Twin Coast Rail Trail

The Twin Coast Rail trail, or Pou Herenga Tai, between Kaikohe and Okaihau follows a disused railway, so it's an easy, undulating ride that takes you passed the Kaikohe aerodrome, through an old rail tunnel, wetlands, pine forests and native bush and past Lake Omapere.

To get the full ride gpx, select the "Route Sheets" tab above, and click on the download button.

The 2 minute video of our Dec 2016 ride is here:

We used Top Trail Hire and Tours (http://toptrail.co.nz). They collected us from our accommodation in Paihai, fitted us up with bikes and helmets, dropped us at the start of our ride South of Kaikohe, collected us at Okaihau and returned us to our accommodation. The price was very reasonable for such customised service - we can highly recommend them.

History: Kaikohe was linked to the national rail network in 1914. However in the early years of the line, not much rail traffic was generated. In November 1956, railcars ran through Kaikohe all the way to Okaihau. But demand decreased and the branch closed to passengers in 1976. Freight continued to decline and the branch closed in 1987 and the track has been lifted in 2010. The rail corridor through Kaikohe is still owned by the New Zealand Railways Corporation.

The trail is solid, gentle slopes, very smooth and mainly through farm land or bush.

Supplies are available only in Kaikohe and Okaihau

The Trail skirts the edge of Kaikohe. Within a 50 km radius of the town is the famous Bay of Island and the Waipoua, Puketi and Omahuta kauri forests. The town has  a population of just under 4000 people and is a shopping and service centre for an extensive farming district so it is sometimes referred to as "the hub of the north". Visit and explore the restored historic buildings including New Zealand's oldest courthouse, a blacksmith's shop and old gum digging equipment (150m from Station Rd exit to the cycleway).

The 80m long curving disused rail tunnel was built in 1915. You won't need a torch to see inside it, although we walked the length rather than ride it.

Lake Omapare is visible from the Trail. It is five km in length and covers 14 km², but only two to three metres deep at its deepest point. It is the ancient home of tuna, or eels. Originally, it was planned to lower the Lake to allow the train line through, but then the line was deviated so not to cause interference.

Okaihau means "Feast of Wind" in Maori. In 2006, it had a population of 717.  Okaihau became New Zealand's northernmost railway terminus. Passengers were catered for by mixed trains that carried freight as well and ran to slow timetables. Make sure you see the short (37m) rail tunnel under the highway, built in 1926.

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia. This page is on the Twin Coast Rail Trail N.Z.