Forgotten World Highway

New Zealand State Highway 43, also called the Forgotten World Highway, is a road that runs 148 km from Stratford in Taranaki to Taumarunui in the King Country. The road has a lot of interesting small towns on it including, Toko, Douglas, Te Wera, Pohukura, Strathmore, Whangamomona, Marco, Koruatahi, Tahora, Tatu and 10 km off the highway is Ohura. Driving the road takes up to 3 hours.

The highway goes through some rugged, beautiful countryside. It climbs three saddles, including the Strathmore Saddle, the Whangamomona Saddle and the Tahora Saddle. 14 km past Whangamomona is the Moki Tunnel, also known as Hobbit’s Hole. Just before the Moki Tunnel is the turn off for the Mount Damper Falls, the 4th highest in the north island. In the 1920s the Stratford–Okahukura Line was built. Many of the ghost towns are from the railway days. Past Hobbit’s Hole is the Tangarakau Gorge with walls just under 200 ft high. The road in the gorge is not sealed.

Route changes
State Highway 43 used to end on SH 40 at Ohura, before SH 40 was revoked in 1991 and SH 43 rerouted to Taumarunui via Aukopae along River Road.

State Highway 43 has been ranked as one of the 10 worst roads in New Zealand by the Police. This bad record is because of the slippery gravel surface in the Tangarakau Gorge, however this is not scheduled to be sealed because of the low traffic volume.

The road runs through the Republic of Whangamomona, a locality that declared itself a republic in 1989 after a revision in district boundaries forced it out of Taranaki.

Source: Wikipedia