Taumarunui on a cold day can feel a bit miserable, but this town in the heart of the King Country has potential. The main reason to stay here is to kayak on the Whanganui River or as a cheaper base for skiing in Tongariro National Park. There are also some beaut walks and cycling tracks around town.
For details on the Forgotten World Hwy between Taumarunui and Stratford, contact Eastern Taranaki Experience. Details on canoeing and kayaking on the Whanganui River can be obtained from Whanganui National Park.