Now listed in top 10% of attractions worldwide - Winner of Traveller's Choice Award 2023 - TripAdvisor

The Forgotten World is the gateway to many unforgettable adventures and experiences the wider Ruapehu region

Centrally located in the North Island, Forgotten World Adventures is well situated for the wider exploration of the remarkable Ruapehu region. The Forgotten World creates a unique link between the Ruapehu and Taranaki regions - this off-the-beaten-track adventure capital truly offers something for everyone, all year round.

Local attractions and activities include:

  • Mount Ruapehu and the Whakapapa ski fields, New Zealand's largest ski area (45 minutes)
  • Sky Waka Gondola (45 minutes)
  • Lake Taupō (1.25 hours)
  • Tongariro National Park
  • Tongariro Crossing (walking)
  • Blue Duck Station (horse trekking, jet boating, kayaking, bush safari, mountain biking, hiking)
  • Timber Trail (cycling)
  • Whanganui River (canoeing)
  • The Forgotten Highway - State Highway 43 (biking/scenic driving)
  • Tarrangower Golf Course, Taumarunui
  • Bradley's Garden, Omaka Lodge and The Forgotten World Gardens
  • Lauren's Lavender Farm
  • Nevalea Alpaca Farm

Please see below for more information on these and other fun activities.

Local Attractions and Activities

Forgotten World Adventures Things to do in nature

Forgotten World Gardens

Forgotten World Gardens is a collective consisting of four large and beautiful country gardens situated in close proximity along New Zealand's famous Forgotten World Highway, State Highway 43. The Highway runs between Taumarunui in the north and Stratford in the south. Each garden is unique and distinct, providing visitors with a wide variety of plants and landscaping to enjoy and situated within 12.5km of each other, their closeness makes for easy visiting and a marvellous day out.

The Forgotten World Gardens are located at the following:

Visit the website to find out more: https://www.forgottenworldgardens.co.nz 

Lauren's Lavender Farm

1381 River Road, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 14km

Located on the Forgotten World Highway adjacent to the Whanganui River, Lauren’s Lavender Farm offers you a magical, peaceful and tranquil surroundings of lavender fields, farmland and bush. The farm grows around 8 000 lavender plants and they are in full bloom from the end of December until early March. Relax in the wonderful aroma of lavender while enjoying a cup of coffee and a selection of cakes and muffins. Browse the Gift Shop for a selection of their own unique lavender products made here in New Zealand. Forgotten World Adventure tours that include visits to the Lavender Farm: Tokirima 10 Rail Cart Tour; Epic

Call +64 7 896 8705 | Email [email protected]

Bradley's Garden

26 Totarunui Drive, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 4km

A must-see for garden lovers. The meandering landscaped 5 acre country garden  will amaze and delight you as you progress through the many different ‘rooms’ not knowing what lies around the corner. The garden was established in 1994 and has evolved over time to become a beautiful space to enjoy the peace and tranquility. Stroll through two different pond areas, the Italian garden, Lavender Lane and past the amphitheatre to the cottage garden with its quaint rest room. Relax in the gazebo and enjoy the beautiful bordered garden that surrounds you with the limestone fountain pond tinkling away in the distance.

Call +64 27 445 2074 | Email [email protected]

Blue Duck Station

4265 Oio Road, Retaruke
Distance from FWA: 65.5km

Located in the heart of the Whanganui National Park on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers lies Blue Duck Station - an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Blue Duck Station offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Experience back country horse trekking exploring native bush, ridge top tracks and mountain views. Guided hunting for introduced pests such as rabbits, goats, deer and pigs. Experience the beauty of the Whanganui River with a jet boat trip to the historic Bridge to Nowhere. Gain an understanding of our conservation work and working sheep and beef farm and try and find a rare Whio (blue duck) on a bush safari. 

Call +64 7 895 6276 | Email [email protected]

Timber Trail

Pureora Forest Park
Distance from FWA: 56km

One of New Zealand’s 22 Great Rides. Venture deep into Pureora Forest Park on an 85km Grade 2 and 3 cycle trail featuring ancient forest, birdlife, graceful suspension bridges and intriguing timber industry relics. Rejuvenate yourself while listening to the splendour of the forest and the sounds of bird calls. One-day and two-day experiences available. Shuttle and bike hire options available from partnering businesses. Accommodation available at Timber Trail Lodge. 

