Scenic Drive 6 - Route
Piopio – SH4 - Ohura – Whangamomona – Stratford.
This scenic drive takes the traveller over varying roads and through differing and picturesque landscapes.
Travel north 10kms from Piopio on SH3. Turn right into SH4 and travel 45kms towards Taumarunui. Turn right into SH 40 and travel approximately 29kms to Ohura. The former Prison in Ohura is well worth a visit and enjoy a well earned coffee.
Continue through Ohura and on to Whangamomona via the beautiful Tangarakau Gorge and 180 metre long Moki Tunnel. You will now be travelling on SH 43, on 'The Forgotten World Highway'. Nearby you will see the old Taumarunui to Stratford railway line which has been leased to private enterprise 'Forgotten World Adventures' which runs tourist carts on the old railway lines.
West of Whangamomona is the Awahou Scenic Reserve and Te Wera Forest, and from there on you will notice a marked improvement in the road. The landscape will gradually become more gentle and the farming more intensive as you near Stratford.
Allow all day to make the most of the stunning views, attractions and walkways and take care on the winding roads. There are few services en route.
Special Points of Interest
The Forgotten World Highway is one of the AA’s must do’s for Kiwis! It is New Zealand’s first heritage trail crossing four mountain saddles and through native beech and podocarp forest. Travelling the highway is like a step back in time through what was once a thriving 19th century railway, road making and forestry community. The area is steeped in history impossible to cover here. To learn more go to the excellent website http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/forgotten-world-highway/
The people of Whangamomona created a stir in 1988 when they declared it a Republic. Republic Day is celebrated on the 2nd of January every year and has been attended by up to 6000 people. The Whangamomona Hotel is well known for its hospitality.
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