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While the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is on many tourists’ to-do list while in the mid North Island, the weather isn’t always suitable and the crossing requires a certain amount of commitment and fitness.

If the weather has thwarted your plans, or if you’ve already done the crossing and still have time on your hands, Paul Chaplow of Forgotten World Adventures recommends heading to Taumarunui for the day to experience one of the rail tours on offer at Forgotten World Adventures

By Tristan Hooker / Media PA

“Taumarunui is an easy journey for people staying at the Chateau Tongariro or travelling from other destinations like Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, Ohakune or National Park Village,” says Mr Chaplow. “It’s a good opportunity for people to experience one of our shorter outings, to get a taste of what our longer tours are like.”

Forgotten World Adventures offers guests a unique opportunity to see a beautiful and historic area of New Zealand, using self-driven motorised RailCarts on the decommissioned railway line running 142km from Taumarunui to Stratford. Tours range from the three and a half hour ‘Five Tunnel’ Tour to multi-day tours including jet boat and helicopter options. All tours include local guides with excellent knowledge of the area and its history.

5T Forgotten World Adventures tunnel

Paul Chaplow recommends the Five Tunnel Tour for people who want to fit a half day experience into their other scheduled activities. The starting point for the tours, Taumarunui, is less than a 50 minute drive from the Chateau Tongariro, 1 hour 20 minutes from Taupo and 2 hours from Rotorua, making it an achievable day trip for those holidaying in the region.

On the Five Tunnel Tour, guests pass through five of the 24 tunnels on the line before stopping for a cuppa and home-baked snacks in the small rural town of Matiere. They then return on the rail line back through the tunnels, to the start point at Okahukura, which is the terminal of the Stratford to Okahukura line.

“The Five Tunnel Tour takes you along the first 16km of the Forgotten World Railway, which is a lovely part of the line and gives you a taste of everything you’d see on the longer tours - farm, native bush, the longest tunnel, including the only brick-lined tunnels on the line” says Mr Chaplow.

For more information about the Five Tunnel Tour, contact the friendly staff at Forgotten World Adventures.