TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: The tunnel on the Opua to Kawakawa section of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail is temporarily closed for repairs. A detour is in place and the trail remains open. Further details are available here. (6 December 2017)
Bay of Islands — Hokianga Harbour (2 days, 87km)
Cycle Coast to Coast
The Twin Coast Cycle Trail (Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail) travels from the famously beautiful Bay of Islands to the remote and picturesque Hokianga Harbour, or vice versa. Due to its sub-tropical climate – it can be ridden all year round – hence the name “winterless north”.
The trail is 87 km and is divided into four sections and can be ridden in either direction. The central point is Kaikoke and from there the trail descends to the East and the West coasts.
The trail goes through diverse and stunning scenery with magnificent views, native bush, suspension bridges, waterfalls, beautiful streams, estuaries, harbours, boardwalks, disused train corridors and tunnels. It also takes you on a fascinating journey through some of New Zealand’s earliest Maori and European settlements. Story boards along the way bring to life the history and stories of the local people. Visit the Far North to discover the birthplace of the nation.
The bike ride is suitable for most riders as it is generally flat with gentle climbs – most of it being easy with a few harder hills. The surface is fairly good and can be ridden all year round. Some cyclists do the trail in a day, others take 2 days, some spread it over a few days and take in all the surrounding areas have on offer as well.
There are cafes, shops and accommodation available in all the towns along the trail to gather energy and supplies.
Public toilets are available in all the towns, there is also a toilet midway on all the sections of the trail except the 14km from Kaikohe to Okaihau.
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.