We found the Forgotten World Highway, luckily we stumbled across it. No-one could tell us where it started…….they’d forgotten!

And….we’re back!

We stayed overnight at the Alexander Spa Motel – a lovely welcome, comfortable beds and a quick trip to the small spa on site which is always gorgeous after a long bike ride!

Bike Ride 28Feb10 (2) Bike Ride 28Feb10 (3)

Luckily there were no fires that night, so the Fire Station opposite was quiet! There are plenty of restaurants around the motel, but we headed for the RSA (Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association) for what turned out to be a lovely meal. When one of the girls returned for the dishes at the end of the meal, Louise stared down at her empty plate and with a dead-pan face said “That was awful, I couldn’t eat a thing!” The look on the girl’s face was priceless – total confusion! We all three started laughing as the joke sunk in and we had a great chat about the world in general while finishing our drinks…………

We started at the Northern end of the Forgotten World Highway (the area was originally settled by many people until the area was bypassed to the North and South by other main roads and the population dwindled steadily until it was designated in 1990 as being “Forgotten” ) at Taumaranui, which was a bit confusing when following the trail map we’d downloaded from the Windwand website as it starts at the other end!


After leaving the outskirts of town at about 8 am, the road headed out by a river with layered hills showing the various stone/earth/shale of years gone by but soon heads into vast areas of complete quiet, solitude and beautiful views.

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Bike Ride 28Feb10 (22)

We meandered through this wonderful landscape until we came to the Tangarakau Gorge, where the road is still un-metalled (ie. gravel). This shows the difficulties early settlers had breaking trail through the native bush – astounding really!

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We stopped at Whangamomana Hotel (Whangamomana is the capital of the Whanga Republic – set up as an independent state as the government of New Zealand didn’t seem to care about them – the clue is the Forgotten bit) for a coffee, and to watch the world go by for a while. We chatted to some bikers that turned up here, including one couple who rode Suzuki V-Stroms (him a 1000cc like mine, and her a 650cc with a lowered suspension). It seemed to be quite an easy fix, so should Louise ever want a bigger bike, we’ll be able to sort it easy!

While we were chatting an “older lady” turned up on a pushbike. She turned out to be in her late seventies and had just cycled “over the hill” – this is a typical Kiwi understatement! The hill turned out to be bad enough with a motorbike, let alone a bicycle! More power to her elbow! Well, I suppose it was more her legs, lungs and heart I suspect………….

We finished off the Forgotten Road Highway at Stratford some 150km of superb motorbiking road from the other end. What a great experience!

We rode on down to Hawera on the cost and found a lovely park to have a rest and a drink of water (we’d learned to carry our own).

Bike Ride 28Feb10

The park had all the usual rules …. no smoking, no bike riding, no horses, no dogs, no canoodling, no fun, no flying (not quite that bad, but you get the idea) …. and we were very good, not partaking of or doing anything to offend anyone. We didn’t even have any food for the ducks you can see on the pond (and there were quite a few flying/sitting/swimming would-be eiderdowns and pillows around).

Imagine our surprise then, when just after taking the picture above …. a Kawasaki superbike was ridden down the left-hand side of the lake and off onto the main road behind us. Everybody in the park, us included, just stopped and stared in disbelief! I can’t speak for everyone else of course, but I was willing him to slip on the grass and take his bike for a quick paddle in the water!!

We turned east here, leaving the Surf Highway towards the west for another trip. Back down to Wanganui and off home. Our first “holiday weekend” trip, and what a lovely weekend’s worth of riding too!!

Category: Emigrating
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