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Published: November 29th 2019
The road from Wanganui to Jerusalem (Hiruharama) is narrow and windy and has become much busier since the closure of the main road through the Paraparas, due to a massive slip there. It is not a road that you can drive along quickly and there are plenty of spots where you hope there isn't a logging truck coming the other way. But it's the road you need to use now to get to Jerusalem.
The drive is worth the effort as there are plenty of things to see along the way. But the highlight is finally spotting St Joseph's Church in the distance. You cant miss it and fortunately there are places you can pull over in order to get a photo of it.
When you arrive at Jerusalem you will see a driveway that looks as though it will take you up to the church. Ignore it. You actually need the second driveway which is sign-posted. There is an area up there where you can park and then climb the stairs up to the convent and the church.
Unlike most churches in NZ, this one is open to the public. There is a sign in the foyer
requesting you remove your shoes. Please show respect here and do so.
The church itself is stunning. I have visited churches and temples and mosques all over the world but this is the one with the best atmosphere. After spending time here you will walk out feeling at peace. It really is that amazing.
You can easily spend an hour here. You can sit in the church, take photos, stroll through the rosary walk and use the bathroom. For overseas visitors, 'Wahine' is for women, 'Tane' is for men.
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