Temporary closure of a section of the Cycle Trail.
As advertised a 2.6km section of the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail is closed for Rail Restoration works 13th September – 30th November 2021. More details here: https://twincoastcycletrail.kiwi.nz/
Please be respectful of the local work crew and safety fencing in place to keep everyone safe.
Full steam ahead for multi-million-dollar steam train-to-steamship experience
Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it will be full steam ahead for a $5.6 million community-led project to realign the existing Twin Coast cycle trail and resurrect the historic rail line from
Kawakawa to Opua.
Since 2014, the rail line has served as a critical, albeit temporary, part of the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail. However, following completion of strengthening work on the famous Long Bridge at Taumarere, it is now time to begin work reinstating the rail line and relocate the cycle way so the two tourist attractions can operate safely side-by-side. The project will also link with the steamship TSS The Minerva once its restoration is complete.
The visionary project, which is supported by over 120 volunteers, employees and contractors,
moves into its next stage with the recovery of the rail tracks from Taumarere to Akeake and the
employment of 22 locals from September to work across the project.
“This year has seen incredible progress across our team,” says Bay of Islands Vintage Railway
Trust Chair Sue Hamnett. “We are so proud of our dedicated volunteers restoring carriages,
engines and managing construction projects.”
The Engineering Workshop, opened in April, and the Service Centre build, in progress now at the
Kawakawa Station with local contractor Sita Construction, are great examples of the work
underway, she says.
“Both facilities are instrumental to us being able to bring on new employees and trainees. The
Minerva restoration in Opua is powering ahead with dedicated volunteers and new trainees helping with heritage restoration works alongside Shipwright John Clode, a naval architect and Maritime New Zealand.”
The project is being managed by Northland Adventure Experience (NAX), which was formed to
represent project partners Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust, Nga Tangariki O Ngāti Hine and Far North District Council.
Funded through Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, NAX is also
managing the complimentary project to realign the cycle trail. This will see the cycleway closed
temporarily 2.6km from the Long Bridge at Taumarere to Lone Cow/Akeake (approximately mid-way to Opua).
The cycleway closure will be effective from 13 September to 30 November.
Chair of the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust, Blue Newport, says the trust is working with cycle trail businesses to ensure they continue to operate with as little disruption as possible during the closure. With support from Far North District Council, Bay of Islands Vintage Railway will schedule a gold-coin shuttle train connection between the recovered section of the track for the summer season.
“The shuttle-train connection, scheduled from 1 December, will be a Ngā Haerenga New Zealand
Cycle Trails first and will offer a safe and fun workaround for cyclists and other trail users to
complete the popular East Coast section of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail trail,” says Mr Newport.
The project will see further trail closures as work progresses. These are due to begin from February 2022 and will be announced once planning is confirmed with the Far North District Council later this year.
All other sections of the 87km Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail will remain open to cyclists and other trail users.