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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

The Forgotten World Highway

Regional Ride

Taranaki, North Island

This track starts and ends in Taumaruni. You will ride over the quietest State Highway in New Zealand with about 200 vehicles on the main section per day.

First you will follow the Whanganui River for a few kilometers which is has some hills for about 30km before getting to the top, and over, Paparata Saddle. You will then drop down into the Tangarakau Gorge. Be sure to admire the beautiful native forest down there! After this you will hit 15km of gravel road which is very smooth and suitable for any style of bike.

After the gorge there is a small climb to Hobbit Hole tunnel and over Tahora Saddle. As a return you will be able to enjoy a easy slopping downhill ride to Whangamomona. One unique thing about this town is how is celebrates its claim to be an independent republic once a year. Head south from Whangamomona and the route turns off of the State Highway and goes west on Junction Road. Cycling through several original settlements, you will be able to stay at the original schoolhouse, if beds are available. This road is narrow and scenic, something to definitely soak in the surroundings. Keep a look out for farm animals around the verge.

Continue over Tarata Saddle and through another tunnel, where you will then head down to a historic suspension bridge across the Waitara River. Don't think you have experienced it all yet because the route then becomes a shared path through Bell lock and around to the coast where you will be able to experience some memorable views as you make your way to New Plymouth.


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  • We have a Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Whangamomona. Come and stay in the house with the dotty roof on the Forgotten World Highway. Call us on 06 7625 552

    Posted by Ceri Hutchinson, 24/10/2014 9:25am (7 months ago)

  • It is about a 87 km (1300m of climbing) ride from Taumarunui to Whangamomona. There is a small campground at Whangamomona or you can camp on top of the Tahora saddle (12km before Whangamomona) at Backcountry Accomodation which offers a B&B, campsites (which looks out to Mt Ruapehu) or you can stay in a caravan for $20pp/night.

    Posted by Jen Riley, 22/10/2012 4:00pm (3 years ago)

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