The Expedition

Bring a sense of adventure for The Expedition; a two day, three part journey. Ride the rails through tunnels back through history, soar by helicopter over the Whanganui National Park to the Bridge to Nowhere, and zip up the mighty River by jet boat.



Two Day

Difficulty Level

Easy - Moderate

One for the bucket list

A pioneering spirit and a sense of adventure.

Here’s one for the bucket list. A chance to join the longest commercial jet boat tour in the Southern Hemisphere. Along the way you’ll appreciate the challenges faced by the first European settlers. Marvel at how they dug the rail line through, and learn about the role of the River as food source, transport and lifeline. Then take to the skies for views that can only be experienced by helicopter. On terra firma, highlights include a stroll through the lush native bush of Whanganui National Park to visit a bridge that few have crossed. 

Day One:

Begins our expedition by railcart down the Forgotten World Railway to the Republic of Whangamomona. Along the way you’ll experience more than 80km of total immersion into the true and tall tales woven into this special part of New Zealand. Stay the night in the Republic, and enjoy good food and a great yarn or two.  

Day Two:

Begins with a relaxed breakfast before your helicopter ride. Take in awe-inspiring birds eye views over Whanganui National Park, then touch down lightly near the Whanganui River. It’s a picturesque, 3km (45-minute) walk to the aptly named Bridge to Nowhere. Then a  further 3km (45 min) down  to meet 'Ongaruhe' – our flagship jet boat on the Whanganui River. The rest of the day is a chance to explore the sites and scenery upriver on your return to Taumarunui, where we say goodbye (for now). 

The Expedition is two full days and includes one night’s accommodation.

Important Information

Included in your tour :

Railcarts, Whangamomona accommodation (dinner, bed and breakfast), shuttles, helicopter flight, jet boat, lunch and morning and afternoon tea for both days.

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.
  • Change of clothes for the evening

If weather changes mean we can’t use the helicopter, you’ll be transported to the River by shuttle.


  • You need to be capable of walking 3km (40 min) to the Bridge to Nowhere on a moderately well-formed track and a further 3km on a well-formed track down to the Whanganui River.

Book The Expedition

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