New Zealand State Highway 43

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State Highway 43 NZ.svg

State Highway 43
Forgotten World Highway
Route information
Maintained by New Zealand Transport Agency
Length: 42 km (26 mi)
Major junctions
From: SH 3, Stratford
To: SH 4, Taumarunui
Location
Primary
destinations:
Whangamomona, Ohura
Highway system
SH 41 SH 44
Moki Tunnel on SH43

Route Description[edit]

New Zealand State Highway 43, also called the Forgotten World Highway, is a road that runs 158 km from Stratford in Taranaki to Taumarunui in the King Country. The road has a lot of interesting small towns on it including, Toko, Douglas, Te Wera, Pohukura, Strathmore, Whangamomona, Marco, Koruatahi, Tahora, Tatu and 10 km off the highway is Ohura. Driving the road takes up to 3 hours.

The highway goes through some rugged, beautiful countryside. It climbs three saddles, including the Strathmore Saddle, the Whangamomona Saddle and the Tahora Saddle. 14 km past Whangamomona is the Moki Tunnel, also known as Hobbit's Hole. Just before the Moki Tunnel is the turn off for the Mount Damper Falls, the 4th highest in the north island. In the 1920s the Stratford–Okahukura Line was built. Many of the ghost towns are from the railway days. Past Hobbit's Hole is the Tangarakau Gorge with walls just under 200 ft high. The road in the gorge is not sealed.

Pre-1991 Route[edit]

State Highway 43 used to end on SH40 at Ohura, before it was revoked in 1991 and SH43 rerouted to Taumarunui.

Dangers[edit]

State Highway 43 has been ranked as one of the 10 worst roads in New Zealand by the Police.[1] This bad record is because of the slippery gravel surface in the Tangarakau Gorge, however this is not scheduled to be sealed because of the low traffic volume.

Culture[edit]

The road runs through the Republic of Whangamomona, a locality that declared itself a republic in 1989 after a revision in district boundaries forced it out of Taranaki.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SH43 among worst 10 roads for crashes". Taranaki Daily News (in en-NZ) (Fairfax NZ News). 27 March 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.