EXPLORE: Discover the Forgotten World Highway

This article originally appeared on Cycling Tips - https://cyclingtips.com/2012/04/new-zealand-forgotten-world-highway/ 

It is recommended to start in Taumarunui and end in New Plymouth - most cyclists need 2 or 3 days to complete this section or if you are like me, can do it in one day!


Excerpt from the NZCT website:

       "Pedal back in time and experience an amazing historical tour on New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail. The remote and mysterious Forgotten World Highway features mountain saddles, an eerie tunnel and a river gorge."

Find more details about the amazing route - at NZCT 


The Forgotten World Highway was one of the best single day road rides that I have ever done, and this is not an overstatement as I have travelled to many far-flung destinations around the world to ride a bike – including Mongolia, China, USA, Taiwan, South East Asia, to name a few.

The Forgotten World Highway Cycle Route spans 180kms across New Zealand beginning in Taumarunui and ends in the small city of New Plymouth. The remote narrow twisting road cuts through some of the remotest regions of New Zealand and you’ll witness a Kiwi way of life that is virtually unchanged from over 100 years ago; its like pedalling back through time and the whole region really does live up to the name Forgotten World. Highway 43 takes you through stunning crinkled farmland scenery and real virgin native forests, there are many old impressive looking abandoned villas and rustic red wooden farm buildings, with curious cows and sheep gawking at you as you whiz by. You might even find yourself breaking the silence by talking to the animals; during the entire journey I counted less than 100 cars and most of them going in the opposite direction.












It is a challenging road ride for any cyclist and it is required that your fitness levels be decent so you can enjoy the hidden gems in this part of New Zealand. Over the 180kms, there are no less than nine category three and four climbs as categorised by Strava with countless more tiny, but steep climbs. The fact that the highest point is only 300m, but there is over 2,200m of climbing reveals what it’s like. It makes for a tough day in the saddle for even the most hard-core of roadies, but even recreational of riders will enjoy it over two or three days with plenty of stops to enjoy the numerous side-trips from the highway.








For those who are interested, check out my Strava file of my unforgettable ride! 

Finish reading this article on Cycling Tips here