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Whanganui River Road Mail Tour
Whanganui River Road Mail Tour Review
Some choose to take the early-morning Whanganui River Road Mail Tour, which gets you to Pipiriki and back in a day and includes sightseeing stops and optional extra tours. The tour (NZ$63) departs Wanganui weekdays at 7am, and returns mid-afternoon; times vary depending on how much mail the postman has to deliver, or whether he waits while you enjoy a jet-boat trip on the river. Weekend trips are also an option, although a minimum of three passengers is required as there is no normal mail run. Pickups are from city accommodations. You'll see the remains of giant, fossilized oyster shells at Oyster Cliffs (28 km from Wanganui). You'll call at the marae (village) of Koriniti (47 km ), with its historic (and still much-used) ceremonial buildings and small Anglican church. You're welcome to look around. If there's anything happening just ask the people there whether it's appropriate to visit—unless it's a private funeral you're likely to be made completely welcome. The restored Kawana Flour Mill (56 km ) and colonial miller's cottage are always open, if you'd like a glimpse of bygone pioneer life. At the farming settlement of Ranana (60 km ), a Roman Catholic church from the 1890s is still used today. And there is the larger St. Joseph's Church and Catholic Mission, established by Home of Compassion founder Mother Aubert, at picturesque Hiruharama (66 km ), better known locally as Jerusalem.
Finally at Pipiriki (79 km ), the turnaround point, it's possible to arrange a jet-boat tour to the magnificent river gorges farther upriver, or futher to the Mangapurua Landing. A short walk leads from here to the Bridge to Nowhere, a huge concrete bridge in remote forested country that is a remnant of the pioneering Mangapurua farming settlement, abandoned in 1942. Bookings are essential.
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