The world may have forgotten this highway but I never will. I lived in Tangarakau, right in the middle of it, for 3 months, without phone reception and 1.5hrs drive to the nearest town.
In this remote gem I made friends and memories which I will treasure for a lifetime. Tangarakau is unique even for New Zealanders as it is about as far off the beaten track as you can go in New Zealand. Living and working out in the bush has provided me with opportunities and experiences I wouldn’t have got working in a town. I have learnt that I have a rather good shot for a rookie after shooting 3 possums in the head first time with a 22′. I’ve tried my hand at bee keeping whilst managing to avoid getting stung. I’ve mustered cattle, on the farm and just as a necessity to get them out the garden. I’ve been horse riding around the farm with a beautiful yet lazy horse called Lemonade. I’ve been witness to sheep shearing including hand shearing. I’ve rode half the Forgotten World Adventures golf cart route from Tangarakau to Whangamomona. I’ve rode a quad bike across the farm. Celebrated Christmas Day with over 30 people out in the sun. Helped prepare and enjoyed a traditional homemade Hangi at New Years. And walked up to Mount Damper Falls to see the north islands highest waterfall. The community out here though is what has been really amazing as a lot of the things I have done are because of the people who have wanted to share their lifestyle with me. The one school has only 19 children in it and the Christmas parade route is only 100m long yet everyone turns up to show their support and enjoy a drink in the local (and only) pub. The locals are singled out by their signature Red Bands and a Whangamomona pub t-shirt, both of which I am now proud owners of giving me the right to call myself a local …(kind of). I will miss this corner of the world and the people in it. A small community such as this one makes saying goodbye, even after only 3 months, so much harder, but it is time to move on and explore more of the North Island. I’m sure I will be back though.