Taumarunui is best known for its railway history, farming, weaving, golf and more recently, cycle trails. The town is complete with one or two colourful characters, a museum and a unique rail cart adventure. To check the range of accommodation, click here.
The Timber Trail from Piropiro flats to Ongarue is a fantastic mountain bike ride or walk, following much of the Ongarue bush tram system. Ongarue represents an important part of the timber industry and early pioneering history.
Taumarunui was originally a Maori settlement at the confluence of the Ongarue River with the Whanganui, with important canoe routes linking the interior of the island with the lower Whanganui River settlements. Some places, notably the valley of the Pungapunga Stream, which joins the upper Whanganui River near Manunui, were celebrated for the size and quality of totara trees, and large canoes were carved there. The area is a border between a number of iwi including Whanganui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tūwharetoa, who lived together in relative harmony. To learn more about Taumarunui, click here.
West of Taumarunui, the former coal-mining town Ohura is a real step back in time. Complete with one or two colourful characters, a museum and a unique railcart adventure.
Heading South from Taumarunui towards the Tongariro National Park lies Owhango on the 39 South Circle of Latitude which spans across South America, Australia and through the middle of Owhango. Building its economy mainly on forestry and farming, the main trunk line runs alongside the Owhango township opening up a key trading route for the area.