We appreciate all your questions!
Here are some answers below to help in the organisation of your adventure into the Forgotten World.
If I just pay a deposit now, when will I have to pay the balance?
We require a 10% deposit or full payment at the time of booking. Should you opt to pay the deposit, the balance of your booking is due 30 days before your tour departs.
We will send you an email to remind you when the balance is due which will include two payment options - a secure link to pay on line with your Credit Card or details to pay by bank transfer. If the balance is not received for any tour 30 days before tour departure we may be unable to hold your seats.
We are happy to accept full payment for your tour at any time and this, of course, will ensure that the seats are yours!
Is there secure parking?
Vehicles may be left in a secure area at the Forgotten World Adventures (FWA) depot car park free of charge. We also have sealed off-street parking facilities for campervans and motorhomes next door at the Taumarunui Cosmopolitan Club.
Vehicles may be left at the Eastern Taranaki Experience depot in an unsecured area. A shuttle will then transport you from there to the start of your tour. This shuttle is included within the cost of your tour. Return shuttle or vehicle shifts are not included, but can be booked at $50 per person for the shuttle or $165 per vehicle shift as optional extras. We can not shift rental vehicles.
Can the shuttle pick me up from my accommodation?
Yes, a FWA shuttle can pick you up from your accommodation in Taumarunui. This is a free service. Please advise us on booking if you require this service.
Yes, an Eastern Taranaki Experience shuttle can pick you up from your accommodation in Stratford. This is a free service for those doing The Ultimate. Please enquire on booking.
Can we get a shuttle to take us back from Stratford to Taumarunui or vice versa?
Yes a shuttle is available at a special FWA rate of $50 per person. Please let us know if you require a shuttle at time of booking. A vehicle transfer is a good alternative option. For $165 per vehicle one of our drivers will drive your vehicle to your finishing destination. This can be booked as an extra to your tour as part of the booking process. Give the booking office a call and they will add it to your booking.
We charge $95 per vehicle shift between Taumarunui and Whangamomona, or vice versa.
We are unable to offer this service for rental vehicles.
Are we allowed to take alcoholic drinks with us?
We cannot allow alcohol to be consumed whilst on the line itself. Anyone in control of a railcart must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Are there any age restrictions?
Not on our railway line. No-one is too young or too old! However, you must be 16 years old to operate the cart!
However in our jet boat children must be 3 years of age or over.
To ensure their safety, children travelling on the Rail Carts must bring their car appropriate car-seat for use in the cart, and must remain strapped in any time the cart is moving.
All children must be fully supervised by an adult at all times.
The shorter tours seem to be proving more suitable for young children.
Our rates are divided into Adult, Child and Family Rates. Infants 0 - 2 years ride free on the Rail Carts (please bring your own car seat), children aged 3 to 15 pay child rates and persons aged 16 years and older pay adult rates. We do have family rates on certain tours.
Is there a child or family discount?
We offer family discounts on two of our tours: the Tokirima 10 Rail Cart tour and Rail River Run Combo tour. Please note though, that we cannot have children under 3 in our jet boat.
Is there a Gold Card discount?
No sorry, we cannot offer a Gold Card discount, but if you have done a tour before do ask about our returning customer discount! Call the booking office for details.
Can I bring my dog?
As we are travelling through rural countryside with working farms on each side of the railway corridor we cannot allow any pets on the line.
Can we go down to Whangamomona on the Republic 20 Tour one day and do the return journey on the rails the next day?
Yes! Going both ways is a wonderful option. The total cost to travel both ways $584 per seat. Let us know if you would like us to book a night in Whangamomona for you.
Do the rail carts link up to the Northern Explorer on the main trunk line in Taumarunui?
If you have a party of 10 or more, email Kiwirail at this link to book the Northern Explorer to stop at Taumarunui. Let us know and FWA can meet you at the station with a shuttle bus to greet your party. (We are trying hard to get Kiwirail to change their minds on this one and have the permanent stop at Taumarunui reinstated, so far the answer from them is still no!)
Otherwise we can pick you up and/or drop you off at the designated Northern Explorer stop at the National Park rail station for $25 per person.
I have made a booking but have not received any documentation?
You should have received an email within minutes of making a booking. With modern technology there are often a variety of reasons why a return email may not have reached you. Spam filters, incorrect email addresses and full email boxes are just a few of what we have encountered. Be assured that your booking is very important to us and if you are at all concerned please call us (0800 724 522) or email us again including a contact phone number and best contact time so we can call you!
I have paid you with a bank transfer and three days later I have received a request for payment?
Firstly our apologies if you have had a further request for payment when a bank transfer has already been set up. Please give us a call as soon as it is convenient for you and we will help sort through the details. Weekends and public holidays, particularly Easter and Christmas can make it a little tricky making sure we are getting up to date information from the bank.
Where does the tour start?
The starting point of most of our tours is from Forgotten World Adventures located at 9 Hakiaha Street in Taumarunui. From there you will be shuttled to either the Rail Carts or the Jet Boat.
How many people on a trip?
Our Rail Cart tours can accommodate from 1 person to groups of various sizes. Our jet boat fits 15 people. We have a range of rail carts from 2, 4 and 6 seaters. We do our best to ensure that you have a cart to yourself, however, on very rare occasions groups will need to share. If you are a large group, then please get in touch with our friendly customer service team. They will be happy to help.
What tours are available?
Our tours run from mid-October to mid-May and most of them depart at 7:30am with an alternate time at 10:30am and 11am on some. Our tours are very popular in summer and holiday periods so booking in advance is highly recommended.
How can I get hold of you?
