THE CRAZY REPUBLIC OF WHANGAMAMONA
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
The Republic of Whangamamona
We love this one. Take the Forgotten World Highway from Taumarunui and you'll soon be in the heart of NZ's wild country, driving through tunnels on a (partly) dirt road, dense native forests and past wild rivers to the self-proclaimed Republic of Whangamamona (and if you want to keep going - all the way to the stunning Mt Taranaki and the surfing beaches on the West Coast).
The Republic, with its own President, Parliament and passports, was created 30 years ago and is one of the last bastions of pioneering independence in our country. Apart from a couple of human beings, previously elected presidents have included Billy the Goat, Tai the Poodle and Murt the Turtle. We attended the Republic's 19th Presidential elections last year and sadly three electoral candidates just missed the top spot - Sherman the Cockatoo, Eunice the Sheep, Maketoni the Teddy Bear. Republic Day is celebrated every other January and thousands flock to this old-world village to see its sheep races, wip snapping and other competitions – or just to spend the day of eating, drinking and being generally crazy.