New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail is 155kms long.

Starting in either Stratford or Taumarunui it follows ancient Māori trade routes and pioneering farm tracks, through ambitious historic settlements, untamed native bush and stunning natural scenery.

Along the Forgotten World Highway, you’ll encounter a landscape where man and nature have battled for centuries, resulting in many historic or natural points of interest. Whether you approach the Forgotten World Highway as a three-hour scenic drive or explore its many stories over several days, you’ll be treated to an adventure like no other. 
Here are the top five things to explore along the Forgotten World Highway. For more ideas read our Forgotten World Highway brochure.

The Saddles

Along the route you will cross four saddles – Tahora offers spectacular views of three prominent Māori Pa sites, railway tunnels and the Central Plateau.

The Whangamōmona Saddle offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape with a backdrop of beech and podocarp forest.

The Pohokura Saddle is named after a prominent Māori  Chief and provides views into the valley used as a large railway construction campsite.

It’s worth stopping at the top of each to take in these stunning vistas. The Strathmore Saddle offers stunning views of both Taranaki Maunga and the Central Plateau.

Fantastic Farms

Two lavender farms can be found along the route – Lauren’s Lavender Farm & Café and Lavender Lane – and both a treat for the senses. Opening hours vary and they are best to visit in summer when the flowers are in full bloom.

A 7km detour from Douglas you will find Avonstour Island Rare Breeds Heritage Farm. Specialising in heritage breed cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and other livestock, the farm offers information, pre-arranged group tours, workshops, crafts and seasonal produce for sale. Visits by appointment only as it is a working farm.

The Purangi Walks are self-guided native bush walks and are a 15km detour along Junction Road towards Purangi. Read the information boards and enjoy the lush native forest walk.