You are welcome to get in touch with our friendly reservations team should you want to book your tour, need to make a change to your tour, or if you require more information. Please contact the team on 0800 7245 2278 (NZ Only) or +64 7895 7181 (International calls), email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via Contact Us page.
Is it really necessary to book? If so, how do I book a seat?
For most of our tours we do recommend to book as we cannot guarantee there will be space on the tour you'd like to go on. To make a booking request, open the tour page of your choice and complete the Booking Enquiry Form, alternatively, please get in touch with our reservations team on 0800 7245 2278 (NZ Only) or +64 7895 7181 (International calls), email email@example.com or send us a message via Contact Us page
I need to cancel or change my booking
Should you wish to cancel or change your booking, please get in touch with our reservations team at 0800 7245 2278 (NZ Only) or +64 7895 7181 (International calls), email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via Contact Us page. Please note that if you cancel a scheduled tour within 5 days prior to departure, there is no refund. Cancelling 6 - 10 days prior to departure is a 50% refund. Cancelling 10 days or more prior to departure is a full refund less deposit.
I'm experiencing problems submitting my booking request form
If you are experiencing problems submitting your booking form, kindly get in touch with our team at 0800 7245 2278 (NZ Only) or +64 7895 7181 (International calls), email email@example.com or send us a message via Contact Us page.
I have a baby. Can I bring a buggy or pram on the Rail Carts?
Buggies or strollers are not necessary on the tour, however, children's car seats are required as per NZTA requirements. Please bring yours along as we do not have these for hire.
Are the tours disabled-friendly?
If you're coming with a wheelchair, we can make arrangements especially for you. We will accommodate you in one of our larger rail carts, provide assistance for you to be seated in the rail carts and your wheelchair will be carried with you. Please mention this in your booking enquiry or you are welcome to contact us on 0800 7245 2278 (NZ Only) or +64 7895 7181 (International calls), email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via Contact Us page.
When should I arrive before my tour departs?
Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour departure time to ensure a smooth check-in process. Check-in will take approximately 5 minutes. When you arrive at Forgotten World Adventures, please identify yourself at the front desk and which tour you've booked for.
Can I bring my camera to take my own photos?
We encourage our guests to bring their cameras along! In fact, we love it when they take photos, upload them to social media and tag us (@forgottenworldadventures)! A kind reminder though, to best have your rail cart passengers take the photos as drivers are not permitted to operate cell phones or take photos whilst driving.
Do I need to bring my own food?
We do provide food on our tours. For our Tokirima 10 Tour a light snack (cup fo tea/coffee/juice/water and home baking) and a ploughman's lunch is provided at the turn around point. For our Republic 20 Tour, both morning and afternoon tea, as well as a lovely ploughman's lunch is provided. For other day and multi-day tours, please check on the tour pages or ask our friendly staff. Please mention any special dietary requirements, including diabetic, gluten-free etc, to our reservations team when making your booking.
I would like to purchase / redeem a gift voucher
Gift vouchers are available for purchase on our website and are valid for life. If you'd like to redeem a voucher, please Contact Us and one of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you with your booking.
Can I wear glasses on the trip?
We'd love for you to see the wonders of the Forgotten World, If you require a little assistance to take in the awesome scenery, then please bring your glasses along! We don't want you to miss out on anything!
Are there any weight restrictions?
There is no minimum weight to experience the Rail Carts or Jet Boat. Although there is no individual weight restrictions on our helicopter tours, there is an overall weight limit of 450kg per load.
What do I wear?
We recommend that you dress warmly (layers). We suggest sunblock, sun hat, rain coats and a warm jersey. We do have some coats available on the jet boat and blankets in the rail carts. Closed shoes are highly recommended. No jandals or stillettos please.
What time of the year is the best time to visit?
Mid-October to mid-May is a great time to experience our tours. Note that our tours operate when it rains! Our Rail Carts are fitted with roll-down curtains and are equipped with warm weather-proof blankets. We rarely need to cancel tours due to weather.
Which is your most popular trip?
We've got many great trips, but if we have to boil it down to a couple, here are our recommendations.... For a full day trip the Republic 20 tour is great and includes beautiful sights such as the Tangarakau Gorge and a visit to the Republic of Whangamomona. For a half day trip the Tokirima 10 tour is a great option and includes a stopover at Lauren's Lavender Farm. Both trips start from Taumarunui. The Rail River Run Combo tour offers the best of both worlds. Explore the Forgotten World by Rail Cart and take in the breathtaking scenery of the Whanganui River by Jet Boat.
What about COVID-19?
We are committed to monitoring and amending our approach to our tours according to the recommendations provided by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, providing guests both flexibility and security during COVID-19. When visiting the Forgotten World, your safety is of paramount importance to us. We have implemented various COVID-19 related safety measures, procedures and processes at our motel and on our tours to ensure we create an environment that is both safe and hygienic when you visit us. These procedures and protocols have been developed in accordance with the guidelines and policies prescribed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. We are allowed to operate our tours under Alert Levels 1 and 2. However, in the event that these Alert Levels should change to Alert Levels 3 or 4, for the whole of New Zealand, our COVID-19 Terms and Conditions will come into affect. You can find these as a sub-heading under our standard Terms and Conditions.
How do the Rail Carts work?
Our Rail Carts are self-driven. Drivers must be 16 years or older as per NZTA requirements.
What happened to the Rail Bikes?
At the moment our rail bikes are not operating, sorry! But keep an eye on this space in case they return! The Rail Carts we operate still offer a great experience and you get to go much further and see more, or add a jet boat ride for extra fun.