After a rollercoaster of a season, the railcarts have had their final run for now, and are tucked up for a well-deserved for a rest over winter. Our carts, jetboats and the entire team have been hard at work over the past seven months, as thousands of Kiwis visited the Forgotten World to tick a truly unique experience off their bucket list.
Did you visit us over the past few months? Or perhaps we’re still on the travel wishlist? Whether it’ll be your first time or you’re keen to try another of our tours, we’ll be back from mid-October 2022 for another action-packed season. But first, time for us to have a holiday!
Top 5 of the season
- In an ever-changing world of lockdowns, regional borders and travel restrictions – we had another successful domestic-only season – so thanks to our incredible intrepid Kiwis who ventured off the beaten path and explored the magic of the King Country/Ruapehu regions
- We launched our brand-new product, the Rhine of the Pacific, a multi-day odyssey into the pioneer history of the Forgotten World and the Whanganui River
- A stunning summer season – the sun kept on shining with multiple 30°+ days, and very few rainy days
- We had a bunch of awesome staff that kept the great times rolling, adapting to constant changes and always delivering exceptional service and manaakitanga
- Our founder Ian Balme retired and our new owners Grant Ross, Laura Wackett and family took the helm, ushering in an exciting new post-pandemic chapter
What will the next season bring?
Our favourite winter warmers
As the temperature goes down, the good times are just warming up in our neck of the woods. From top spots for a warm meal to places to stay on a mid-winter getaway, here’s some of our team’s top spots to visit in the cooler months:
- Fuel your morning with a flat white from Kai Nui coffee cart and a friendly chat with the crew
- Enjoy a round of mini putt at Adventure Mini Golf followed by lunch at Hare & Copper Eatery or Creel Tackle House & Cafe (try their exceptional homemade brioche!) in Turangi
- Hit the slopes at Whakapapa or Tūroa then tempt your tastebuds with an array of sweet and savoury treats – and flowing tea and coffee – with Chateau Tongariro Hotel's high tea
- Feast on a hearty dinner at Monsoon Indian or Jasmines Thai in Taumarunui – followed by a drink at the local RSA or Cosmopolitan Club
- Settle in for a cosy stay at Forgotten World Motel, or the region’s luxe boutiques like Omaka Lodge, The Inn At The Convent or Bradleys Garden B&B
The Forgotten World – famous in BBC Travel!
It’s not very often our little corner of the world makes the big league news – but our very own gem Whangamōmona has made the cut, diving into its status as ‘the Republic’, its tight-knit community spirit, and the honest truth on why it’s referred to as “old-fashioned New Zealand at its best”.
Fun Fact Corner – the Tangarakau Gorge Road
The Tangarakau Gorge forms part of State Highway 43, and is known as one of the most notorious stretches of road along the Forgotten World Highway. With 12 kilometres of unsealed gravel, it’s a gorge-ous drive that takes concentration and care!
The area’s story has its origins in pre-European times, where local Māori villagers would trade coastal fish for birds and eels. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s when a local surveyor, Joshua Morgan, helped map the road and enhanced access to the area. Speaking fluent te reo Māori and well-respected by local iwi, he was an influential local figure who made phenomenal surveying progress, but tragically died an untimely death at the age of 35, of suspected peritonitis. It’s his legacy that’s still evident through the winding road, tunnels and bridges that are driven along to this day – you can even see his grave about half-way through the gorge, surrounded by trees and ferns.
And some good news ahead for those who are used to a bumpy ride full of potholes – the road is slowly being sealed, a couple of kilometres a time – whilst the vast natural beauty of the gorge remains.