Halfway around the mountain had taken a wee bit out of us and the weather was looking less settled. We were not so keen on hoisting a heavy pack straight away so we took a leisurely day to walk the Old Caoch Road into Ohakune. This has been opened up as a joint bike/hike track and is worth doing. Our AirBnB hosts did the shuttle business again.
The track follows an old coach road(!) which is eventually superseded by the railway line. It is an easy walk of about 17km or so. The interest lies in the railway line and the viaducts which are rather special. A real train travelled over the biggest whilst we were there.
I really enjoyed the walk and it was a good way of stretching the muscles after our three days on our Ruapehu.