Mount Taranaki Volcano and the Forgotten World Highway
Following the suggestion of a friend (thanks Jenny), we decided to take a detour to the Forgotten World Highway. A quick look on the map showed that the start of the road wasn’t far from a national park with a volcano in. I found a free place where we could camp overnight so presumed that meant the volcano was no longer active. Finally we had found a free camping site with incredible views and no other tourists!
As the sun set, the colours of the clouds and mountain were beautiful.
I then took it upon myself to just double check that it wasn’t an active volcano online and was a bit horrified to find articles saying ‘it’s not a matter of if, but when’ the volcano would next erupt! Hundreds of volunteers have already been trained in the region in preparation. Thankfully the wind then picked up so I had a very good reason to insist on moving to lower ground to sleep, but we did drive back up the following morning as the clouds had cleared and we could see for miles.
We stopped off half way down the mountain and enjoyed a short walk through the ‘Goblin Forest’.
The Forgotten World Highway was incredible. The 150km road has varied scenery passing through farmland, forests and gorges, although at times we wondered whether the road had its name because they’d forgotten to finish building it!
Jenny recommended the Forgotten World Highway as it was the highlight of her trip to New Zealand and we have to say that so far we agree! It’s much less touristy than anywhere we went on the South Island and the views are just incredible. Thank you Jenny!