My Whangamomona adventure began at 10 am last Wednesday when I was picked up by my friends. We headed north to Stratford and then turned right onto The Forgotten World Highway which heads east into the hill country between Stratford and Taumarunui. It is a slow winding road which motor cyclists love and we saw several groups out enjoying the beautiful day. Don the driver took it easy and stopped at all the lookout places for us to take photos. Thanks Don.
It was a great road trip as none of us could remember going out to Whangamomona before, I had done part of the trip with my parents but that was well over 50 years ago and the road was metal back then. it is sealed all the way to Whangamomona now. We had good views of both Mount Taranaki and Mount Ruapehu
Ruapehu is on the left and Taranaki on the right
We reached the metropolis of Whangamomona which declared itself a Republic in 1989 and has a big Republic day in January every year. The village is a Historic Places Trust project. It was settled back in 1895 and had up to 300 residents now unfortunately it has dwindled away as farms merged , the railway line shut down and the bank closed. The population stands at approx. 30 residents. The Hotel is the most iconic building in the town and still caters to all passing traffic as well as locals. we had a picnic lunch with us but stopped at the hotel for afternoon tea and refreshments before we headed home.
The Moki tunnel is further east from Whangamomona so we drove out there to have a look most of the tunnels are between Whangamomona and Taurmarunui and there are at least 16 tunnels on the railway line if not more and I am not sure how many road tunnels there are.
the Moki tunnel is 180 metres long and single lane, you could almost touch the dirt sides as you drive through it. The men who dug through the tunnels by hand and laid the road must have had a very hard life, living in tents and the weather is often very wet in the hill country.
A tourism adventure company has set up a group of adapted golf carts which run on the railway line. You can take a trip from either Stratford or Taurmarunui. we were fortunate to come across a group of travellers at their afternoon tea stop in the middle of nowhere ( Tangarakau valley – an old coal mine area) The carts look like a fun way to do the trip.
the Long drops (toilets) were picturesque.
It was a great day out with my friends Linda, Delwyn and Don and all part of my adventures in my new life. It is so great to be able to go with the flow and say yes to invitations as they come.