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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.
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.