Forgotten World Highway // New Zealand Pt. 3

Read Pt. 1 // Pt. 2

Our second day in New Zealand was definitely my favorite! From the moment my sister and I woke up, in our cute Airbnb, tucked into the beautiful hills of New Zealand, with the sweetest little pigs just outside our window, I knew it was going to be an amazing day. After trying out some farm fresh milk, and chatting with our Airbnb hostess, we packed up the car, and set off for a long drive on the Forgotten World Highway.

This drive takes you straight through the mountains of New Zealand's North Island, on a highway that lives up to its name. Throughout the day we saw maybe ten cars, making our much anticipated photo stops a breeze. We pretty much had the countryside to ourselves and it felt truly magical.

One of our favorite stops was the Moki Tunnel! Carved straight through the hillside, this tunnel felt like a portal to another world. (Middle-Earth, perhaps?) My sister and I were prepared to either be quick with our photos, so as not to inconvenience other travelers, or to wait our turn, as we expected a bit of traffic in this one-way tunnel. However, when we pulled up, there wasn't another car or soul in sight! We took our time, swapping photos, and exploring inside the tunnel, on foot.

Another favorite stop was when we rounded a corner in the Whangamomona Saddle, looked to our left, and realized we could see Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom, for all of you Lord of the Rings fans) in the distance! Neither of us had expected or known it would be visible from so far away, but there it was, standing tall and clear as day, on the horizon (last photo).

Our trip down the Forgotten World Highway ended in Stratford, a cute little town named after the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Here we enjoyed a cozy lunch next to the fire at The Well Cafe, and rested a bit before finishing out our drive.

*$20 Airbnb Credit towards your next trip -