They've been working on the rail lines since 2012, but now it's time for Carol and Dave Digby to make tracks.

The couple have been a familiar sight to many in the area, as they lead tour groups out on the old rail tracks as part of the Forgotten World Adventures golf cart tours.

This season, however, the golf cart tours will be running without Carol and Dave guiding them.

"It was time to step down from the role. It's been a wonderful seven years working with the team at Forgotten World Adventures, but we have made the decision to stop, although Dave will stay on a bit to help train a new guide."


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Carol says Dave turned 70 last year, and the couple felt it was time to make some changes in their working life.

While many people might see turning 70 as a step towards retirement, Dave says this isn't the case for him.

"We actually want to spend more time on our own business, Eastern Taranaki Experience, as well as having more time together. So it isn't retirement at all, just a change in focus."

The couple have been running their own tourism business, Eastern Taranaki Experience, since 2001 and say it has continued growing throughout the years.

"We are spending more and more time taking our clients on organised tours, so it was no longer viable to do that and also be available to guide people on the Forgotten World Adventure tours. Nowadays, our tours take us all over New Zealand, we are getting busier and busier."

The success of their own business was one of the things that led to their involvement with Forgotten World Adventures, says Carol.

"When Ian Balme, the founder of Forgotten World Adventures, was setting up the tours in Taranaki, he knew he would need some local guides at the Stratford end. He asked various iSites around the area, as far out as Ohakune, who they would recommend, and every single one gave him our names."


Ian says Dave and Carol will be missed by all at FWA.

"We bid a sad farewell to Dave and Carol as deeply valued Forgotten World Adventures guides. They have played an instrumental role in the startup of the tours from Stratford and Douglas end to the Republic of Whangamomona. Their deep-rooted knowledge of the area's history and support with regard to managing their tours will always be remembered and appreciated. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours."

Dave says he thinks it is the fact he and Carol love what they do that has made their company so successful through the years.

"I think you have to be a people person, because you spend a lot of time with clients who start as strangers, but really become friends. You also have to enjoy the environment you are exploring with them, if you love it, then it comes across and your passion helps ignite it in others."

Dave says anyone taking on the guiding role with Forgotten World Adventures will find it to be a job like no other.

"It really is great, you get to spend your days out on the old disused train tracks, exploring our beautiful countryside. You certainly need to be fit, to enjoy spending time with people, and be mechanically minded to get things working when needed."

Over the seven years, Carol says they have spent hundreds of hours out on the tracks with Carol often doing the catering, providing morning teas and lunches for the tourists as they stop at the old train stations at Douglas and Te Wera.

"It's been unique, the role we have had with Forgotten World Adventures, and Dave and I have been lucky to spend so many hours and days working in the environment we love."

Now, says Dave, he and Carol are even luckier, as they get to continue working in the countryside they love, doing what they love, but also spending more time with each other as well.