Status: Sections Open
Grade: Easy (2) - Intermediate (3)
Duration: 2 days
Total Length: 84km
The Twin Coast Cycle Trail - Pou Herenga Tai will pass through some of New Zealand's earliest European and Maori settlements and the Far North District, which gave birth to the Treaty of Waitangi.
The trail’s construction has been divided into four stages. The first section to be completed will be 14km of the old rail corridor between Kaikohe and Okaihau. In subsequent stages the trail will then run for 34km from Kaikohe to Kawakawa, 25km from Okaihau to Horeke and a further 11km from Kawakawa to Opua. The route will include some gentle climbs with wide paths which will allow cyclists to travel side-by-side for most of the journey.
The Far North features many areas of outstanding natural beauty within a unique coastal environment. It can boast of up to 2000 hours of sunshine each year and some of the best weather in New Zealand. The trail will cross rural farm country and pass through a number of small towns with sections of the trail following ancient Maori walking tracks. At its highest points the trail offers panoramic views to the east and west coasts, and offers many sites of historical and cultural significance.
A unique feature of this trail will be a series of Pou, carved by iwi, which will be erected along the trail route to recall the history and stories of both iwi and Pakeha settlements in and around the area.
- Opua, the gateway to the Bay of Islands and the maritime centre for the Far North;
- Kawakawa, home to the renowned Hundertwasser public toilets and famous for its Bay of Islands Vintage Railway which runs down the centre of the main street;
- Kaikohe, which features sites of early Maori-European contact and conflict, and Heritage Kaikohe with its museum of early settlement and transport plus an extraordinary begonia display;
- Ngawha Hot Pools (6km east of Kaikohe)
- Lake Omapere, the Far North's largest natural lake;
- Okaihau, a hub of early agricultural settlement and development
- The rail tunnel at Okaihau –an integral part of the trail route
- Horeke and the tranquillity and beauty of the upper reaches of the Hokianga Harbour;
- Opportunities for Marae visits and stays.
Best time to ride
The trail will be open throughout the year. The majority of the trail follows a former railway corridor, making any gradients easy to manage.
The trail can start at Opua on the East Coast or Horeke on the West Coast as well as being accessed from a number of towns along the trail including Kawakawa, Moerewa, Kaikohe and Okaihau.
Click here for more information, photos and maps.