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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

Twin Coast Cycle Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Northland, North Island

Planning on riding the Twin Coast Cycle Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip.

The Twin Coast Cycle Trail will run a total of 84 kilometers from Horeke, a settlement in the inner harbour of the Hokianga to
Opua in the beautiful Bay of Islands. This trail is steeped in historical significance for early New Zealand history.

The trail will pass through some of New Zealand's earliest European and Maori settlements and the Far North District. 20kms is currently open in two sections of 14kms from the historic village of Okaihau near Lake Omapere to Kaikohe, which features sites of early Maori-European contact and conflict, then extends for a further 6kms south of Kaikohe. The village of Okaihau was once a hub of early agricultural settlement and development.

After leaving Okaihau, the trail follows sections of an old railway corridor crossing through an 80m

tunnel. The old railway track was built on the ancient pathways and trails the Maori used to travel

from East to West from coast to coast. The same trails were used later by the missionaries. The

trail passes Lake Omapere, Northlands largest lake which is also significant in Maori mythology and

a number of wonderful stories are to be told on the Pou Pou. The entire Twin Coast Cycle Trail is

unique in that Pou Pou, carved wooden statues made from local trees to bring to life the stories of

the landscapes and local people.

After leaving Okaihau, the trail follows sections of an old railway corridor crossing through an 80m tunnel. The old railway track was built on the ancient pathways and trails the Maori used to travel from East to West from coast to coast. The same trails were used later by the missionaries. The trail passes Lake Omapere, Northlands largest lake which is also significant in Maori mythology and a number of wonderful stories are to be told on the Pou Pou. The entire Twin Coast Cycle Trail is unique in that Pou Pou, carved wooden statues made from local trees to bring to life the stories of the landscapes and local people.

The first section of the trail, from Kaikohe to Okaihau, is open and ready to ride now. Kaikohe which features sites of early Maori-European contact and conflict. Be sure to check out Heritage Kaikohe with its museum of early settlement and transport. From the centre of Kaikohe, ride west on the main road (Highway 12) until you reach a rest area 400 metres past the Mid North Motor Inn. Look to your right and you will see a gate at the start of the trail. Carefully shuffle across the first of several cattle stops to start your ride on the smooth, flat rail trail. It doesn’t get any easier than this. After 15 to 20 minutes of scenic riding you will reach an old tunnel. Slow down and let your eyes adjust to the dark.

Beyond the tunnel the trail continues north, skirting past Lake Omapere - Northlands largest lake which is also significant in Maori mythology - before reaching the small town of Okaihau, 13.5 km from Kaikohe. Here there is a small ford to cross and another tunnel, right under the main street. Okaihau has two dairies, a takeaways shop, a pub and even a hardware store. After refuelling, head back the same way. The last section into Kaikohe is gently downhill.

 

     

Photos

  • Picture 2
  • far north coast to coast
  • Opua
  • Kawakawa
  • Twin Coast 2
  • Twin Coast 3
  • Twin Coast 4

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Comments

  • Another project undertaken by the FNDC and now neglected stock crap on the trail, horses running lose obvious this is there method of vegetation control,However a good ride very steep and lose roading chip in places not a good surface to ride on but a great day out.

    Posted by Roger Tombleson, 17/02/2013 11:59am (1 year ago)

  • completed the Kaikohe-Okaihau-return section and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the access to off-road parts of the midnorth community. Beautiful countryside! Just like to reinforce: information signage will enhance and encourage more users. Looking forward to the completion of next section...

    Posted by Vera Young, 10/02/2013 9:09pm (1 year ago)

  • @Rai -- Fantastic, glad you enjoyed the ride! We'll pass the comment on regarding lights to the trail crew.

    @Mitch - Not a bad idea, we'll add this to our list. Just for your reference though, all of the Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project are 'off road' rides and aren't really suitable for road bikes. You could get by with a hybrid on most but a road bike would be asking for punctures (and a rather uncomfy trip!)

    Posted by Matt, 23/01/2013 2:58pm (1 year ago)

  • I and my 7-year-old daughter cycled from Okaihau to Kaikohe and back. We both really enjoyed the ride and will do it again sometime in the future. Hopefully the whole track will be open to the public by then! Highlights were the tunnel and the bumpy fun ride half way through beside the main track. Suggestion: maybe a light in the middle of the tunnel could be turned on automatically when entering the tunnel and turned off when leaving the tunnel.

    Posted by Rai, 20/01/2013 11:22am (1 year ago)

  • Suggestion:

    It would be good to know what the surface of the track / road is like in order to select the appropriate type of bike. i.e. is a mountain bike required or can this trail be done on a road bike?

    Posted by Mitch, 27/12/2012 8:15am (1 year ago)

  • I enjoyed the ride but would have liked to have seen some information boards explaining the history and maybe some old photos off the area as you ride through.

    Posted by Lynette, 19/06/2012 9:51pm (2 years ago)

  • Hi There

    When do you think you'll have the balance of the cycle trail finished? From the comment below by Paul, it sounds like there may be a bit of a wait before completion of the track can start!

    Posted by Bob, 18/06/2012 5:16pm (2 years ago)

  • Juust to let readers know that the two complete sections of the Twin Coast Cycle trail are now joined. You can now ride 20kms from start to finish on Rail Trail all the way.

    Posted by Ray Clarke, 09/06/2012 2:37pm (2 years ago)

  • Over Easter I completed the trail from Kaikohe to Okaihau return and as others have stated it is a credit to the builders as was an enjoyable ride on a well constructed trail. It was great to see so many people on the trail especially families so it is definately being well utilised. The Kaikohe end is well signposted with good parking.

    However, there is more to ride than that one section.
    From the Kaikohe end drive into town and turn right onto Station Road East. Just past the park (approx 600m) is the entrance to another fully completed short stage of 7km. Its well signposted. Unfortunately it stops when it meets Mangakahia Rd and by the look of the some signs on the fences from the land owners its going to be some time before it goes any further.
    Good luck and enjoy the ride

    Posted by Paul, 11/04/2012 1:37pm (2 years ago)

  • Hi what is the ride from Opua to Kaikohe Like. ???

    Posted by Dianne , 06/03/2012 9:10am (2 years ago)

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