Welcome to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust is a heritage railway in Kawakawa, in the Bay of Islands region of the Far North, New Zealand, also home of the world famous Hundertwasser toilets.
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is unique as it is the only working railway in New Zealand where the trains travel down a State Highway and right through the middle of a busy town.
We are running return trains every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at present, departing 10.45am, 12 noon, 1.15pm and 2.30pm from Kawakawa Railway Station – see time table for more information. Outside these times, Special Excursion trains can be arranged – contact us to make a booking.
Please comply with COVID Government regulations aboard the train and on our premises. Please wear face masks, observe distancing rules around BOIVR station platforms and in the shop and on trains, and sign in (QR codes on station platform and in trains).
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit charity, and the most northerly railway in New Zealand. It is of significant historical and cultural importance. The railway at Kawakawa was the North Island’s first railway to be opened and our first steam loco ran the first rail passenger train in New Zealand. It is now celebrating over 150 years of Rail in North Island. The station in Kawakawa was built in 1911 to replace the first that had been destroyed by fire, and is recognised by the Rail Heritage Trust and Far North District Council as being of heritage significance.
Today the railway operates on a section of the former Opua track and offers vintage train rides to visitors using diesel locomotives as far as the Long Bridge – the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
Enjoy a ride through scenic countryside for a unique experience and a great family day out whatever the weather!
Please note: our star attraction Gabriel, built in 1927, a fine example of a working steam engine and the only one of her class left in the world is, unfortunately, unable to run as she needs a new boiler (costing $350,000) so vintage diesel engines haul all our trains.
See our “What’s Happening” page for the latest updates.
TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL
Part of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail runs next to the live track between Kawakawa and Taumarere, then temporarily on top of our line for the remainder of the distance to Opua. More info . . .