The one-lane Moki Tunnel on the Forgotten World Highway. © Stefan Schurr

Forgotten World Highway: a rugged, beautiful drive

View the map


Doesn’t that just sound utterly attractive to the intrepid adventurer? Anything ‘forgotten’ demands immediate exploration.

Then you ask yourself, where, exactly, is Taumarunui? Or, if you’re starting at the other end, Stratford? Or the little towns in between. Douglas? Toko? And should you be concerned that someone described the 150km route as ‘a bit upsy downy’?

Crikey, that’s just the beginning. This is Kiwi back country at its finest: saddles, streams, rivers, farms, and one, you know, watering hole.

Yep, Whangamōmona is it when it comes to what could officially constitute civilisation. Then let’s mention the slightly creepy one lane tunnel at Moki (also known as ‘Hobbit’s Hole’), or perhaps remind you of the sign that says, in no uncertain terms, ‘there are NO petrol stations on The Forgotten Highway.’ Forgotten by petroleum? Who would’ve thought! Well, if you wanted a decaf soy latte, a back rub and a big screen, you wouldn’t be here now, would you?

Fifteen kilometres of the road is unsealed which, as a percentage, is nothing, whether you’re travelling by car, bike, motorcycle or omnibus. Whatever saddle you’re sat in to crest those four mountain saddles, you’re in for a stunning few hours or more.

It’s rugged. It’s beautiful. It being a hangover from the railway days lends it a piquancy and nostalgia that adds an extra layer of pleasure to an already unique travelling experience.

Forgotten? It’ll last long in your memory, no question.

Explore more...

Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Natural attractions

Egmont National Park: the shining mountain

Seen from above, the Egmont National Park on the western coast of the North Island forms almost a perfect circle, surrounding the beautiful Mount Taranaki. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

North Egmont short walks

Take in stunning views of Mount Taranaki, explore the Ambury Monument and discover the 'goblin forest' on these short walks in Egmont National Park. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

Mount Taranaki: picture-perfect peak

Taranaki is about as close as you can get to the ideal of volcanic beauty – almost perfectly round, its nearly symmetrical cone rising to a pointed summit, with a single crater. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

Taranaki's gardens: a sight to make the heart sing

Taranaki's gardens are a sight to make the heart sing – especially since you don’t have to do the weeding. Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Taranaki Region

4.8 /5
From $155
4.8 /5
Fitzroy Beach Motel Visit website

Winner! Tripadvisor 2012 Travellers Choice Award!New and very quiet, opened March 2009. Quiet location, 200m from Coastal Walkway and Fitzroy Beach. . . . More . . . 

From $155
4.6 /5
4.6 /5
Amity Court Motel Visit website

Built in 2009, Amity Court is perfect for both leisure and business travelers, Amity Court offer a range of luxurious accommodation options at affordable prices. . . . More . . . 

King & Queen Hotel Suites

King & Queen Hotel Suites is New Plymouth's leading luxury boutique accommodation offering cutting edge architectural design, European & Moroccan interior, magnificent views and secure . . . More . . . 

Sentry Hill Motel Visit website

"Hideaway on the Highway." Lovely quiet surroundings in a rural setting. Some rooms with mountain or ocean views. Everything in one place. . . . More . . .