The Desert Road is the highest stretch of State Highway One, crossing the wind-scarred Rangipo Desert with stunning views of Mt Tongariro. In this Heartland episode Gary McCormick visits Waiouru and Tūrangi, towns built for the NZ Army and hydroelectric power respectively. In Waiouru McCormick meets future Officers Cadets and Sergeant Mark Harrison, headed to a peacekeeping role in Bosnia. Army spouse Caroline Dawson is candid about solo parenting while her husband is posted overseas. McCormick also experiences the wonder of the Tongariro Power Scheme and tries his hand fly fishing for rainbow trout.
In my particular situation because I'm the Accommodation Officer and my husband is the tenant I've quite often sent my husband letters... if he hasn't mowed the lawns, he doesn't get off scot free either. You gotta be firm but fair in this game.– Sue Harrison on her unwavering professional standards as Army Accommodation Officer
Anson Grieve Productions
Article on construction of the Desert Road, Contractor magazine, July 2018
Article on proposals to reopen Rangipo Prison, Stuff, August 2020