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Forgotten Highway

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Whangamomona: for those of you with children – this is Radiator Springs from “Cars”. The “highway 43” was created when prospectors had high hopes for the area and farming was sustaining early settlers; lack of gold, minerals and other easy to get resources made the place less interesting, and with the collectivisation of farms in the 1960’s, the death nail was finally hammered in.

 

 

the famous pub, on average a new owner lasts 3 years - often less

there are not as many sheep in NZ as you might think - Yeah Right (Tui)

The rain and wind did not make the route that scenic, but when we arrived in the Republic of Whangamomona it really did feel like another age. The place is known for its declaration of independence, made when the local council removed the town from the map – insulted the locals set up their own “country” and a passport can be obtained at the local pub for $5. Visiting again and you can get a visa stamp. The old pub is lined with sepia pictures, but to be honest, apart from the tarmac road and lack of oxen, it looks the same today as it did 100 years ago.

the old and the new apart from the oxen and the fact that the building looks thinner (?) - it is virtually the same

In our rickety old van, the journey just went on and on, mile after mile of twisting narrow roads – and it’s fair to say, after 3 or 4 hours we started to regret the decision to go this way. A night at the deserted DOC campsite alongside the river revived our spirits, saved a few dollars and prepared us for the Waitomo caves and final drive to Auckland.

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