Welcome to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway

Bay of Islands Vintage Steam Railway, Kawakawa, New Zealand

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust is a heritage Steam 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 schedule 4 trains to run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday all year, and every day in school holidays. Outside this schedule, Special Excursion trains can be arranged – contact us to make a booking.

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 the first to run a rail passenger service in the North Island. It is now celebrating 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; unfortunately, at present she cannot 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.