Opua Kawakawa section open with two options available

1. Via Taumarere & Te Ake Ake / Grade 1 • 11km • 1 hour (includes train ride)

You will need to take a train ride to get from Taumarere to Te Ake Ake if riding from Kawakawa, or vice versa if riding from Ōpua, to complete this part of your journey.

February to April 2024 Train Schedule – Bay of Islands Vintage Railway

Trains will depart three times on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and most days throughout February and March, with extra services running over Easter and during the April School Holidays. Click here to see the most up-to-date train timetable.

Train bookings

Bookings essential. Click here to reserve a spot on the train for you and your bike.

Ticket Pricing

One-way ticket: $10.00 per person Return ticket: $15.00 per person The ride between Kawakawa and Taumarere is easy and ideal for inexperienced riders. The trail follows the southern edge of the Kawakawa River plain alongside the second oldest railway line in New Zealand. Between Te Ake Ake and Ōpua the trail continues alongside the river. This was once the main access way for Māori travelling to and from the area. Ponder the history and enjoy stunning estuarine scenery on your way to or from Ōpua.

2. Via Whangae & Oromahoe Roads / Grade 3 • 17km • 1.5 hours

This is an alternative route on quiet country roads suitable for experienced riders. There are hills that require a reasonable fitness level, especially if riding from Kawakawa, but there is also plenty of downhill freewheeling. This route will take you through farmland and the beautiful Ōpua State Forest, with its stately Kauri trees and panoramic ocean views. The easiest way to ride this route is to start at the Top O’ The Hill reserve on the corner of SH11 and English Bay Road in Ōpua. Follow the signs along Oromahoe Road and Whangae Road, then cross the Kawakawa River plain to arrive at Te Hononga in Kawakawa.

Opua to Kawakawa

Trail Status – 1 Alert: As Above – Open for the summer starting Boxing Day Opua Kawakawa section. Distance – 11km Grade – 1 easy

Trail Highlights

  • Opua – beautiful marina
  • Cycling next to the water – marina views, mangrove, estuary and crossing rivers
  • Taumarere Railway Station – toilet and picnic spot
  • Hundertwasser architecture at the toilets in Kawakawa
  • Te Hononga Kawakawa

Trail Overview

  • You can ride the trail in both directions between Opua and Horeke. The most popular option is riding downhill in both directions from the centre of the trail which is located in Kaikohe. Ride from Kaikohe towards the east coast to Opua one day and towards the west coast from Kaikohe to Horeke the second day.
  • Opua is a bustling commercial port with a large marina and boatyard. It is the first port for oversea yachts arriving in NZ after crossing the Pacific Ocean.  Opua also has the car ferry from Russell.
  • The cycle trail starts at the end of Baffin Street, Opua.
  • Your Destination Kawakawa is a vibrant rural town with some big tourist attractions.
  • The perfect toilet stop in Kawakawa is Hundertwasser toilets. There are cafes, a small supermarket, museum, art gallery and plenty of craft and gift shops.
  • Visit Te Hononga, A Hundertwasser inspired community Hub
  • The vintage trains also travel along the main street, the only place in NZ where this happens

The Basics

  • Keep to the trail and do not cycle on the railway line
  • On the trail – One toilet at Taumarere train station
  • Flat, easy, scenic cycling
  • Parking, toilets and food at both Opua and Kawakawa
  • For 3 km from Taumarere station to Kawakawa you will share the trail with the train please make sure you do not ride on the tracks.
  • 3 km from Taumarere station to Kawakawa – You can also experience a steam train ride – the train is specially set up for cyclist and bikes and welcome you aboard. Train timetable and costs.  http://www.bayofislandsvintagerailway.org.nz/
Important – Don’t forget to lock your bike!


  • Baffin St carpark at the entrance to cycle trail
Along trail
  • United Kawakawa Rugby /Netball Club –  7km from Opua and 4km from Kawakawa
  • Johnson Park, Kawakawa
  • Kawakawa Railway Station, Gillies Street
  • In the public car park opposite the Star Hotel (access from Old Whangae Rd)


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