were icy. At one point, ice formed cathedral like formations down a steep bank. Past the frozen roadside, Mt Ruahepu kept appearing. Cloud covered its crater opening. Whiter than white snow rimmed the mountain, covering the upper portion of the volcano. Sheep dotted steep mountains, munching undisturbed. Dairy cattle lined the highway. Blocking the road, a farmer herded his sad faced cows up the road.
Although beautiful, arriving in Whanganui beside a glassy river of the same name was an anticlimax after the scenic journey.