Call +64 7 895 7494 (Taumarunui iSITE) | Email [email protected]

Timber Trail Shuttle & Bike Hire

26 Ongarue-Waimiha Road, Ongarue
Distance from FWA: 21km

Your transport solution to and from the Timber Trail. Escaping to the Timber Trail is a truly magical experience as your meander through the ancient forest and over thrilling suspension bridges. Timber Trail Shuttle & Bike Hire adds to your experience by ensuring a stress-free transport solution for you and your gear to and from the Timber Trail. Choose one of our 30 hardtail bikes or take it easy with one of 10 E-Bikes. At Timber Trail Shuttle & Bike Hire, you can now hire the right bike for the terrain, along with a helmet, spare tubes and other required gear.

Call 0800 785 500 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Epic Cycle Adventures

Bennett Road Car Park, Ngakonio-Ongarui Road, Ongarue
Distance from FWA: 26km

Discover the wonders of the Pureora Forest Park in the Ruapehu District of New Zealand. Shuttle and Bike Hire options available. Choose between a front suspension bike (including helmet, repair kit, pump and spare tube) or an E-bike. One-day and two-day options available. For those taking on the full trail, you can "glamp" at Camp Epic. Or choose to stay in one of the nearby lodges. Epic Cycle Adventures can organise a range of accommodation packages for you.

Call +64 22 023 795 | Email [email protected]

Nevalea Alpacas

5446 State Highway 4, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 16km

Visit the largest alpaca farm in New Zealand. Nevalea Alpacas is home to over 950 friendly alpacas. Visitors can choose from a range of activities and have an opportunity to get up close to the alpacas and hand feed them or cuddle with a baby alpaca. Visit the farm shop where everything is made from the alpaca wool at Nevalea - from designer knitwear through to alpaca blankets and knitting yarn.

Call +64 7 896 6333 | Email [email protected]

Blazing Paddles

985 State Highway 4, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 9.6km

Create your own unforgettable journey down New Zealand’s iconic Whanganui River. Single or multi-day canoe and kayak trips, jet boat tours and fly fishing tours. Ranging from several hours to several days, experience the exhilaration of the small rapids and the stillness of the mirror pools as you paddle through the stunning scenery of the Whanganui National Park. Accommodation and camping equipment available for hire. Minimum age: 10 years.

Call 0800 252 946 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Forgotten World Adventures Things to do sport

Taumarunui Golf Club

165 Golf Road, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 2.3km

Rated one of New Zealand’s Top 50 Golf Courses it is little wonder Taumarunui’s Tarrangower Golf Course is on the must-do list of keen golfers. Playable year round this well groomed picturesque course offers a relaxing yet testing golf experience. This attractive all weather 18 hole course features undulating fairways, each presenting a different challenge leading to well guarded greens. The Clubhouse enjoys magnificent views of the 1st, 8th, 9th and 18th holes and there can be no better sight than the sun reflecting the tree shadows against the backdrop hills surrounding Taumarunui.

Call +64 7 896 7257 | Email [email protected]

Taumarunui Canoe Hire

292 Hikumutu Road, Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 4.3km

Hire a canoe or kayak and tour the river with 2 or more people. A Whanganui River canoe trip is perfect for people of all ages and all experience levels. The views are magnificent and the experience is one not to be missed. There is free camping beside the river at the base before and after your journey. Trips can range from 3 hours to multi-day adventures from Taumarunui to Pipiriki with overnight camp sites. Minimum age: 5 years

Call 0800 226 634 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Owhango Adventures

State Highway 3, Owhango
Distance from FWA: 21.6km

Canoe the Majestic Whanganui River with Owhango Adventures for an unforgettable experience. Choose from their many guided and self-guided river journeys. They also offer freedom hire or culturally guided tours on 2 or 6 person wakas (canoes). Enhance your Whanganui River Canoe experience by being accompanied by a guide. The guides come from the local indigenous (Maori) people, who have a detailed knowledge of the Whanganui River and the background to the places you see along the way as well as the history of the area. All river journeys include free accommodation for the night prior to departure in one of their lodges in Owhango.

