Join with us on our adventure to the Forgotten World. Travelling south on State Highway 3 we enjoy the history of two rural towns – Otorohanga & Te Kuiti. We see the Kiwiana collection and visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. Nestled within the deep hidden valleys of New Zealand’s Forgotten World Highway is the ultimate way to explore rural New Zealand – travel along the decommissioned Forgotten World Highway-rail line and enjoy a completely different perspective than travelling by road. Seated in the comfort of a specially adapted railcar, we travel along decommissioned railway lines, through tunnels, over bridges and rivers and to townships that time forgot. We will experience the first ten tunnels on the Forgotten World line and take a thrilling boat ride on the majestic Whanganui River.
Friday 20 November – Sunday 22 November 2020 (3 Days)
Day 1 Friday 20 November 2020 – HOME CITIES – TAUMARUNUI (D)
This morning we depart our home cities and travel south to Taumarunui, stopping first at Otorohanga. Already well known as the home of New Zealand’s original Kiwi House, Otorohanga extended its “Kiwi Connection” theme to include all things “Kiwiana”. Kiwiana is a celebration of New Zealand’s popular culture – its icons, heroes and traditions – everything from the Kiwi, Buzzy Bee, Paua and Pavlova, to Sir Edmund Hillary, Colin Meads and the All Blacks, from shearing and sheepdog trials to the haka and Hokey Pokey ice cream. There are 24 Kiwiana display modules in the Otorohanga shopping precinct – 14 of the exhibits are located in the Ed Hillary Walkway – the remaining 10 are displayed in shop windows nearby. After a drive through town to spot these Kiwiana icons we will visit the world-famous Kiwi House & Native Bird Park, beautiful park-like surroundings contains New Zealand’s largest public collection of kiwi and other indigenous species. Here you have a chance to get up close and personal to a wonderful range of the native birds as well as three types of Kiwi (Northern Brown Kiwi, Great Spotted Kiwi and Little Spotted Kiwi), Morepork, Falcon, Weka, Tui, Kereru, Kaka and Kea. After lunch (own expense) we then continue on to Waitomo where we travel towards Marakopa to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. We take a brief walk following the boardwalk as it weaves its way through the impressive limestone gorge bringing you underneath the stunning natural bridge. We then continue our travels to Te Kuiti which was originally a railway town. The town now promotes itself as the “Shearing Capital of the World” and hosts the New Zealand Shearing Championships. A huge statue of a shearer with a sheep dominates the landscape at the southern end of the town. We then travel to Taumarunui via the country scenic route of Bennydale. Located in the Ruapehu region of New Zealand and set on the Main Trunk Railway Line, Taumarunui is known for its railway history, farming, gardens and weaving.
Accommodation: Central Park Motor Inn – 2 Nights
Day 2 Saturday 21 November 2020 – RAIL AND RIVER BOAT TOUR (BLD)
Nestled within the deep hidden valleys of New Zealand’s Forgotten World Highway is the ultimate way to explore rural New Zealand. Today we explore the northern section of Forgotten World from the comfort of a rail-cart; adapted to be self-driven along the tracks of the Forgotten World railway. During the course of the day we learn about the history of the area, experience 10 tunnels on the line, take a thrilling boat ride on the majestic Whanganui River and enjoy an appetising ploughman’s lunch at the old Tokirima Station. As we travel along decommissioned railway lines, through tunnels, over bridges and rivers, there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way to take in the ever-changing vistas. Known elsewhere in the world as drasine, rail cars or speeders, Forgotten World Adventures rail carts began life on the pristine golf courses of Georgia, USA. Petrol driven and seating two, four or six people, they are all fitted with seatbelts for safety.
Day 3 Sunday 22 November 2020 – TAUMARUNUI – HOME CITIES (B)
Departing Taumarunui we travel south to National Park to view the Chateau and information Centre. Continuing on we travel through Turangi and around the western side of Lake Taupo to Tokoroa which is the third-largest town in the Waikato region, surrounded by thousands of acres of pine plantations. Tokoroa is known for its Talking Poles which were first suggested in 1996 as a feature for the town’s retail area upgrade. The project was enthusiastically supported by residents and to date, over 40 poles are on display. The Talking Poles project aims to depict the variety of cultures in the community. Because of their forestry heritage, many of the poles are made from pine and other local woods. Today we will have a drive around Tokoroa viewing the various Talking Poles before completing our journey back to our home destinations.