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Kiwi Towns

What’s So Great about Whangamomona

Forgotten Highway 43, New Zealand Road Trip

Whangamomona Hotel is a tourist hot spot Forgotten Highway style. Collect a passport stamp (separate piece of paper – not in your actual passport) to prove you’ve entered the Republic of Whangamomona

Whangamomona local, New Zealand
Whangamomona Local

People, cars and bikes parked by the pub to obtain a passport stamp. Fee is ($2 fee) for proof you have entered the Republic of Whangamomona. A quirky resilient settlement resisting economic decline with its reinvention as a tourist hot spot. Whangamomona has kept its rural charm yet makes a seriously good coffee. Classics such as burger and fries, fish or steak are menu favourites.





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Whangamomona resisted the change in local council government, from Taranaki to Manawatu with residents declaring Whangamomona a republic in 1989. 


The Republic Day is now celebrated biennially in January attracting thousands of visitors. The town has an elected president. A goat was elected president in 1999. Billy the Kid lasted a couple of terms before dying in office and although no one’s been charged, it did look suspicious. Other presidents have included a dog and a Czech shearer.

Whangamomona Saddle sign
Whangamomona Saddle, Forgotten Highway

The museum in town is located in the McCluggage Store, it’s full of curiosities, artefacts that needed a good final resting place. Don’t worry if it is not labelled and described museum-style. Just guess and enjoy wandering around. Donations are welcome to support the collecting effects. The pub is also full of old photos and things that look useful circa 1900’s.




Whangamomona Hotel, New Zealand
Whangamomona Hotel

Hotel reception will be able to provide excellent up-to-date information. Do not miss the abandoned Catholic church just before the campground on Whangamomona Rd which starts by the hotel. The walk has pastoral and river views. You are walking on a paper road, closed to traffic. 


Walk behind the pub on Whangamomona Rd, past the campground and discover a paper road is open to the public. The 55 km road is an adventure trek for mountain bikers and hikers.

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Check out behind the hotel for photo opportunities of the abandoned Catholic church complete with grazing livestock.

Abandoned Catholic church, Whangamomona, Forgotton Highway, North Island, NZ
Abandoned Catholic Church, Whangamomona, Forgotten Highway
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