Call +64 7 895 4854 | Email [email protected]

Rafting New Zealand

41 Ngawaka Place, Turangi
Distance from FWA: 66km

A fabulous Grade 3 rafting adventure just a few minutes outside of Turangi on the upper reaches of the Tongariro River. A unique blend of fun, excitement, adrenaline, education and culture. Experience authentic indigenous myths and legends shared by the guides. Witness some of the world’s most pristine environments from crystal-clear water to native fauna and flora. Roll over 60 rapids over a 14km stretch in a 4 hour base-to-base adventure. Family experiences available too.

Call 0800 865 226 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Tongariro River Rafting

The Rafting Centre, 95 Atirau Road, Turangi
Distance from FWA: 66km

Tame the Tongariro’s roller-coaster rapids in an unforgettable adventure that awaits you as you navigate 60 rapids. The Tongariro River’s Grade 3 rapids are perfect for first-time rafters with thrills and spills galore without any extreme drops that require experience. Paddle through the heart of the Lake Taupo region and enjoy stunning scenery you can only access by water. Family packages available too.

Call 0800 10 10 24 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Forgotten World Adventures Things to do family

Sky Waka Gondola

Bruce Road, Whakapapa Village, Mount Ruapehu
Distance from FWA: 64.4km

Ride New Zealand's most unique gondola, high above the UNESCO world-heritage-listed mountain area. For wild adventure, for supreme beauty, and for an unforgettable dining experience. Journey into the clouds! Your exploration of New Zealand isn’t complete until you’ve experienced the ride through the sky on the largest gondola in Aotearoa. Ride over waterfalls and ancient lava flows to take in the majestic scenery of Mt Ruapehu and its neighbouring volcanoes within the dual world heritage Tongariro National Park. Sky Waka travels 1.8kms up to 2,020m at New Zealand’s highest dining experience, Knoll Ridge Chalet. The multi-storey eatery features something for everyone, from a sit-down buffet with amazing views to a quick grab-and-go snack. Ski, Ride & sightsee in Winter. Sightsee, dine and hike in Summer.

Call +64 7 892 4000 | Email [email protected]

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Mount Ruapehu
Distance from FWA: 75.7km

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the best one-day hike in New Zealand and is even regarded as one of the top ten single-day treks in the world. A genuine wonder of the natural world, and the crown jewel of Ruapehu, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape but is most definitely worth the hard work. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a popular destination for hikers in the summer months due to its incredible mountain beauty and turquoise lakes. The 19.4km hike starts from the Mangatepopo Carpark (off State Highway 47, south of Lake Taupo). Between October and 30 April there is a four-hour time restriction for private vehicles at the Mangatepopo Road-end. This gives visitors time to enjoy short walks but people wanting to do the entire hike, which takes an average of 7-8 hours, will need to use shuttle transport. 

Note: This hike is in an alpine environment and we strongly recommend using a guide. The weather is changeable, ice and snow are present throughout the autumn months.

Shuttles and guides: 

Adventure Outdoors Tongariro: +64 7 892 2778 / 0800 386 925 | [email protected]

Dempsey Buses: +64 6 385 4022  | [email protected]

Tongariro Crossing Shuttles: +64 7 892 2993 / 0800 861 861 | [email protected]

My Kiwi Adventure: +64 21 784 202 / 0800 784 202 | [email protected]

Adrift Tongariro Guiding: +64 7 892 2751 | [email protected]

Ruapehu Scenic Shuttles: +64 204 111 4648 | [email protected]

Tongariro Track Transport: +64 7 892 2991 | [email protected]

Discovery Lodge Shuttles: 0800 122 122 

Summit Shuttles: 0800 828 294 | [email protected]

Dinosaur House Museum

102 Seddon Street, Raetihi
Distance from FWA: 77.5km

The Dinosaur House is a small dinosaur museum located in the historic town Raetihi. See dinosaur skeletons, walk among life-size reconstructions including the always popular T-Rex and Spinosaurus, and learn about the enthralling world that they lived in. Be transported back to prehistoric times and explore the carefully curated exhibits.

Call +64 6 385 3344 | Email [email protected]

Ruapehu Adventure Rides

4576 State Highway 4, National Park
Distance from FWA: 45km

Quad biking at its best overlooking the Tongariro National Park. Experience the thrill and freedom of Quad biking on guided tours over hills, through water and forest on top quality, well-maintained Quad bikes. All safety gear provided so you can enjoy a truly exhilarating off-road experience. 

