A beautiful, sunny Wairarapa Sunday was perfect for an outing to Pongaroa, via the scenic route, Highway 52.
This highway winds through Mauriceville, Alfredton and Tiraumea and passes through ever-changing scenery of native bush, hills, forestry and beautiful valleys.
100 kilometres or so later we arrived in Pongaroa. As the sign says - the way to go.
Pongaroa has a thriving arts community and includes some lovely examples of street art. This colourful mural was painted on a corrugated iron fence. One of the locals told us Pongaroa had recently held an arts exhibition.
The old Post Office, long-since closed, has beautiful lines, if a little tired-looking.
The lovely church of St John the Baptist, tucked away in a side street.
The Akitio County War Memorial Hall reflects an earlier age of local government. Now Pongaroa is part of the Tararua District Council.
After enjoying an ice cream from the Pongaroa Store and Cafe we headed west along the Pongaroa to Pahiatua highway. The road winds through hilly country, and included a pleasant, shady drive through the beautiful Makuri Scenic Reserve. It finally joins State Highway 2 north of Pahiatua.
Pongaroa: the way to go is the Pongaroa community website. Well worth a look.
The Tararua District Library blog has links to a wide variety of useful links for visitors planning a trip to the area.