We can tick this road off our list of of things to do – we have tackled the Gentle Annie road which took us up and over the Kaweka Range, and through Kaweka Forest Park. Fully loaded timber trucks came roaring towards us. If they can manoeuvre this road carrying such a heavy road, we thought, we should have no trouble towing the caravans through.
Our original idea was to stop overnight halfway along the road at Kuripapango. But the camping area seemed to be a long way down by the river so we changed our minds, staying for just a lunch stop instead.
After 130kms we reached Spooners Hill Junction and joined back onto SH1, travelling on to Waiouru. We had done it! Yes, it was windy, very hilly and extra steep in places, but was two laned all the way. The former unsealed Gentle Annie used to have a fearsome reputation, but these days, as long as you take your time, there is no trouble towing a caravan up and down all those hills. It wouldn’t be easy to tackle in the depths of winter though, as the snow would cover parts of this high altitude road.
Then it was a matter of “Waiouru, here we come”, and we pulled into the caravan parks behind the Waiouru Army Museum. There were just us two for the first couple of hours, then several others pulled in too for an overnight stop. With regular security patrols through the night, this is a safe place to stay.