Day 41 on the Road
Getting Our Passports Stamped in the Republic of Whangamomona
It’s Day 41 of New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year, and today we are visiting the Republic of Whangamomona down the Forgotten World Highway!
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Today we have left New Zealand completely we are far away. We are now in the Republic of Whangamomona.
So we are outside the Whangamomona Post Office and like in many rural areas the post office only opens one day a week. So locals get their mail through this box right here. Easy peasy, right? We are in the Republic of Whangamomona. and we need to get our passports stamped and we are going to get them stamped here at the Whangamomona Hotel. How long was the flight to the Republic of Whangamomona, Laura? It was approximately half a millisecond. Woo! You have to be in charge of your own passport or else they won’t let you in.
Alright so we are now in the pub where the whole republic was formed. Sir, can we please get our passports stamped. You can indeed. $2 each. Can you open up where you would like it stamped. Next to the New Zealand one… Brand new page for this one look at that. Perfect ink as well. Look at that it looks gorgeous. I am now officially accepted in the Republic of Whangamomona.
So we have a few drinks with Richard who’s like a really cool guy and he’s easy to talk to and chatty and he is one of the few residents of the republic just in this small town alone, I think, when all his family are in town, that’s 21 people in total. There’s like four families within the town. Obviously there’s more people in the greater area but there’s not a lot of people here. But that’s really cool and that’s the whole essence of the forgotten world highway. It’s a forgotten world, there’s hardly anyone there – if you ever want to escape go to the forgotten world!
So whangamomona has a very interesting history of presidents. At one point the president was a goat called billy the goat, he reigned with his iron trotters crushing all his dissidents with a [goat noise].
After this tyrant was brought down from power due to early death because goats doesn’t live that long, the seat was taken over by Richard’s wife, which is now the official president of the Whangamomona Republic. I have heard that she’s doing a [goat noise] better job than the goat was doing.
All this history is on the whole pub walls the whole walls are scattered in photos from yesteryear and yonderyear and before Christ. There’s not a single part of the wall which is clear. There are photos, trophies from sheep shearing contests there’s sporting trophies for pool games in the bar there’s community notice boards. For instance, they have a wild food cook-off in the pub – so you can tell even like back in the day, it was like a big community vibe and the fact that they became a republic itself shows like it’s all about the community and now even today they still have their events and things throughout the town and it brings the people who are living all along the Forgotten World Highway all together. And for instance, Richard knows the family we stayed with the night before, Simon and Sarah, he knows them very well. People come far and wide and this is their local pub even if it a few hundred kilometers down the road. It’s incredible how one single man has gathered almost the entire museum down there so it’s really really really awesome.
Republic of Whangamomona, Laura speaking. We have lunch with Richard and one of his staff working there like one of the pub managers. We have some toasties and fresh fruit and cheese and it’s all very nice. We’re finding it a bit hard to pull ourselves away from like this remote area because we know we’re heading into civilisation soon when we finish the Forgotten World Highway so we’re sitting there and we can’t pull ourselves away but eventually you know we have to go. That’s the essence of travelling it’s like you have to leave and you don’t really want to but you know there’s stuff ahead that you got to go and see so, we also get ourselves some little long-sleeved tees of the Whangamomona Republic Hotel. Just time to say goodbye to Richard and his wife, give them a big hug, thank them for the lunch, thank them for the night it was a blast. whangamomona we will be back. But now we are driving out of the forgotten world highway we just have about 20 minutes left of the Forgotten World Highway. I don’t think that’s true, I think it’s about an hour and half and I think I’m right. We’re driving toward New Plymouth which is on the west coast of New Zealand, it’s another great surf spot and it’s hiding behind Mt Taranaki, which is stunning and beautiful and mind blowing and all thew adjectives you can think of. We though like going through the gorge and through Tangarakau was amazing but the rest of the forgotten world highway is also like every 10 seconds there’s something to look at. And eventually we get these awesome views as the suns going down of Mt Taranaki which is the place we are heading to now, well, sort of near there. And then we arrive in New Plymouth. Where we are greeted by the best receptionists at a hostel I have ever met, they were just two boarder collie dogs literally on the desk looking at us in the little cubbie hole. We are ready for our Taranaki adventure. Bring it on!