• Whanganui Journey
  • Forgotten World Highway
  • Cycling the Timber Trail


Ruapehu’s largest town, Taumarunui is a great base for exploring Whanganui and Tongariro National Parks, Pureora Forest and beyond.

Nestled in green hills at the junction of the Whanganui and Ongarue Rivers, Taumarunui’s rich history starts with early Māori (who named it ‘the place of big shelter’) and rolls through the railways and associated pioneering industries of coalmining, forestry and farming.

Today this vibrant town is the launching point for a raft of outdoor activities, including Whanganui River canoe trips and trout fishing for which the area is world-famous. Other options include mountain biking through Pureora Forest on the Timber Trail, and taking the famous railcart trip with Forgotten World Adventures(opens in new window). Railway enthusiasts may also want to check out the engineering marvel known as the Raurimu Spiral, not far away.

Visitors looking for more relaxing activities are also well catered for. Must-dos are shopping on the high street, visiting Lauren’s riverside lavender farm, and enjoying good food and company down at the friendly RSA.

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