The Epic

As the name suggests, this is the big one! An utterly unforgettable four-day rail and jet boat adventure to 65 bridges, 24 tunnels plus a two-day Whanganui River journey by jet boat to the Bridge to Nowhere and Lauren's Lavender Farm.



Multi Day

Difficulty Level

Easy to Medium

Big one

Four magical days on this rail and jet boat adventure.

Immerse yourself completely in the Forgotten World landscape for four magical days on this rail and jet boat adventure, where all the details are taken care of. 

Day one of The Epic begins by RailCart, traversing panoramic expanses of rugged countryside and native bush. You’ll encounter 47 bridges and ride your personal railcart through 21 tunnels – structures that once built the area’s rich history. Our destination – Whangamomona  – New Zealand’s self-proclaimed republic. Here we savour hearty food, excellent company and rest for weary heads.


Day two continues through three more tunnels and 18 bridges towards Stratford. From here, bid adieu to your railcart, as a shuttle whisks us to Whanganui, where we spend the night.  

Day three, it’s all aboard the mail run, for a drive of discovery up the River Road. Our first stop is Pipiriki, a settlement on the eastern bank. Then it's all aboard the jet boat where you'll travel upstream to the Mangaparua Landing. It’s a short walk to our lunch stop at the supremely peaceful Bridge to Nowhere: learn its remarkable manmade history, and marvel at the nature slowly reclaiming it. The tranquil Blue Duck Station is our comfortable, eco-friendly accommodation.  


Day four the river journey continues in FWJ's jet boat the 'Ongaruhe' pausing for lunch at Lauren’s Lavender Farm. It’s then a pleasant jaunt to Taumarunui, where The Epic adventure ends and we say ‘so long, till next time’. No matter what you packed, you’ll leave with plenty of epic memories.

This trip is limited to 60 seats throughout the season. Due to the special nature of the railway, the schedule is subject to change.

Important Information

Included in your tour:

Enjoy lunch, morning and afternoon teas each day.

Accommodation, dinner and breakfast – except dinner in Whanganui (2nd night) of your personal choice and cost.

All transportation – railcart, shuttles and jet boat.  

Whatever you need overnight will be delivered ahead to your accommodation while you’re relaxing on the rails or river.

In this region the weather is changeable and it’s best to prepare for all conditions.  Tunnels can be very cool, even in summer. 

We suggest you bring/wear on the jet boat and in your railcart:

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (there will be great opportunities to use it!)
  • Binoculars
  • Water and extra snacks if required
  • Windproof/rainproof jacket with hood even in fine weather
  • Dress in fine layers rather than bulk (we love merino and cashmere)
  • Hat, scarf and gloves, sturdy footwear and warm socks you can walk in comfortably
  • Any personal medication as required
  • We may meet local artisans at some of our stops.  You may like to bring along a little cash in case something appeals.

Book The Epic

Route Map

  • My wife and I went on the River and Rail Run and it was one of the best trips we have done. The rail run was something completely different from anything we're done before. All of the staff were great attending to our every need. Maree in particular was very knowledgeable and great fun too. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone.

    Louis Lincoln, Spain

  • We booked as a surprise for our respective partners, the river and rail trip. From being greeted like lost friends at the front office by the girls to Alan on the jet-boat and Ray, Rob and Mitchell on the rail-carts and Vaughan on the bus, they have assembled an enthusiastic crew that made the day a pleasure wit their little quips, a great knowledge of the area and the scenery was second to none. A very professional setup that I would recommend to put on everyone's bucket list.

    B T Stiling

  • “Fantastic day highly recommend to all”- We did the river and rail run and had a fabulous time learning the history and taking in the wonderful countryside along the way. The guides were excellent and all the staff were very friendly and informative. Had a great lunch set up after the jet boat ride to prepare us for the rail run.

    Willeson, Auckland

  • We've wanted to go on the railcarts for some time and a visit from my brother and sister in law was the perfect excuse. We were greeted my big smiles when we arrived at FWA HQ. Those smiles were on every staff members face as we came across them at different junctures of the trip. The railcart was easy to drive and to trip to Tokirima was fun, scenic and informative. Our guide, Ray, drew on his personal knowledge of the people and area to make our journey very personable - I felt connected. The jetboat ride had the usual jet boat thrills but the Wanganui River is a very different character to the Shotover or Waikato. She's an old lady with lots of history and stories - and rapids of course.

    Tim, Owhango

  • Relaxing, kiwi adventure. Great scenery, old relics and history. Informative friendly guide. Recommend it for family and friend groups. Close encounters with locals and animals and nature.

    Susan Bones