This review covers the Wanganui River Road that is accessed from State Highway 4, about 14 kilometres northeast of the city. Once you are on the road it winds alongside the river. Initially, you climb a long hill and are rewarded with a great view at the top, along the gorge. From then on it's a very winding route which, to be honest, gets a little tiresome but is very picturesque. Probably, it's more rewarding to take one of the kayak trips up the river itself.
There's a very beautiful marae at Ranana. At Jerusalem (Hiruharama) you can stop to visit St Joseph's church and the convent. There's also a little shop serving ice creams, chips (crisps) and the like - you are served through the window by a cheerful local. It's almost bizarre to come across this after such a long drive along this unpopulated route.
Another 10km north of Jerusalem and you reach Pipiriki where the road heads east to Raetihi. At this point (Pipiriki) the road ends and, if you want to continue to follow the river, you'll need a boat! There's access here to the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge, Jetboat and other adventures.