Forgotten World Adventures and Motel, Taumarunui

Discover the scenery & history of the Forgotten World in a truly unique ‘soft adventure’ experience.

Hidden within the Forgotten World for close to a century, 140 kilometres of abandoned railway weaves through the historic and rugged King Country landscape between Okahukura and Stratford, over 98 bridges and through 24 hand-dug tunnels. Explore the railway by RailCart, or along the Whanganui River by JetBoat, Forgotten World Adventures are for the young and the young at heart.

Tour Descriptions

5 Tunnel Tour

Discover the beginning of the Forgotten World Railway by RailCart. Travel through 5 tunnels including the longest tunnel (1.5km) plus three beautiful hand built brick tunnels. Journey through stunning hill country farms and native bush.

Tour includes: Guided Rail Cart tour, Afternoon Tea, Shuttles to & from Forgotten World Motel to Okahukura.  Starts & ends in Taumarunui.

20 Tunnel

The 20 Tunnel Tour is our most popular and adaptable tour. Travel through the ever-changing landscape with a different vista unfolding every time you emerge from a tunnel. The RailCarts run in alternating directions each day, giving you the choice of two different directions & starting locations to choose from. The tour itself is exactly the same just in reverse directions.

Tour includes: Guided RailCart tour—8 hours, Morning Tea, Lunch and an Afternoon Snack, Same Day Shuttle—2 hours. Departs Taumarunui every tour or Whangamomona on selected tours.

The Hatrick

JetBoat return journey down the Whanganui River challenging the rock strewn white water rapids and enjoying the breath taking scenery of farmland and bush clad hills and gorges.

Tour includes: Guided JetBoat tour, Starts and ends in Taumarunui.

The Lavender Run

JetBoat down the Whanganui River challenging the rock strewn white water rapids and enjoying the breath taking scenery of farmland and bush clad hills and gorges. Wander through the lavenders at Lauren’s Lavender Farm & Cafe and enjoying the view of the river and surrounding native bush.

Tour includes: Guided JetBoat tour, Visit to Lauren’s Lavender Farm & Café.

Bridge to Nowhere

Venture through white water rapids, take in the spectacular scenery of both rural farmland and the hidden depths of the Whanganui National Park. Learn about the unique history of Maori on the river, the steamboats and the early settlements along the way.

Tour includes: Guided JetBoat tour, 5km return walk to the Bridge to Nowhere.  Morning Tea, Lunch and an Afternoon Snack.  Starts and ends in Taumarunui.

Bridge to Nowhere Helijet

Fly by helicopter over the Whanganui National Park to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. Once landed enjoy a short walk to the Bridge to Nowhere then walk on out to the Mangaparua Landing to return by JetBoat up the majestic Whanganui River.

Learn about the unique history of the river, take in the spectacular scenery of both rural farmland and the hidden depths of the Whanganui National Park and venture through white water rapids.

Tour includes: Helicopter flight over the Whanganui National Park to the Bridge to Nowhere, 5km walk to the Bridge to Nowhere & Mangapurua Landing and Guided JetBoat tour, Morning Tea, Lunch and an Afternoon Snack, All Shuttles.  Starts and ends in Taumarunui.

Rail River Run

Enjoy the best of both worlds, exploring the northern section of the Forgotten World by both rail and river. During the course of your day you will experience the first 10 tunnels on the line, a thrilling JetBoat ride on the majestic Whanganui River and an appetising ploughman’s lunch at the old Tokirima Station. There are two departure times to choose from: 7:30am (RailCart first & JetBoat second), or 10:30am (JetBoat first & RailCart second).

Tour includes: Guided RailCart + JetBoat tour, Morning or Afternoon Tea + Lunch.  All Shuttles.  Starts & ends in Taumarunui.

The Expedition

Experience the best of the Forgotten World in two full days of adventure. Day One combines our popular 20 Tunnel tour with a night’s accommodation at the iconic Whangamomona Hotel.  Start Day Two with a scenic Helicopter flight from Whangamomona over both the Bridge to Somewhere and the Bridge to Nowhere before landing at Bennett’s Clearing above the Bridge to Nowhere. Enjoy a 1½ hour scenic walk through the Whanganui National Park visiting the Bridge to Nowhere & down to the Mangaparua Landing. Journey by JetBoat along the majestic Whanganui River, back up to Taumarunui.

The second day involves both Helicopter & Jet boat, which are weather dependant.  In the event of poor weather conditions a partial refund will be provided.  The alternative arrangements are that clients will be collected from Whangamomoana and transferred to Taumarunui via the Forgotten World Highway visiting Joshua Morgan’s grave, the resting place of respected early surveyor, Joshua Morgan, who died in 1892 aged 35. There is a short walkway through the bush to his grave which is considered a memorial to the efforts of these early pioneer surveyors.  Following this we head to Lauren’s Lavender Farm to take a break and peruse local made produce and enjoy the remarkable view over the famous Whanganui River. We then return to Taumarunui.

Tour includes: Guided RailCart tour, All meals, one night’s accommodation in Whangamomona.  Helicopter flight—10 minutes, 5km walk to the Bridge to Nowhere & Mangaparua Landing, Guided JetBoat journey.  Starts & ends in Taumarunui.

Forgotten World offers very clean, warm and comfortable accommodation, FREE Wifi throughout and generous off-street parking, provided free of charge.  All units feature electric blankets, Flat screen TV, excellent showers and a daily room service.

Whether you are adventuring on the rails, planning to explore the wider Ruapehu area or simply passing through, come on in and enjoy our warm hospitality.

Our team will take great care of you and do all they can to make your stay enjoyable. With a supermarket over the road, and just a short stroll to the shopping centre, restaurants and cafes, it is the best place to begin or finish your Forgotten World Adventure, or to break your long drive between Wellington and Auckland.

We are within easy reach of the ski fields of Mt Ruapehu and a wide range of outdoor pursuits, including cycling the Timber Trail, hunting, fishing, tramping or canoeing the Wanganui River.