The Bridge to Nowhere & Forgotten Worlds

The Bridge to Nowhere & Forgotten Worlds

7 day small group North Island tour

We follow rail, river and walking tracks, once the lifeblood of the Central North Island. Ride rail carts and cruise the Whanganui River by jet boat up to the landing to the Bridge to Nowhere. Then the delights of Hawke’s Bay await, reached via the historic “Gentle Annie” route. 

Please note: This tour requires a good standard of fitness and mobility.

Watch this video to see why the Whanganui Jet Boat ride is such a highlight.

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WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: Thanks to the vision and energy of our hosts and their love of back country places we have all the fun – tootling along the track on golf carts and riding a jet boat up the Whanganui River. Then we drive the North Island’s best kept secret, the historic “Gentle Annie” route and later visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

  • $3,390 (NZD) pp twin
  • $3,990 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Auckland – Rangiriri – Otorohanga – Taumarunui

Leaving Auckland we stop at the Rangiriri Paa site for an insight into the 1863 invasion of the Waikato by the military. Further south we enjoy the warm hospitality of Debbie and Fraser Robertson at Crosshills Farm and Garden near Otorohanga. 

Later in the day we drive into Te Kuiti. The legendary All Black Colin (Pinetree) Meads farmed near this King Country town and his statue takes pride of place. Then we travel onto Taumarunui where we stay two nights and dine in at the Forgotten World Motel both evenings.

  • Visit Rangiriri, the site of the 1863 Waikato invasion
  • Lunch with Debbie and Fraser Robertson at Crosshills Farm

Accommodation

Forgotten World Motel, Taumarunui

TAUMARUNUI - FORGOTTEN WORLD MOTEL

The Forgotten World Motel is situated in central Taumarunui and is just a short stroll to the centre of town.

What we love about Forgotten World Motel – The best place to begin your Forgotten World Adventure.

Day 2

Taumarunui - Forgotten World Rail carts – Whangamomona – Taumarunui

We call into Lauren’s Lavender Farm beside the Whanganui River then drive deep into the Forgotten World Highway to Whangamomona for lunch at the hotel. Stroll along the street and get acquainted with the history of this pioneer town and its “Republic” days.

Then your adventure on the tracks begins. Climb on the rail carts to travel from Whangamomona through the bushclad Tangarakau Gorge and on to Tokirima where your coach awaits to return to Taumarunui.

  • Lunch at the Whangamomona Hotel on the Forgotten World Highway
  • Ride the rail cart tracks from Whangamomona to Tokirima

Accommodation

Forgotten World Motel, Taumarunui

TAUMARUNUI - FORGOTTEN WORLD MOTEL

The Forgotten World Motel is situated in central Taumarunui and is just a short stroll to the centre of town.

What we love about Forgotten World Motel – The best place to begin your Forgotten World Adventure.

Day 3

Taumarunui – Pipiriki – Whanganui River – The Bridge to Nowhere – Whanganui

At Pipiriki we meet our jet boat for an hour’s ride upstream in sublime scenery to the Mangapurua Landing. The Bridge to Nowhere cannot be seen from the river. Depending on your fitness, either walk with your guide through the bush to The Bridge to Nowhere (40 minutes, 2.7km each way) or stay on the boat. The Bridge makes a poignant memorial to the WW1 servicemen who tried to farm there.  

Returning downstream to Pipiriki and our coach, we drive alongside the river, calling into the historic church and convent at Jerusalem then on to Whanganui and the Aotea Motor Lodge. We dine out this evening.

  • Jet boating on beautiful Whanganui River
  • Walking to the Bridge to Nowhere

Accommodation

Studio Room at Aotea Lodge in Whanganui

Whanganui - Aotea Lodge

The Aotea Lodge is ideally located close to the city center and Whanganui’s main street, Victoria Avenue which provides easy access to many local points of interest. 

What we love about the Aotea Lodge – Stroll out on the flat to enjoy the many boutique shopping options that Whanganui has to offer.

