Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | January 19, 2011

taking the other road

Let’s get deep. How many times in life do we face a fork in the road and have to make serious decisions about our futures?

Okay, not quite that deep, but just as important if it’s the difference between returning to civilisation and being stuck in the wopwops. Actually, I seriously don’t mind the wopwops. Having just spent two weeks up at Kinloch, which is still remote by modern standards but is a million times more accessible than it was to my ancestors.

When driving around the countryside, whether it be on a trip down the road or a massive road trip like a summer holiday, we always like to try different routes or different ways of getting to places.

So when Thomas spotted a another way out of the Mackenzie Basin, we thought we’d give it a go.

I love travelling where the end destination is known but not the timing, estimated time of arrival or the route!

I wrote this while we were driving down the road (there’s only so much view you can take it at once…. and sorry about the quality of the pictures – the camera decided to babysit some wayward hairs….)

“We’re taking a different road. It’s on the map. Mckenzie’s Pass – parallel to Bourke’s Pass. Our motelier in Twizel had never heard of it, but hey, it’s on the map. And we’re in a four-wheel drive. What can go wrong?  LOL sounds like something Marc Ellis would say before filming started on an Intrepid Journey….. This road is tarseal with a white line and marker pegs but there is not another vehicle to be seen. Just the vast Mackenzie Basin around us with mountains on every horizon.

I spoke too soon. “It’s metal.” (Thomas). “It’s gravel.” (me). “

looking west

looking east

But the road was great. It was a good gravel road with the occasional station mailbox pointing the way to the odd Merino standing next to a tussock.  And a monument – where the famed Mckenzie was caught but escaped the same night (and no that is not a spelling mistake, if you believe Wikipedia and my atlas. James Mckenzie had no a. The Mackenzie Basin does. But that means I have to go and change all the mentions of the pass!)

Thomas with Mackenzie's monument on the Mckenzie Pass


nearing the top of Mckenzie Pass - say goodbye to crystal clear skies and hello to clouds

We also saw more of the farming country on the other side as we followed more tiny lines on the map to get back to the highway! This included spending a good five minutes deciding whether to go left or right only to go over a bridge and meet up with the “other road” which had a ford. The real intersection we were waiting for was another half a km up the road. Laugh!  Luckily the next few roads turned up when the lines on the map said they should and within a “wee while” the State Highway was beckoning us once more (as was an icecream in Fairlie!)

And there ends today’s blog. It doesn’t matter which road you take. It’s the destination and the mood with which you travel that are important 🙂

here are two other blogs of mine about going off the beaten track and going to the end of the road


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: