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Escape to Ghost Town

1st November 2017

Opener

Over a weekend in October, four riders traveled to Piopio in New Zealand to ride to the remote village of Tangarakau, also known as Ghost Town. The small settlement, which translates as "to fell trees" seems appropriate, as there's nothing but paddocks where a community of twelve hundred tunnel and railway workers once thrived.

 

Tangarakau was at one time the second largest town in central Taranaki. The town was the construction centre of a railway built between Stratford and Okahukara in the 1920s. The work was slow as the builders could only use pick axes and dynamite.

 

After the line was completed in 1932, the workers drifted away and most buildings were dismantled and removed. During the 1960s, the population dwindled to eight. The area is now an isolated farming area with a camping ground.

 

The multi-day journey to the village and surrounding settlements covered arduous mixed terrain - including plenty of gravel - and was beset by the lush backdrops and unmade roads through the picturesque valleys of Aria, Tangarakau and Whangamomona.

 

Below is a selection of images from their trip. The full feature will be documented in New Zealand Cycling Journal Volume 3.

 

Roll OutAria TileAriaHorseDoggoCowsNowhere GravelSummitingWheres WollyBorderOff the frontOhuraCrackedOhura TilePeepingOver the BarsFH BridgeGorgeBrave FacesDeadDinnerGear UpThe BrosDeepUnder the BridgeThis WaySwitchbackOld MatePark UpWhangamomonaPubBeer