The north of New Zealand still seems to be a white spot on the map, but that’s exactly what makes this destination so charming, The legendary Forgotten World Highway takes you on a trip to several stunning sights, such as the beautiful Egmont National Park, the breathtaking Tangarakau Gorge - and even to the smallest republic in the world.
On about 90 miles of length this scenic route makes you discover the tranquil hinterland of new Zealand’s northern island. It follows the former State Highway 43 from the city of Stratford to the city of Taumarunui. The road was constructed in the late 19th century, but it hasn’t lost none of its charm. Crossing vast areas of unspoiled nature, it offers spectacular views of the hinterland. The scenic road is still pretty untraveled and stops by several distinct locations, such as Whangamomona, one of the smallest republics in the world. The route extends from the city of Stratford to the vast Egmont National Park, with an ever-changing landscape spanning from mountain saddles and impressive gorges to spectacular tunnels. Along the way, you will see from afar the stunning peak of Mount Taranaki, the heart of Egmont National Park. But don’t miss to stop by the route’s hidden treasure: Tangarakau Gorge, a deep and narrow valley with steep sides formed by Tangarakau river.
At the end of the route you should schedule at least half a day for visiting Egmont National Park. It is just a few kilometers from Stratford.
This route includes one-lane tunnels and further narrow passages, so please drive carefully and mind the speed limits.
You need solid footwear, weatherproof clothing and enough to drink (preferably water). As there are no gas stations or restaurants along the way, you need to refuel beforehand and take a petrol can with you.
From the airport of Wellington (WLG) to Stratford via State Highway 1 and 3 (total distance: approx. 200 miles).
Along the route there usually aren’t any signposted parking areas, so please inform beforehand about the local parking areas.