How does a mix of adventure, history and activity sound? If it’s right up your alley, then gather a group and try New Zealand’s latest claim to fame; the longest rail bike tour in the world.
Not content with being champions in rugby, rowing and hip hop, Forgotten World Adventures decided to become world leaders in rail biking. Rail bike tours operate in Korea, the United States and Australia, but this clever bunch have taken a great idea and made it better.
General manager Paul Chaplow says no other trail comes close to the 40km rail bike journey being run from Taumarunui.
More than 6000 visitors, from around New Zealand and overseas have taken the self-drive RailCart route since it opened in 2011, during its October to May season.
This year there’s a new adventure – RailBikes.
“The new RailBike tours are a hit with those who have already done things like the Otago Rail Trail and are looking for the equivalent experience in the North Island,” Paul says. “We’ve had loads of people who are doing it with their teenagers or young adult kids as a family holiday, which is awesome.”
He says Kiwi cyclists are such a hardy breed and so enthusiastic about the concept that the company is now considering offering the ‘Ultimate RailBike tour’ running the full 142km line over two days.
The Forgotten World Adventures RailBikes were custom designed and purpose-built in Hamilton. They cost about $9000 each to build and feature a big tractor seat for better comfort (you’ll appreciate why after 40km!). The prototype was trialled last year before being launched earlier this year.
The RailBike tours travel along the paths our country pioneers once used, winding through steep, rugged sheep farming country, through tunnels and along native bush gorges. The 40km tours end in the iconic self-proclaimed republic of Whangamomona. Click here for more information.