The Glockenspiel is totally unique to the town of Stratford and just happens to be the first of its kind in our wonderful country, New Zealand.
There were no plans or designs from which to construct the Glockenspiel. As ideas from overseas were not viable, the whole project had to be designed from 'scratch' by the local engineers.
The Glockenspiel figures were created by the well known Nigel Ogle, owner of Tawhiti Museum just out of Hawera in South Taranaki. Nigel was appointed to plan and manufacture the figures. There are six figures in total. Three are of Romeo and three are of Juliet. Nigel has gained an international reputation for being able to create such lifelike figures.
The Glockenspiel shows each day at the following times; 10 am, 1 pm 3 pm and 7 pm.
The amazing Glockenspiel may be easily observed from opposite the clocktower on the footpath in Broadway (State Highway 3) just outside the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ)
The 'Forgotten World' Highway winds its way through sub-tropical rainforest and unblemished scenery, just as it was hundreds of years ago. This includes the beech ridge tops of the Whangamomona Saddle and the remarkable Tangarakau Gorge. The name 'Forgotten World' also represents the small communities and villages along the way, which in numerous ways have stayed untouched by the modern world, including the exclusive 'Republic' of Whangamomona
After the Highway leaves idyllic Taranaki, the trail drops down into the rolling and then steeper inland surroundings. The highway moves through valleys and over saddles, then on through countryside consisting of grasslands, rainforests and re-generating bush.
At several sites along the route, there are vivid reminders of the area's heritage - the declining villages, a brick kiln and boarding house. There is also a disused coalmine, coal seams on the verge, riverboat landings and historic Maori sites.
The route follows the floor of the impressive 'Tangarakau Gorge' and also follows the scenic 'Whanganui River' for around 20 kilometres.
A visit to Taranaki is definitely not complete without experiencing the immaculate environment and beauty that the Egmont National Park has to offer.
The alpine resorts are a very easy drive on sealed roads where the environment is one of tranquil bush and lovely streams. Some alpine walks can be enjoyed on the lower slopes and many start from accommodation locations. The higher altitude offers energizing fresh air and the slopes are an alluring attraction. The display centres within the Egmont National Park, both North Egmont (via Egmont Village on SH3) and Dawson Falls on South Egmont are recommended locations to visit.
EAST EGMONT East Egmont, accessed via Stratford, offers you the mountain skifield as well as the short Kamahi Walk through the Goblin Forest, with branches covered in thick grey-green moss.
A cafe service is available at the Mountain House on East Egmont.
The road continues up onto the plateau. This is the highest car park in the whole of Taranaki at an altitude of 1135 metres. Spectacular views of Fantham's Peak and the Summit can be seen from there.