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Lost highway

Southend-on-Sea...
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Lost highway

From Stratford to Taumarunui

Has anyone any links to utube or photos that I can view before selecting that route?

The only utube I've seen so far is through a pair of windscreen wipers. So I'd like some better impression before I go out of my way to see it. But I hear its really good.

Thanks

David

17 replies to this topic
Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Lost highway

The Forgotten World Highway, Hwy 43, from Stratford to Taumarunui is a great drive through a varied and spectacular landscape. I'd highly recommend it. AA considers it one of the 101 Must Do's for Kiwis.

This site has some good photos to give you an idea of what to expect:

http://www.taranaki.info/gallery/?tag=9

See also: http://www.windwand.co.nz/heritagetrail.htm

I'd only do this if it's reasonable weather because it's one of the most isolated areas in New Zealand and a pretty challenging drive. The road is narrow and winding and there's a short section that is unpaved gravel. There are virtually no facilities and no petrol along the way except for the Whangamomona Hotel, where you can get a pleasant bite of pub fare to eat. So leave Stratford with a full tank of gas and an empty bladder.

Northland
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2. Re: Lost highway

I just did this drive a couple of days ago as part of my 2-week trip to NI. The scenery was beautiful, but it is very isolated and road conditions are not the greatest. There's a 15 km (?) section that is unsealed and very narrow, and up in the "saddles" it's a bit of white-knuckle driving, especially when a big truck is coming at you (I never figured out how those things managed to squeeze through the tight turns).

I made the mistake of doing this drive after a long day of hiking in Tongariro. I was tired and wasn't in the mood for all the tight turns, switchbacks and narrow roads. I left at 2:30 pm and didn't get into New Plymouth until well past 6 pm, and this was with just a couple of short stops for photos. The traffic was very light, and I probably encountered less than 50 cars on the entire stretch of the road.

Bottom line is if you enjoy a leisurely drive through a pretty and idyllic landscape, are not pressed for time, and don't mind a bit of white-knuckle driving, do the drive. But if you're pressed for time and need to get from Point A to Point B, or if the weather is bad, skip it.

As the previous poster suggested, make sure you have full tank of gas and an empty bladder. Also make sure your car is in good shape; you don't want to break down on that stretch of the road.

Edited: 12 January 2012, 01:54
Coffs Harbour NSW
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3. Re: Lost highway

I'm terrified of steep roads and this Highway is definitely one of those , but having said that we did this as a days drive in April last year from Stratford finishing at Te Kuiti at the end the day and can thoroughly recommend the trip. A spectacular drive with awesome scenery and some interesting side trips to be had. We had a great picnic on the observation platform at Mount Damper Falls which is about 20 minutes off the highway to the departure point then about 20 minutes walk through a rainforest to the falls. As the other posters have said make sure you have a full tank because there is nothing along the road. Whangamomona Hotel is a good half-ish way spot for a pit stop and has great coffee as well. All in all well worth the drive and good to cure some fear of heights as well :)

This link has some good info as well http://www.windwand.co.nz/heritagetrail.htm

Edited: 17 January 2012, 10:45
Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Lost highway

Another question... How would you go if you were driving it in a motor home? Would it be too challenging?

Coffs Harbour NSW
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5. Re: Lost highway

It probably could be done but you would have to take it very carefully as the road is steep and very very winding. At least if you are going slowly you can appreciate the spectacular scenery there

St Davids, United...
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6. Re: Lost highway

We drove the forgotten highway just before Christmas and it was truly gorgeous! Especially the gorge in the middle!

We were in a little car and it took us about 4/5 hours from Taumarunui to Stratford, but we did stop a lot to take photos and look at the view and have a picnic! Plus there had been quite a few uncleared land slips so it was a bit like a slalom! :)

Don't think we travelled much over 60/70kph the whole way!

There are some hairpin bends and it's quite steep and very winding in places.

Just set out early take a picnic and take it slowly!

We saw 2 camper van passing when we had a picnic so obviously possible!

It was one of the best parts of our trip, so if it's a good day definitely do it!

Just don't plan to be anywhere at a particular time afterwards because you don't want to feel like you need to rush on that road! Also don't set out if it's nasty weather!

Bex

New Plymouth, New...
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7. Re: Lost highway

This is one of the best motorcycle rides in New Zealand. All sealed road apart from a flat gravel section of about 10kms in the Tangarakau Gorge. Great rugged scenery and an atmosphere like few other places. The Whangamomoana Hotel is like a step back to another time and does good lunch meals, or accommodation for the more leisurely traveller .

Petrol is available in Stratford and Taumarunui but not between.

Edited: 28 December 2013, 02:20
Western Ireland...
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8. Re: Lost highway

which is the best direction to drive this road?

north or south?

Coffs Harbour NSW
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9. Re: Lost highway

I guess it depends on whether you want the gorge on the passenger side or drivers side of the car :) either way it is spectacular. If you do it north the gorge will be on the passengers side. Hope this can help a bit

Western Ireland...
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10. Re: Lost highway

I'll just add, this is a dangerous, windy road.

Especially when wet.

We had a bad accident here 3 weeks ago

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