Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

 

 

 

Forgotten Word….. The Map 

Day 1…….. Taumarinui to Whangamomona.

Day 2 ……   Whangamomona to Whanganui   

Day 3 …….. Whanganui to Blue Duck Station 

Day 4 …….. Blue Duck Station to Taumaranui

 

Forgotten World Holiday

Several years ago one of our guests told us how much they had enjoyed their Forgotten World Adventure. It sounded fun, so we put a link up on our links pages, and at the same time placed it firmly on our bucket list.

And we’ve just come back from 4 fantastic days with Forgotten World Adventures “Epic” Tour … after all, why would you travel from Stewart Island to Taumarunui and only do part of it.

We both loved it, and the slide show will give some idea of what we saw and enjoyed. The Epic Tour is in two distinct parts, The first part (2 days) is on the old Tauramanui to Stratford rail line, travelling on modified golf carts, with an overnight stay in the Whangamomona Hotel. When we reached Stratford we were transferred by van to Whanganui and over nighted there.

For more on the Forgotten Railway look at this AA article

So I’ll do our trip in four one day posts, 

About to depart Forgotten World Office in Tauramanui. Our party was just 4 (2 couples) but there were around 8 others who were doing shorter trips, and peeled off during the day. 

The Rail Carts are actually modified multi seat golf carts. Apparently from August, Georgia.  They have petrol engines, and do around 15 to 20 k per hour.
The guests drive, although as the driver can’t take photographs which I wanted to do, and Iris was reluctant, we always had a driver, and so our own personal guide. Only possible because our party was only 4 guests, and there were a minimum of 3 guides

The first stop. Cowboy (AKA Jason) was our lead guide and was superb. His knowledge of the history of the rail line the area, and the little stories that make the trip was outstanding.
He’s the fellow with the distinctive white hat, and he’s an inveterate punster.

The first tunnel. 23 to go plus 98 bridges. Started in 1901, the line took 31 years to complete

The rail line passed through both farm land and forest

In places the Forgotten Highway and the Rail line are quite close

Bridge to tunnel. Most of the tunnels were quite short, the longest a kilometre and a half long.
Many were lined with brick. Others concrete

Morning Tea Stop.  We stopped for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.
Hearty ploughman sandwiches, ham, cheese, pickles and salads. Scones biscuits, tea, coffee or chocolate to drink.
excellent fare and exactly right for the trip. 

All of the main stops had excellent interpretive panels and also a “Rail style” progress “map”
seen here on the left. I used my phone as a GPS navigator, but it wasn’t really necessary

One of the stops was Ohura. Site of a coal mine, who knew ??

Lunch, and the whole “train”

Rock Fall. Cowboy and Tina clear the track. 

Waiting. The carts travelled around 50 metres apart, double that if raining.
They were quite simple to drive. Ahead and astern lever. break and accelerator. Lights and that was it

Tangarakau. Here locals had set up a craft stall. Manuka Honey, and Donkey milk soap

Tangarakau. Here locals had set up a craft stall. Manuka Honey, and Donkey milk soap

We were astonished at the flocks of wild turkeys

And equally astonished at the numbers of wild goats both on the hillsides and alongside the tracks
though this one had a collar when I looked at the picture, so maybe not so wild. 

The Republic of Whangamonona. The only “real” station on the trip. And for us the end of the first day.
Cowboy is getting everyone sorted … and more puns. 

The Republic of Whangamonona. The interpretive panels were excellent. As was the guides commentaries.
Having our own driver was even better, as we were able to get even more information as we travelled. 

The Republic of Whangamonona. This “driftwood” sculpture of a working bullock remembers the work of the pioneers

The Republic of Whangamonona Hotel. Our first night