Forgotten world highway

State Highway 43, or Forgotten world highway, the road connecting Stratford to Taumarunui is a back country road mostly sealed, with four saddles and lots of sharp bends.

It is sort of famous among the bikers and the republic of Whangamomona is the half way point at which you can talk to the president of the republic or may get a government job if you are politically minded person.

The journey starts from the small Taranaki town Stratford which was named after the hometown of Shakespear. The iconic clock tower tells you are in the damn good land.

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Mt.Taranaki stands out even among the murals.

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Now you are entering the Highway to Republic of Whangamomona. I stock up at the New World super market before heading out to the wild.

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Just typical back country road with lot of bucolic views of farms.

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Saddle after saddle, you’ve got to go over four saddles before getting to the republic.

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GPS navigation tells you the shape of the road ahead.

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This sign says you can get an entry stamp on your passport with a small fee($3 when googling it) at the border control which is the one and only Hotel.

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Iconic hotel and the government office as the officials main duty is drinking all day, gets lofs of functions from bikers, groups or the locals.

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Something is going on inside the hotel with these Italian bikes parked up outside.

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This mural on a garage door of a house tells the exact mindset of the citizen of this republic. I can’t agree more. Can I get a citizenship?

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River town of sort, everything goes at this republic’s own time, slowly.

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There is a public toilet and I wonder who is cleaning it? Janitorial department I suppose?

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Not a small number of tourist comes and goes this route and stops over for a cold beer.

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I peep in to get a stamp but these guys occupy the Hotel and the computer system downs.

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The government officials get a motorized vehicle like this and it is weather-proof.

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This narrow one lane tunnel is the only path to Taumarunui. There will be a 12 kms long unsealed road before arriving Tau.

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Yep, come out to S.H.4 and head back to Rotorua.

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Taumarunui, River town with a sizable train station. Once a transport hub for central north island, now just a small scale service town that caters tourists for the Whanganui river journey. Well I’m back on NZ. It is really shame that I could not shake hands with the president of the Whanga.

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