Mom and I woke up early today and were on the road by 8 a.m. We were headed to New Plymouth, but I was determined to experience the Forgotten World Highway along the way.
Our route took us south from Taupo through Turangi and east to Taumarunui, where the Forgotten World Highway (State Highway 43) begins. From there, it’s a memorable 150 kilometers to Stratford at the end of the highway.
We took it slow and steady along the windy roads. I was a bit afraid that most of the way would be dirt and gravel since the road is not used very often. Surprisingly, the roads were in extremely good condition despite this. The smooth ride helped to reduce the effect of the ups and downs and twists and turns. Luckily, neither of us get car sick. However, if you are one prone to motion sickness, this road is definitely not for you.
One thing that cannot be denied is that the Forgotten World Highway is exceptionally beautiful and a truly great way to experience New Zealand. It takes you to remote places where nature just seems to call out to you. You are surrounded by green – from the trees blowing in the breeze to the rolling hills. You pass lots of pasture and grazing land, but it still seems like wilderness. The only significant town along the way is Whangamomona, which claims to be its own republic and elects its own president.
Upon reaching New Plymouth, we checked into our hostel, took a walk along the New Plymouth Coastal Boardwalk and enjoyed a brilliant sunset before heading home.