The ultimate way to explore rural New Zealand. Travel along a decommissioned railway line through tunnels, over bridges and past townships that have faded into the past. Choose a self driven RailCart or pedal along on our new RailBikes - both cleverly adapted to give you a unique experience in the Forgotten World.
Semi-guided rail tours depart during the summer months of October through to April from two locations,Taumarunui, the heart of the King Country; or Stratford, the heart of Taranaki.
What to Bring
The weather can be changeable in this region and the tunnels can be coolish even on a warm day. We suggest the following should be taken:
Sunglasses, sun-block, camera, binoculars
Extra snacks and water
Extra warm clothing, including hat, scarf and gloves
Sturdy footwear with warm socks
Warm windproof jacket with hood even in fine weather
Rail and River Run
Enjoy the best of both worlds, encountering 10 tunnels and 20 bridges, as you travel 30km by rail and 23km by jet boat on the Wanganui River, a mixture of nostalgia and adrenaline.
With two departure times, enjoy an earlier start and ride the rails first, enjoy a tasty lunch at Tokirima followed by a jet boat ride home or start later in the morning and jet boat out to lunch followed by a rail trip home. Truly unforgettable.
The Republic Rail Picnic
Experiencing 42kms each way on the rails, unlock the secrets of the land as you wind your way through the changing landscapes, through 3 tunnels and over 18 bridges, to the rugged hills that frame the Republic of Whangamomona. Pack your own picnic to enjoy in the Republic or take a short stroll down to the historic Whangamomona Hotel to enjoy your purchased lunch surrounded by the history of the Republic.
The 20 Tunnel Tour
The 20 Tunnel experience will transport you back through history, and get you home in time for dinner. This is a full day and more than 80km of total immersion into the true stories and tall tales woven into this unique landscape. From Okahukura to Whangamomona (or in reverse on alternate days), you’ll discover a different vista unfolding every time you emerge from a tunnel.
Duration: Two Days 8:30am - 3:00pm each day.
Travel the entire 140 kilometres of the iconic NZ railway line from Okahukura to Stratford or from Stratford to Okahukura over the course of two days, with an overnight stay (to be booked and paid for separately) in Whangamomona.
The 10 Tunnel Tour
Travel 30kms along the northern most section of this abandoned railway line, across 25 bridges, and as you pass through the 10 hand dug tunnels, marvel at the determination and hardship our forefathers experienced during their construction. This tour includes the longest tunnel on the line at 1.5km.
The Epic travels across wide expanses of rugged countryside and native bush, over 47 bridges and through 21 tunnels before arriving in New Zealand’s only self-proclaimed republic – Whangamomona. After spending the night, continue through 3 more tunnels and 18 more bridges on the way to Stratford. From here a shuttle takes you to Whanganui for your next overnight stay. In the morning travel to Pipiriki, a settlement on the eastern bank of the stunning Whanganui River, to begin the two day jet boat tour up the river.
In addition to the breath taking landscape of the Whanganui River, the highlights of these two days will be the short walk into your lunch stop on the Bridge to Nowhere, a night’s accommodation in the tranquil Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro and the lunch at Lauren’s Lavender Farm before arriving back in Taumarunui to conclude your EPIC adventure.
Like a mix of activity and awe with your adventure? Cycle 40kms along the rails under your own steam on a RailBike. Designed for comfort, the RailBike is your personal time machine carrying you through tunnels and over bridges steeped in history, pass through primeval forest and cross the Tangarakau Gorge, on the longest experience of its kind in the world. Our shuttles will take you out to the RailBikes then the day is yours. Stop to read signposts that share the story of interesting spots along the way. Gather together with fellow cyclists for our provided picnic lunch then complete your journey.