SEE AND DO
History Comes Alive
Tangarakau was at one time the second largest town in central Taranaki. Tangarakau’s heyday was from the early 1920s until 1937, when the population peaked at 1200 people. At its peak, the school had 140 pupils, every house had one lightbulb and the town even had street lights. Electricity was provided through a 32-volt DC power plant, which was steam driven and powered by coal from the Tangarakau mines. The town boasted a sports field and had nine sports teams, including cricket, rugby, hockey. There was even a women’s hockey team. Two All Blacks, Jack Sullivan and Bob Scott, were born in the town. However, as the need for workers declined after the construction of the railway, people started to leave for brighter pastures… hence the locals now call it the Ghost Town! The only original building still standing today is the school.
We do not currently offer transportation services. However, in the peak periods, for a price, we can provide transport to and from the Whangamomona Hotel, so you can enjoy a meal and a tipple or two. Please inquire for more information.
There are no minimum stays requirements.
There are plenty of activities and attractions, both at the Bushlands Campground and in the surrounding areas. Bushlands offers walking and hiking opportunities, farm experiences and a great river to be explored. Within the district, there are a wide range of activities from museums to mountain biking.
Located in the middle of the Forgotten World Highway (SH43), Tangarakau is 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Stratford at one end and Taumarunui at the other end. However, there is no rush, with so many amazing views you will find yourself stopping to pull out the camera! Relax and take your time and enjoy the real New Zealand. Click here for directions using Google Maps.
There will be a purpose built viewing hive there soon. Pouatu Honey is produces high quality Manuka Honey and Native Bush Honey in the valley, from their 600 beehives. We welcome people to come and view the process of producing our honey.
Stroll across the farm, walk along the river, visit the spectacular canyon. See the sheep and cows grazing and at certain times of the year, watch the sheep being shorn. We are happy to point you in the right direction, so you can experience heartland New Zealand at it finest.
There are many walks around the farm and surrounding areas. A 40 minute stroll (each way) up the Tangarakau river brings you to an amazing canyon layered with ocean fossils. This walk is flat and follows the abandoned narrow gauge railway, which was used to haul coal from the mines, down into the township to fire the power station. See the real New Zealand bush and abundant wildlife.
A longer walk will take 3 hours return to the top of Mount Pouatu. From the top on a clear day the views of Mount Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are breathtaking. Be sure to take some water with you.
The Forgotten World Highway is an internationally renowned cycle trail. The entire length can be cycled, or sections of it to make for a trip that lasts from several hours to several days.
Approximately 20 minutes from Bushlands Campground is Whangamomona, which boasts the famous Whanga Pub offering great food and a relaxing place to enjoy a beer. The closest shops are in Stratford and Taumarunui, at either end of the Forgotten World Highway.