Whangamomona first stop for Americarna

Taranaki's 2012 Americarna.
Taranaki's 2012 Americarna.

Americarna isn't going around the mountain this year - instead it's going out to Whangamomona.

Ever since the first Americarna, participants have headed out west on a road trip that has taken the fleet of American cars from New Plymouth to a lunch stop at Opunake Beach, and then back again.

But after meeting with representatives from Whangamomona, the Americarna organisers have been convinced that the participants will enjoy a completely new experience by heading out east.

So at 10am sharp today, the fleet will depart New Plymouth Racecourse and head south to Midhirst.

There they will turn left on to Beaconsfield Rd and eventually connect to the Forgotten World Highway and out to Whangamomona.

A major challenge for the village will be how to accommodate up to 600 American vehicles. Even though the sports ground and camping ground will be made available for parking, all of the main street and area around the Whangamomona Hotel will also need to be used so all the participants can remain close to the action.

A number of activities and attraction are planned, including affordable half-hour trips aboard rail carts along the railway line to one of the tunnels on the former Stratford-Okahukura rail link. This will be a one-off opportunity and no better way for the visitors to get up close to nature and experience the real Taranaki outback in style.

The convoy will return via the same route - however some of the thirstiest vehicles may need to turn off to Stratford to refuel before returning to New Plymouth.

Taranaki Daily News