Call 0800 787 433 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Forgotten World Adventures Things to do adventure

Whanganui River Adventures

2522 Pipiriki Raetihi Road, Pipiriki
Distance from FWA: 103km

Enjoy scenic jetboating and canoeing tours on the upper reaches of the Whanganui River and bushwalking to the Bridge to Nowhere. Learn the local history from owners and guides, the tangata whenua locals, Ken and Josephine. Based in Pipiriki, Whanganui River Adventures offers personalised scenic tours. 

Call 0800 862 743 (NZ Only) | Email [email protected]

Whanganui Tours Mail Run

51 Abbot Street, Gonville, Whanganui
Distance from FWA: 167km

Experience our unique Mail Run on the beautiful Whanganui River Road. Rich in history and culture, you will learn about the local Iwi (tribe) Te Awa Tupua – their River of Sacred Power and why the River was vitally important for transport, food and spiritual wellbeing for local Maori. Hear stories of the early settlers and the paddle steamers that plied the river, deep into the interior of the Whanganui.

Call +64 6 344 4918 | Email [email protected]

Horse Trekking

Distance from FWA: 65 - 82km

Take it slow and explore the region on horseback. Various horse treks are available for young, inexperienced riders making this a great outing for the family with one of the following providers:

Back Country Trail Rides: +64 7 895 6276 | [email protected]

Ruapehu Homestead: +64 27 267 7057 | [email protected]

Forgotten World Adventures street

Forgotten Highway

State Highway 43, starting in Taumarunui; ending in Stratford


The Forgotten World Highway is one of New Zealand’s iconic back country journeys and an important link for local communities, farms, businesses and visitors. Built on colonial bridle paths formed in the late 19th century, Forgotten World Highway is remote and mysterious to the extreme. Travel 150km on this iconic road from Taumarunui to Stratford (or reverse) and visit remote towns, including Ohura, Tokirima, Republic of Whangamomona, Te Wera and Douglas. Experience the beauty of the Tangarakau Gorge and travel through the 180m Moki Tunnel - known by locals as Hobbit’s Hole. Experience the Forgotten Highways' stops by Rail. Travel the entire Forgotten World Railway (142km) on our Ultimate Rail Cart Tour.

Ohinetonga Walking Track

Owhango / National Park
Distance from FWA: 23km

The Ohinetonga Northern Loop walk is partially closed due to a slip. An easy and family friendly 2.5km loop track, the track winds through a variety of attractive scenery, past the spectacular Ohinetonga Lagoon and through beautiful native forest. There are picnic areas and good places to swim by the river. Only 35km from Whakapapa Village, turn off SH4 at the 'walking tracks' sign in Owhango.

Sunshine Walking Track

Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 3.5km

This is not a very long walk but it is really lovely and worth the effort. The track is well‐formed with plenty of steps on the steeper parts but can become a little muddy after heavy rain. It takes about 40 minutes to walk up if you take your time to enjoy the lovely bush on your way.

Rangaroa Reserve Walking Track

Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 1.5km

The entrance to this walk begins from the Rangaroa Reserve sign near the swings on East Street, Rangaroa. The track winds around a scrubby area to a small stand of redwoods. The concrete pad here is all that remains of the Scout Den that succumbed to fire. Not far in from the beginning of the track is a concrete structure across a small stream and this was once a small reservoir used to provide water for the tanks for filling the steam engines in days gone by The track winds up the hill and even though there are some steps it is still quite steep. Some very large totaras are quite close to the track and it is good they have been preserved so close to town. The track divides into two to form a loop at the top and ends abruptly at a fence line. There is a seat here to take a rest and enjoy the lovely views over the southern end of Taumarunui and the Whanganui River. It is good to stop and take time to enjoy the scenery before beginning the quick trip back to East Street.

Te Peka Lookout

Taumarunui
Distance from FWA: 2.1km

Te Peka Lookout is on Hospital Hill at the end of Byers Avenue, Taumarunui and has panoramic views over the town and surrounding country side. Take in the rural surroundings and feel alive as the country views seem infinite.  It is a 15 minute climb through bush on a good track to the lookout.

 

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