Welcome to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway

Bay of Islands Vintage Steam Railway, Kawakawa, New ZealandThe Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust is a heritage Steam railway in Kawakawa, home of the world famous Hundertwasser toilets, in the Bay of Islands region of the Far North, New Zealand.

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.

We schedule 4 trains every weekend – Friday to Sunday inclusive, and every day in school holidays.

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.

Our star attraction Gabriel, built in 1927, is a fine example of a working steam engine and is the only one of her class left in the world. At present she cannot run as she needs a new boiler (costing $350,000) so our vintage diesel engines haul all our trains.

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is the most Northerly railway in New Zealand and is of significant historical and cultural importance. The station in Kawakawa was built 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 train rides to visitors using diesel locomotives. Enjoy a ride through scenic countryside for a unique experience and a great family day out whatever the weather!

See our “What’s Happening” page for the latest updates.