Dargaville — Auckland (2-3 days, 118km)

The Kaipara Missing Link joins Dargaville, the end of the Kauri Coast Cycleway, with Central Auckland via a boat trip on the Kaipara Harbour.

The Kaipara Missing Link heads southwest from Dargaville to the holiday village of Pouto Point at the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.

The missing link to this cycle tour involves a boat trip across the Kaipara Harbour.

The trail then follows a surprisingly gentle route into the very centre of Auckland.

This geothermal water recreation centre is a whole lot of fun and comes complete with large indoor and outdoor pools and two thrilling hydroslides. BBQ and picnic areas are located through the park.

Pretty harbourside Helensville is a vintage village with restored Victorian buildings housing antique and collectibles shops, hotels and cafes. Browse the gift shops and the Art on Track gallery showing and selling the work of local artists and check out the Railway Museum. With a main street that curves enticingly, a meandering river through the town and salt air sweeping in from the nearby tidal Kaipara Harbour, it’s a town with plenty of appeal. Walkers and cyclists have many options and the adventurous can take harbour cruises, join a fishing charter or hire a horse

Kaipara Missing Link cycle route


Dargaville to Auckland (118km, 2-3 days) – Grade 3 Intermediate

Cycle west from Dargaville on River Road, which becomes Pouto Road.

The village of Te Kopuru lies 11km from town and has a general store, where extra supplies can be purchased.

Warning: Poutu Road has very little shoulder space, and is sometimes busy with logging trucks and other traffic. There is not enough space for two trucks to pass each other and you at the same time. If you think this might occur, pull off the road. Logging traffic does not usually operate during weekends or public holidays.

From Te Kopuru, either continue along Pouto Road directly to Pouto Point or turn right onto West Coast Road, then left onto Redhill Road, right onto Glinks Road and cycle out to the coast. From the coast, it is possible to cycle south down the beach 2½-hours either side of low tide.

If continuing along Pouto Road, at the 45km mark from Dargaville, either turn left and drop down a gravel road to visit Kellys Bay or continue straight ahead on a sealed road. If visiting Kellys Bay, take a steep gravel-road climb to loop back to Pouto Road 5km further southwest.

Continue southwest for about 15km to Pouto Village (the last 5km is a gravel road).

A boat trip can be arranged across Kaipara Harbour from Pouto Village to Parakai, 3km from Helensville.

Consider spending some time exploring the Pouto Peninsula’s beautiful scenery before you head out onto the Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand’s largest inland harbour.

If you charter a boat it will cost around $450 to make the crossing. A great alternative is to join a fishing trip, which will cost a lot less and give you a brilliant few hours of fishing on the harbour.

From the main street in Helensville, head right up any side street to reach Garfield Road. Turn right along Garfield, which becomes Wishart Road and then Old North Road where it meets Inland Road on the left. Keep on Old North Road until Nixon Road (also known as Taupaki Road), which becomes Red Hills Road as it leads to the west Auckland suburb of Massey (19 km from downtown Auckland).

Warning: The 200-metre section of Don Buck Road between Red Hills Road and Triangle Road does not meet New Zealand Cycle Trail safety criteria. We recommend you dismount and walk this short section.

Use the Auckland Transport Cycle Route maps to follow the commuting cycle paths and lanes from Massey to the top of Queen Street in central Auckland. The route is signposted most of the way as North West Cycle Route.

Acknowledgment: The information for this write up is from Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails by the Kennett Brothers.

Getting There

Bus to Dargaville or continue this tour from the end of the Kauri Coast Cycleway.

Visitor Information

Mobile Phone Coverage: Cell phone available along the length of the trail.

There are no shops at Pouto. Supplies can be purchased at Dargaville, Te Kopuru and Helensville.

Be Prepared

Cycling straight from Dargaville out to the west coast and along the beach all the way to Pouto is the best way to go in favourable winds but can only be done within 2½ hours either side of low tide, so check the tide times carefully before committing to this option.

Pouto has 1/3 of the rainfall found further inland.

The boat across the Kaipara Harbour takes 2–3 hours depending on conditions. Bad weather may postpone the trip.

Trail Surface: Approximately 65km of Pouto Road is sealed and the rest unsealed.


Accommodation options are available in Dargaville, Kellys Bay (campground), Pouto, Helensville and Auckland.

There are no shops at Pouto. Supplies can be purchased at Dargaville, Te Kopuru and Helensville.

Mobile Phone Coverage: Coverage available at Dargaville and Parakai, and from Helensville South.

Crossings of Kaipara Harbour can be made via:

  • Shamrock Charters Kaipara Ph: 09 420 7061 or Mob: 027 568 2447
%d bloggers like this: