If you’re looking for a unique golf cart adventure then head to New Zealand and experience the Forgotten World Railway with a ride in a specially converted golf cart. These carts were originally from a golf course in Georgia, the home of the golf cart, and were shipped out to New Zealand to be converted for use on a railway track with specially engineered high-rail gear.
First a bit of a history lesson. In 1901 construction on the Stratford to Okahukura railway was started and took nearly 32 years to complete, at a cost of over 2 million UK pounds (over 9.4 billion today). The railway features 24 tunnels (for a total tunneled distance of 10.4 km) that were carved from the hillsides and enabled mines and sawmills along its route to operate.
Declining use and improved road links combined with the fact that the line proved expensive to maintain meant that the line was closed in 2009. In 2011 Forgotten World Adventures secured a 30 year lease on the line and converted several gas golf carts to be able to run on the line. They now offer several different tours along the railway for budding adventurers who want to experience the spectacular scenery and learn more about the line's history and the communities that thrived along it.
Gas golf carts are being used as they would have a longer range than electric carts and no doubt have been fitted with larger gas tanks to further improve their range. The carts can seat two or four people and are fitted with seat belts. The carts are also fitted with bike racks for those who want to explore away from the railway at several of the different tour stops.
After watching the Lord of the Rings movies we've got a sense of the beauty of the New Zealand landscape and from the looks of the photos of these tours it won't be a disappointment.
Here's a short YouTube video we found of a pair of adventurers driving down the railway on one of the converted golf cars. This trip has made it onto our "Bucket List".