Day 4

Whanganui sightseeing – Taihape

We get to know the town – meeting our guide Lisa at the Whanganui Regional Museum to hear her stories of the region’s early history and see the remarkable collections on display. There’s time to wander the riverside and see the glass art at New Zealand Glassworks. 

Nearby at St Paul’s Memorial Church in Putiki a local guide relates the history of the intricate Maori carvings and wall panels. Then, turning eastward, we drive inland to Taihape and stay at The Aspen Court Motel.

  • Hear the guide’s stories at the Whanganui Regional Museum
  • St Paul’s Memorial Church Maori carvings and wall panels

Accommodation

The Aspen Court Motel, Taihape

TAIHAPE - THE ASPEN COURT MOTEL

The Aspen Court Motel is family run and always make us feel welcome. 

What we love about Aspen Court Motel – All units are extremely quiet as sound proof insulation and noise glass have been used throughout the complex making for a great nights sleep.

Day 5

Taihape – “Gentle Annie” road – Havlock North – Napier

From Taihape we take a road less travelled across the Central Plateau to explore the Inland Patea Heritage Trail along the “Gentle Annie” route used by early Maori and stockmen. 

There are historic sites such as the Springvale suspension bridge across the Rangitikei River, expansive views, and the largest sheep stations in the North Island. We lunch at Birdwood Cafe and Gallery near Havelock North and stay at Scenic Hotel Te Pania on the Napier waterfront and dine in.

  • Exploring the “Gentle Annie” route and its heritage
  • Arriving at Napier on the East Coast

Accommodation

MoaTours Accommodation - Scenic Te Pania, Napier

Napier - Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Another great location, but only the best will do at MoaTours! Just a short walk from the heart of the Art Deco precinct, Te Pania is modern, has everything you need right at hand and is our favourite place to stay in town. 

What we love about Te Pania – You can’t beat those Pacific views, if you’re an early bird, watch the sunrise over the ocean from your room.

Day 6

Napier – Art Deco touring – gannet colony, Cape Kidnappers - Taupo

An Art Deco guide joins our coach as we tour to the National Tobacco Company building and Marewa, the surburb built in Art Deco style after the 1931 earthquake. 

With a nature guide we enjoy a special experience – a three-hour overland safari along private farm roads to get close-up to the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Later in the day we drive over the hills to Taupo to stay on the lakefront and dine in this evening.

  • Touring Napier’s Art Deco architecture with a specialist guide
  • Taking a private farm road to see the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers

Accommodation

Taupo Millennium Hotel and Resort

Taupo - Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels

Boasting a spellbinding lake edge location, this welcoming Taupo Hotel and Resort presents you with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains from guest rooms, restaurants and bar areas. 

What we love about Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels – Artfully decorated to create an air of glamorous elegance and with a heated swimming pool, private grotto plunge pool and sauna this is a relaxing and stylish location to spend time on tour.

Day 7

Taupo – Huka Falls - Wairakei - Waitakaruru Arboretum – Auckland

Stroll along the lakefront walkway or check out Taupo’s shops. We call into see the Huka Falls and the Wairakei geothermal lookout then continue to Tauwhare in the Waikato. We lunch in the Sculpture Park at the Waitakaruru Arboretum and walk the nature and art trails with their guide. 

We return to Auckland through the Waikato farmlands arriving in the late afternoon.

  • Lunch in the Sculpture Park
  • Enjoy art and nature at the Waitakaruru Arboretum

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
01 Nov 2024 - 07 Nov 2024
$3,390 (NZD)
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14 Jan 2025 - 20 Jan 2025
$3,390 (NZD)
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18 Mar 2025 - 24 Mar 2025
$3,390 (NZD)
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Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
01 Nov 2024 - 07 Nov 2024
$3,390 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
14 Jan 2025 - 20 Jan 2025
$3,390 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
18 Mar 2025 - 24 Mar 2025
$3,390 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire
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