Whanganui River Road
For a rewarding trip from Raetihi, take the Whanganui River Road, which runs west from Raetihi to Pipiriki and then follows a winding and fairly strenuous route through the wild and romantic valley of the Whanganui River.The Whanganui River Road, completed in 1934, follows the river upstream from Wanganui to Pipiriki, with many bends. There are also some roads in the Taumarunui area.
Atene (35km) has a small meeting house (1886). There is a rewarding hike on the Atene Skyline Walk (6-8 hours).
The Maori settlement of Koriniti (48km), once a place of considerable size, has two carved meeting houses - although most of the Maoris have now left the area. The road beyond Koriniti is unasphalted and in poor condition.
North of Koriniti is Operiki Pa (49km), a well-planned fortified Maori settlement with high ramparts.
Grain Mill, Kawana, New Zealand
The grain mill at Kawana (56km) was built in 1854 and was in operation until 1913. It has now been restored as a monument of industrial heritage.
The former Catholic mission station of Ranana (61km) lies just downstream from Moutoa Island, once the site of a large Maori pa. In 1864 the local Maoris repelled an attack by Hauhau warriors.
Hiruharama (Jerusalem), New Zealand
The village of Hiruharama (67km) is idyllically situated on a bend of the river. The French nun Marie Aubert established a Catholic mission here in 1883.The village gained a certain notoriety as the home of a commune in which the writer James K Baxter (1926-72) spent his last years.
Pipiriki, New Zealand
Pipiriki (79km) has only an attractive campsite for accommodation. During the land wars it was a major center of the Hauhau movement. It is planned to establish the headquarters of Whanganui National Park here.