Day 37 on the Road
A Rail Bike Adventure Down the Forgotten World Railway
It’s Day 37 of New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year and today we are travelling by rail bike with Forgotten World Adventures.
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So today we are doing something pretty exceptional something that we did not expect to have so much fun with. it’s called Rail Biking.
Alright so I’m making sandwich quickly because today we are going to the Forgotten World Highway by Rail bike and turns out that, well, since the world has been forgotten there is no food around. So i’m really pumped to be rail biking in Taumarunui because the rail bike system uses the old Forgotten World Railway. It’s part of New Zealand which well is not often visited since it’s forgotten. Right? And it goes through amazing locations of the country and we get to do it by rail bike which basically means that we’re just going to be peddling slowly and there is nothing around us, there is not a screen, there is not a glass, there’s no window, there’s no smudges on the window. there is just you and the stunning scenery. Time to get started.
Sit on the bike and start peddling. At the start the scenery is huge dramatic hills covered in all sorts of farm animals so there’s cows, there’s sheep, there’s deer, there’s alpacas, everything on those hills and there’s a lot of fantails. Fantails are a New Zealand native bird and they’re really cute.
We’re starting with tunnel number 24 and tunnel number 24 is very popular for one reason and one reason only. It is the seventh longest tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. It is 1.5km long. It is insane!
Back on the railway we spot a herd of goats just hanging on the railway line. They spot us and they just run in a straight direction directly on the track so we sort of get the confidence to peddle a bit faster and try to keep up with them. There’s all this room on the side of the tracks and they will not move. They are just heading straight on the tracks like they are a rail bike themselves. And then, eventually, we reach a bridge and there is nowhere for the goats to go they have to cross this bridge or jump off it. I’m freaking out because I do not want to be the cause of death of goats so we’re slowing right down for the bridge we’re giving these goats plenty of time. Now is your chance to get off the railway, goats. Why are you not getting off. And it’s hilarious like how long this goes on for and how many opportunities they have to leave the track but no, they just want to stay right in the middle. We are looking at goats assholes for about 2km.
It feels pretty comfortable. You get enough exercise to keep warm because it is in the middle of winter right now and it’s actually still raining and yeah, we’re getting a little bit wet but we are warm enough because we’re peddling. We’re not exerting ourselves too much. We can, if we want to go faster we can just peddle faster and go as fast as we like – it’s really up to us. But we kind of want to cruise along take some photos because this is what we’re here to do, we’re taking photos, we’re doing videos and just trying to make it all look great for you guys.
The scenery starts changing and we start of start feel really alone. You’re on the railway right here and there is no one in front of you, there is nothing around except a bunch of cows and goats around. you get native bush and you see mountains then you see cows. It just looks awesome. I just really love it.
When there is a bit of a scenic place with a beautiful bridge we stop along the way and Terry made us some coffee and he had some homemade slice for us and he just told us a little bit more history about the area and we had a little chat. then there is a lot of bridges too. So the bridges have absolutely no safety on the side which is quite cool so you can lean and look a little bit at the bridge. There is literally just a piece of wood, empty, piece of wood, empty, piece of wood, empty so you kind of see a lot of those little things. Pretty nice. Now you know we get some green lush hills and you get some side of the mountains with some green grass and a lot of sheep grazing and it just looks amazing…. Yeah, the forgotten world is exactly what it is. you know, it’s just left behind hasn’t moved for decades, hasn’t changed for decades. The only thing that has changed is there are more vegetation around that’s it. You know. There is nothing else and it’s amazing. i love it.
We’re travelling through some more bridges which you can see how long these bridges have been left here there’s like moss and different vegetation growing out in and around. it looks forgotten, gives the name of it, Forgotten World Railway. Yeah, everything looks forgotten here. And you feel so sort of alone while you’re doing this journey like you’re out in the wilderness. there’s no one there to disturb you. just you and the railway.
So we keep on going through bridges and tunnels until the little town of Matiere. this town during the mining days where this railway once serviced this town used to have about 750 people living in it. Now living in the town, only 8 people remain. Now these people must be the forgotten people. See you later my loyal subjects.
Like any return journey whether it’s a hike, whether it’s a bike, whether it’s kayaking or anything, you return twice as fast as you went the other way. Because we’ve taken our photos, we’ve taken all the pictures and we’re just going to enjoy speeding down the Forgotten World Railway.
Even though we did such a short section today and it was like a taste of what the rest of this journey is. This journey can go on for 140km even through [whanganui] national park and all that. So we just got a taste today of what this whole journey would be like. And we left wanting more we’re like “yeah, we could definitely do the whole Forgotten World Railway. that would be such a cool adventure.” Yeah, we’re pumped about that.