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New Zealand

Ohura - Abandoned Town

  • Art & Heritage

Ghosts, rusting machinery and derelict shops on the Forgotten Highway 43 North Island, New Zealand

Ohura a New Zealand ghost town. Many people have walked away from the main street leaving lives and possession behind. Enterprise has not died as the mobile coffee cart attests. A living reminder of what happens when people leave town on the Forgotten Highway 43, North Island, New Zealand.

Ohura main street, closed and empty, New Zealand
Ohura Main Street

Ohura’s main street is attractive with planted trees and still mowed the central median. There is civic pride in the town of just over 100 people. The state owned mines closed in the early 1970’s and the town’s fortunes plummeted. Then the railway line ceased. 

Now the town has the visitor an authentic archaeological site of the 1950 – 1960’s. There is even a shop display frozen in time complete with a table set for tea and cakes.

Ohura is a perfect place for your imagination to run riot with the possibilities of what is happening behind the closed, barred doors of Ohura.

I had a coffee and cornmeal muffin from a new venture in Ohura. A local thought there was business sense in offering refreshments to the visitors. She had been trading for four days and was already busy. Make sure to find her on the main street. Fiesta Fare trades from her cheerful mobile cafe.

Originally an area of Maori settlements with walking tracks between the Taranaki coast and Taumarunui using the Ohura River valley as a main access was the beginning of human settlement. Te Rukirangi Marae and Papakainga meeting house is located in Ohura.

Coal brought more than 5,000 people to the area and Ohura flourished with schools, churches, a railway station and a bustling main street.

Reviews & More on TripAdvisor

Ohura garden centre has seen better days, New Zealand
Ohura Garden Centre
Beautiful landscape, Ohura, Central North Island, NZ
Beautiful landscape, Ohura, Central North Island

Ohura to State Highway 43 Route
Ohura to Tangarakau, to junction State Highway 43 (Forgotten Highway), to Whangamomona.

Ohura has sparks of life include painting your house with birds and planting. The volunteer fire service has a depot. And, of course, it now has a mobile cafe for all those urban tourists.

Then, if Ohura is not enough to you have abandoned churches in Matau and Whangamomona. Keep a lookout for abandoned rural homes and derelict agricultural sheds on your Forgotten Highway journey. History does not need to be very old to be very interesting.

Reviews & More on TripAdvisor

The main street shop window has become a living room, Ohura, New Zealand @sara.mci
The main street shop window has become a living room, Ohura

No issues, it is not often NZ can offer a ghost town, complete with decay as a place to gawk and wonder.



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