50% at time of Booking, balance 30 days prior to tour date
Come and explore a Forgotten World of back country New Zealand. The highlights of this tour is riding your own rail kart through the forgotten railway between Whangamomona & Taumaranui.
October is a fantastic time to travel- the weathedr is warm & settled: the skies are blue and the spring animals are abounding in the fields.
Climb on board with us and take an adventure down a long “Forgotten Highway” – let me take care of all your needs, you sit back, relax, enjoy some fellowship, some fun & laughter, sightseeing and fine dining – just to name a few things to enjoy.
We depart and head for Otorohanga, taking a scenic route through Horahora district, crossing Arapuni dam en-route.
Arriving at Otorohanga, take a short visit to the Kiwi House. Enjoy close-up viewing of our national bird, the Kiwi, in specialised nocturnal enclosures. Three species are available for viewing, the North Island Brown, the Great Spotted and the Little Spotted Kiwi. Then meet the unique Tuatara reptile, which pre-dated the dinosaurs.
Then it is on to Roseland’s Waitomo Farm & Gardens for kiwi style lunch.
After lunch is we have enough time we may get to see Leonie shear one of her beautiful Angora rabbits. Then it is a leisurely drive to New Plymouth – check in at our accommodation venue.
Free time for the rest of the day. Take a brief walk along the coastline under the Wind wand and see the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, to appreciate Taranaki sculptures.
Overnight in New Plymouth (L, D)
Today we explore New Plymouth to Hawera via the surf highway. First stop will be Opunake, where we can check out the Mural Trail which consists of 23 murals depicting historical images and contemporary work throughout the town. Many of these murals represent our rich and varied history, from early Maori through to today’s dairying and Maui’s natural gas and oil production. Next stop will be at Openlands country garden in Manaia. A fitting end to a Surf Highway adventure is a visit to the unique Tawhiti Museum, widely regarded as the best private museum in New Zealand. A labour of love by local man Nigel Ogle, this museum is housed in a former dairy factory, and features thousands of handmade scale and life-sized models, along with a working railway, café, and countless artefacts telling the story of South Taranaki.
We then continue our travels to Whangamomona via Stratford. Tonight you enjoy old style NZ hotel accommodation and country hospitality.
Overnight in Whangamomona Hotel (B, D)
This morning is a relatively early start as you are going Rail Cruising. Nestled within the deep hidden valleys of New Zealand’s Forgotten World Highway, Forgotten World Adventures Rail Karts are the ultimate way to explore rural New Zealand. Travel along decommissioned railway lines, through tunnels, over bridges and rivers and to townships that time forgot. Experience the Forgotten World from the comfort of a rail-cart, cleverly adapted to be self-driven along the tracks of the Forgotten World railway. There are plenty of photo opportunities and toilet stops along the way while taking in ever-changing vistas with our semi guided NZ rail tours.
You will experience the first 10 tunnels before stopping for lunch, then its off to Laurens Lavender Farm, then it is a boat ride on the mighty Whanganui River, your destination is Taumaranui. We meet you with the bus and transport you to our accommodation at the elegant Chateau Tongariro, to recline for the evening in style. Located within Whakapapa Village – in the heart of Tongariro National Park and was constructed during the ‘roaring twenties’ but it was also the year which was the beginning of the world’s great depression, 1929. The Hotel is surrounded by a stunning natural playground bursting with diverse landscapes for visitors to the National Park to discover.
Overnight in Chateau. (B, L, D)
Today, sadly we depart for home – but take time to enjoy your beautiful surroundings of one of New Zealand’s treasures. The Chateau Hotel management believe in preserving the history and tradition of this unique area. Their location within a Dual World Heritage National Park ensures they are advocates for conservation and uphold a meaningful relationship with local Maori. They acknowledge traditional iwi custodians of this land so before departing we visit the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre to learn more about the natural and cultural values of the park by watching a short audio visual. Then we will take you up the Top of the Bruce to enjoy the spectacular views.
The remainder of your journey today will take us through, Taupo and Rotorua, with frequent stops on the way.