I love an untravelled road. I’m with Robert Frost on this one that the more off the beaten track the better so once we had passed through the familiar streets of Paeroa I was delighted to set out over the Karangahake Gorge for the first time.
I can tell you right now that a drive through is not nearly enough (but with the sun almost setting was all we had time for). I will definitely be coming back to spend a whole day exploring the old mining tunnels, ore roasting kilns and tramways of the Windows Walk and the one kilometre long brick lined tunnel sounds right up my alley.
James, as always, was the endlessly knowledgable tour guide as we wound our way through the gentle curves of the gorge twisting and turning past a river.
“There’s a great waterhole over there” he points in one direction.
“That tunnel over there goes straight through the mountain” – a few more twists and turns in the road and then yes indeed, there is the other end of the tunnel.
I have to say it was stunning on the way over with the sun setting behind us and casting an orange glow on the spots unshaded by the mountains around us. It was also equally stunning on the way back, just as we pulled out of Katikati with the sun setting behind the Kaimai Ranges and an orange haze over everything. It was so stunning that I pulled over to stop and take a photo but by the time I had stopped I was just out of range and it had lost its magic. It’s a poignant reminder to stop and take in a beautiful scene, not just drive on by and expect it to stay beside you. Of course this is much easier said than done with 4 kids in the car!
Brilliant start to a road trip!