Taumarunui was settled in the mid 1800's, built around a significant river junction and trading point for early Maori. The two great rivers, the Wanganui and Ongarue meet in the town at a place now known as Cherry Grove. The 1st European Alexander Bell setup a trading post in 1874, and there is a road called Bell Road. The town prospered well into the 80's, with saw-milling and the railways being it's main industries. Geographically situated exactly half way between the North Islands' main centre's of Auckland and Wellington, Taumarunui was a major stop on the rail journey between the two cities. The loss of saw-milling activity and the railways meant the town went into an economic slide for 20 years after 1990. 2010 onwards saw it re-emerge as a destination for recreational activity such as skiing, hiking, cycling, and fishing. The formation in 2012 of Forgotten World Adventures on Taumarunui's main street, has helped the prosperity of Taumarunui as an adventure destination.