Cycleway Category: Official NZ Cycling Trail
Bay of Islands — Hokianga Harbour (2 days, 84km)
Enjoy a relaxing journey through some of New Zealand’s earliest settlements on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail – Pou Herenga Tai.
The Far North is where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840. It is also where you’ll find some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenery and warmest weather.
The trail is generally flat and wide with a smooth surface and only gentle climbs. It includes off-road and on-road riding.
The off-road trail is built on an old rail corridor, making it suitable for riders of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.
The Twin Coast Cycle Trail offers a unique experience for riders, traversing rural farm country and passing through a number of small towns as well as many sites of historical and cultural significance.
Look out for the hand-carved pou along the route, which reflect the rich culture of this region and provide an artistic feature to this trail.
Some sections of the trail are open, while others are still under planning and construction. It’s anticipated that the entire 84km trail, from Opua to Horeke, will be completed in summer 2016.
The beautiful Hokianga Harbour includes the twin settlements of Omapere and Opononi, famous for the golden sand dunes that monopolise the view from the shoreline.
The Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa are not your usual public loos. The quirky structure features curved shapes and brightly coloured ceramic tiles and bottles.
A unique feature of this trail is the series of Pou erected along the route. Hand-carved by local iwi, these Pou recall the history and stories of both Maori and Pakeha settlements in and around the area.
There are cafes, shops and accommodation available in both Kaikohe and Okaihau, to restock your energy and supplies.
Public toilets are available at both ends of the trail in Kaikohe (Library Square) and Okaihau (2 Ponga Park).
DRINKING WATER: Northland’s lowland water quality is generally poor and not suitable for drinking. Despite the high rainfall compared with other parts of the country, the small area of land means most rainfall drains away to the rivers and the sea. The rivers are short, slow moving and are often heavily influenced by ocean tides. Any water taken from a river or stream should be boiled (3 mins), filtered or treated before drinking. Alternatively you can purchase commercially bottled water from the businesses along the trail, or ask to fill your water bottle after a coffee stop at one of the local cafés. During the hotter months it’s recommended you carry 1.5 – 2.5 litres of water per person per day.
MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Limited coverage along most sections of the cycleway.
The Far North enjoys a subtropical climate and the cycle trail is suited to all seasons. There is no definitive winter or summer, which makes it a wonderful place to explore and experience at any time of the year.
The region boasts up to 2000 hours of sunshine per year and enjoys moderate temperatures averaging from between 24°C (75°F) down to 14°C (57°F) with high humidity.
While often described as the ‘Winterless North’, like most of New Zealand, the weather can be changeable. It’s recommended you carry wind and waterproof clothing.