The Forgotten World Highway
Tracing ancient Maori trails and pioneering farm tracks from the central North Island to Stratford in Taranaki, the 155km Forgotten World Highway is New Zealand’s oldest touring route. The Forgotten World Highway The Forgotten World Highway lives up to its name – you’ll encounter little traffic and a landscape that veers from rural to untouched and back again.
Traverse natural saddles and pass through the gravel-surfaced Tangarakau Gorge before reaching the Republic of Whangamomona, which first settled in 1895 and had 300 residents at its peak. Now home to around 30, the village is centred on the Whangamomona Hotel, which offers hearty meals. Whangamomona declared itself a republic in 1989, complete with its own election, passport (get yours from the Hotel) and Republic Day held every second year in January – next up in 2019.
Note, though, that there’s no petrol or other supplies available between Taumarunui and Stratford. The Forgotten World Adventures rail cart excursion, and new pedal-powered option, is opening this unique area to new visitors.
Pick up a copy of the Forgotten World Highway Touring Route Guide from a Taranaki i-SITE Visitor Centre or download from www.visit.taranaki.info