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Discover the Forgotten World

The Stratford to Taumarunui Heritage Trail was established in 1990 to give travellers an awareness of the rich and unique history along the route linking these important Taranaki and Central North Island centres.

The highway is also called the ‘Forgotten World Highway’, as it threads 155km through pristine sub-tropical rain forests and unspoilt scenery, just as they were thousands of years ago – including the beech ridge-tops of Whangamomona Saddle and the awesome Tangarakau Gorge.

After it leaves the Taranaki volcanic ring plain, the trail drops into the rolling and then steeper inland landscape.

The highway threads through valleys and over saddles, through countryside made up of grasslands, virgin rainforest and regenerating bush.

At about twenty sites there are descriptive reminders of the area’s heritage – it follows the floor of the spectacular Tangarakau Gorge and for 20km follows the scenic Whanganui River. Sites include the famous Whangamomona Village – a small, historic village which calls itself a ‘republic’ and holds a Republic Day every two years in celebration – as well as disused coal mines, riverboat landing and Maori village sites.

The route crosses four saddles, runs through the Moki Tunnel, is often flanked by the railway line linking the two centres, and travels through the spectacular Tangarakau Gorge.

Our Stories & Attractions

Forgotten World Adventures
Forgotten World Highway

The Highway

Take a journey back in time down our Forgotten World Highway. New Zealand State Highway 43, also called the Forgotten World Highway, is a road that runs 148 km from Stratford in Taranaki to Taumarunui in the King Country.

Stratford Railway

The Railway

The Stratford-Okahukura Line is a abandoned railway line in the North Island of New Zealand with 15 intermediate stations. It is 144 km (89 mi) long and winds through difficult country, with 24 tunnels and a number of crossings.

Morgans Grave

The Pioneers

Take a journey back in time down our Forgotten World Highway. New Zealand State Highway 43, also called the Forgotten World Highway, is a road that runs 148 km from Stratford in Taranaki to Taumarunui in the King Country.

Whangamomona

The Republic

This quirky little town in the (although, it is controversial to say this) Manawatu-Wanganui Region in the North Island is its own republic. The republic is complete with presidents so make sure you bring your passport.