The Bridge to Nowhere & Forgotten Worlds - MoaTours
We follow rail, river and walking tracks, once the lifeblood of the Central North Island. Ride rail carts and cruise the Whanganui River by jet boat up to the landing to the Bridge to Nowhere. Then the delights of Hawkes Bay await, reached via the historic “Gentle Annie” route.
Departure: 15 Nov, 02 Dec & 10 Dec 2020, 04 Jan, 31 Jan & 30 Mar 2021
Day 1: Auckland – Rangiriri – Otorohanga – Taumarunui
Leaving Auckland, we meet a local guide at the Rangiriri Cultural and Heritage Centre to gain an insight into the 1863 invasion of the Waikato. With our guide we visit the Rangiriri battle field and the Rongo Maraeroa commemorative site and carvings.
Further south we stop for lunch with Debbie and Fraser Robertson at Crosshills Farm near Otorohanga. Later in the day we reach Taumarunui, where we stay and dine in at the Forgotten World Motel for two evenings.
Day 2:Taumarunui - Forgotten World Rail carts – Whangamomona – Taumarunui
We call into Lauren’s Lavender Farm beside the Whanganui River then drive deep into the Forgotten World Highway to Whangamomona for lunch at the hotel. Stroll along the street and get acquainted with the history of this pioneer town and its "Republic" days. Then your adventure on the tracks begins. Climb on the rail carts to travel from Whangamomona through the bushclad Tangarakau Gorge and on to Tokirima where your coach awaits to return to Taumarunui.
Day 3: Taumarunui – Pipiriki – Whanganui River – The Bridge to Nowhere – Whanganui
At Pipiriki we meet our jet boat for an hour’s ride upstream in sublime scenery to the Mangapurua Landing. Depending on your level of fitness either walk with your guide to The Bridge to Nowhere (40 minutes one way) or explore further upstream on the jet boat. The Bridge makes a poignant memorial to the WW1 servicemen who tried to farm there. Returning downstream to Pipiriki we drive alongside the river to Jerusalem and on to Whanganui and the Aotea Motor Lodge.
Day 4: Whanganui sightseeing – Taihape
We get to know the town - meeting Lisa at the Whanganui Regional Museum to hear her stories of the region's early history and see the remarkable collections on display. Then go behind the scenes with the curator at the Sarjeant Art Gallery to hear the stories behind their collections. Nearby at Putiki a local guide tells the stories of the intricate Maori carvings and wall panels of St Paul’s Memorial church. Then, turning eastward, we drive inland to Taihape and stay at The Aspen Court Motel.
Day 5: Taihape – “Gentle Annie” road – Havlock North – Napier
From Taihape we cross the Central Plateau to explore the Inland Patea Heritage Trail along the “Gentle Annie” travelled by the early Maori and stockmen. There are historic sites, expansive views, a suspension bridge across the Rangitikei River and the largest sheep stations in the North Island. We lunch at Birdwood Gallery near Havelock North and stay two nights at Scenic Te Pania on the Napier waterfront.
Day 6: Napier sightseeing – Art Deco touring – gannet colony, Cape Kidnappers
An Art Deco guide joins our coach as we tour to the National Tobacco Company building and Marewa, the surburb built in Art Deco style after the 1931 earthquake. With a nature guide we enjoy a special experience - a private three-hour overland safari along private farm roads to get close-up to the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Later in the day we drive up Bluff Hill for the views.
Day 7: Napier – Taupo – Tamahere - Auckland
Leaving Napier after breakfast we drive back northwards to Taupo and continue on to Tamahere stopping for lunch with Stephen and Jeanette Williams at Moondance Manor set in stunning gardens beside the Waikato River. We return to Auckland through the Waikato farmlands arriving in the late afternoon.
Single supplement available on request
MoaTours holidays are designed especially for mature travellers
Specific travel dates apply
*per person twin share
7 Days From
- Accommodation: 6 nights standard accommodation.
- Trip Leader: Knowledgeable MoaTours guide.
- Transport: comfortable air-conditioned motorcoach (max 18 travellers).
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners.
- Activities & Attractions: Guided visit to the Rangiriri Cultural and Heritage Centre, Ride the rail carts on a Forgotten World adventure, Visit Lauren’s Lavender Farm beside the Whanganui River, Jet Boat up the Whanganui River to the landing to the Bridge to Nowhere, Enjoy a private tour out to the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, Explore the Forgotton World Highway, Drive beside the Whanganui River from Pipiriki to Jerusalem and on to Whanganui, In Whanganui visit the Regional Museum, Sargeant Gallery and St Paul's Memorial Church, Take the Gentle Annie road over the Central Plateau from Taihape to Hawkes Bay, Drive Napier's Art Deco Trail with a local guide.