Through The Hills

Through The Hills

The search for 11 tunnels, One Republic and a bridge that leads somewhere?

Ever since the Taranaki Daily News ran the 2018 story, “Taranaki’s $40k road in the back of Beyond”, the bike packing and gravel communities have had one thing on their minds: to explore the Taranaki tunnels.

Through the hills (and the pages of history), a 350km bike packing route encompasses 11 of Taranaki’s historic hand-dug tunnels. This first-hand account offers everything from the oldest tunnel, completed in 1894, to the famous Hobbit Hole, Taranaki’s longest road tunnel; from shared pathways to roads unmaintained since the last settler walked off the land in the 1940s. Could this public course become one of NZ’s Great Rides or Heartland routes?

This ride is suitable to be ridden in either direction and can be started anywhere on the route.

Read the full article here.

Side notes.

In 1989, regional boundaries were re-drawn. Whangamomona (meaning fat valley in Maori) officially became part of the Manawatu/Whanganui region. In protest, the residents of this proud Taranaki settlement declared Whangamomona a republic on 1st November 1989.

Accommodation and re-supply:


What Whangamomona lacks in re-supply options, it makes up for as the ideal start-finish point with food, a cold beverage and accommodation available at the Whangamomona Hotel: 06 762 5823

Alternatively, campsites are available at the Whangamomona Camp Ground: 06 762 5881


The largest town on the route, Stratford has a supermarket and 4 square. 

Stay at the bike-friendly Stratford Motel and Holiday Park: 06 765 6440


Urenui 4 square has a wide range to keep you fueled back to Whangamona, with a local fish and chip shop a short ride away from an evening of fish and chips on the beach at Urenui beach camp: 06 752 3838


Ohura is home to the finest Mexican hospitality. Be sure to pre-arrange your dinner with Michelle, owner of Fiesta Fare and Ohura B &B when you book your accommodation. Alternatively, ensure you’re prepared to cook for yourself, as Ohura has no re-supply options.

Ohura B & B: Michelle 022 0800848

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