Mention the name Taumarunui and you regularly have people breaking into song, reciting the iconic folk song by Peter Cape ‘Taumarunui (on the main trunk line)’, (Click here to listen)
The tale of unrequited love between ‘an ordinary joker’ and a ‘sheila’ (Kiwi lady) who works behind the counter at the town’s famous railway refreshment room:
You got cinders in your whiskers and a cinder in your eye
So you hop off to Refreshments for a cuppa tea and pie
Taumarunui, Taumarunui, Taumarunui on the main trunk line.
If you know the song, then it's probably running through your head right now.
It’s such a nostalgic song depicting yesteryear and the days when the railway town was a refreshment stop for passenger trains on the main trunk line as they travelled up and down the North Island. For decades the uniformed 'girls' offered rows of pies, sandwiches and cakes, and steaming tea in thick railway cups which became one of the central rituals of New Zealand life.
In 1975 the tea room closed and today, the train no longer stops in the town. But it's a lovely journey by car and only 45 minutes from Mount Ruapehu and 1½ hours from Taupo.
Listen to the the song and you will forever have ingrained in your head the town of Taumarunui.
“Taumarunui, Taumarunui, Taumarunui on the main trunk line”.
by Victoria Dawson - Forgotten World Adventures