Cyclists on the train and the Twin Coast Cycle Trail

The east-west Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycleway between Opua and Horeke on the Hokianga was opened for Christmas 2016. However, the section between Kawakawa and Opua was a temporary arrangement in order to put this Cycleway in place as quickly as possible and was built over the train tracks. As the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust continue to restore the heritage railway back to Opua the cycle trail needs to be realigned adjacent to the corridor.

The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycleway Trail currently runs alongside our railway line between Kawakawa and Taumarere Railway Stations. There is then a gap of about 3km in the section between Taumarere and Te Akeake which is being linked by our trains running 3 times daily every weekend all year, and additional every day in the school/public holidays. By using the “Cycle-Train” link (confirmed until 31 October 2023 as koha/donation only), cyclists may continue to Opua or vice versa if starting the trail at the Opua end – see “Visitor Info” for details about times and fares. Our open carriage Weka has fixings for 24 bikes, which are carried free for our passengers.

The remaining Cycleway section between Te Akeake and Opua is still open.  The permanent Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycleway structure is to be built between Taumarere and Opua and the Far North District Council have been proceeding through engineering design and planning stages 2022-2023 for a Shared Pathway, having confirmed their commitment and budget for the project September 2022, alongside the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust and KiwiRail’s support.  It is looking to be a beautiful and unique wetland, river and rail excursion fit for Great Rides status.

An alternative road 17.7 km route known as the Opua Whangae Road Trail was also opened December 2022, connecting Opua and Kawakawa, bringing cyclists to Te Hononga Civic Centre, Kawakawa.  This route is only suitable for adult cyclists (12yrs+) with good experience, but does mean cyclists are able to continue the Great Ride without the train-connection.


The public are reminded that they must not use any railway track or bridges at any time other than the open sections of the trail – please use the designated Cycle Trail for your own safety.  We have controlled heritage rail journeys and excursions, private charters and also work crews and operators using the rail corridor for restoration work.  It is strictly restricted access and considered Trespass for cyclists or pedestrians to be in the gated-closed section between Taumarere and Te Akeake.

The cycle trail detour currently runs over the railway tunnel 80 metres long. The tunnel is closed at present – please do not attempt to travel through it. Please use the track going over the top, thank you, noting it is steep and above grade for the trail.  Allow time in your schedule for this detour!

Please give way to all rail traffic and stay safe by stopping and waiting away from the tracks, and obeying signals from the Guard or Engine crew around the stations at Kawakawa, Tuamarere and Te Akeake.

The railway bridge, called “Long Bridge”, at Taumarere, has been re-piled. All 33 piers/abutments have been completed. However, at present this bridge is shut without public access. By using trains, we are now able to cross it and rejoin the cycleway “gap”.

The cycleway is the responsibility of FNDC – please see the Council website and Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycleway Trail website for further information or to report maintenance issues.

See also our News section for the latest information about the Railway.