Kawakawa to Kaikohe

Trail Status - 1 Alert

On the trail between Kawakawa and Kaikohe there is the standard detour from the trail onto the road for a short distance.  Cyclists please be note that there are currently road works on this section of road, but you can still ride along it.

Distance - 34km

Grade - 1 - 2

Trail Highlights

  • Suspension Twin Bridges at Tuhipa
  • The Oratua Stream
  • Rural scenery cycling through forests and farms
  • Kaikohe Aerodrome
  • The Pioneer Village in Kaikohe

Dogs on the Trail

Dogs are prohibited from the following section:

The section of cycle trail which comes off Ngapipito Road and navigates to the suspension bridges also prohibits dogs.  Some local pig hunters had been accessing this area of the trail and then jumping into adjacent farms to hunt.
Apart from those sections listed above, dogs must be on a lead at all times.

Please check out the full Trail Code

Trail Overview

  • Kawakawa is a bustling rural town with some big tourist attractions.
  • The perfect toilet stop is Hundertwasser toilets.  There are cafes, a small supermarket, museum, art gallery and plenty of craft and gift shops.  The vintage trains also travel along the main street, the only place in NZ where this happens.
  • Leaving Kawakawa from just behind the railway station, the trail takes you past the back of Moerewa town, passing the disused wood mill and other industrial areas giving you an insight into a rural small town in New Zealand, there is a public toilet, a bakery, a small supermarket, butchery and a takaway in town.
  • The next 25km of the trail is a gradual incline to Kaikohe, passing the northernmost operational point of the railway at Otiria which recently stopped running. Beautiful waterfalls, the impressive Orauta Stream suspension bridges and rolling farmland.
  • Before you reach Kaikohe you will pass Kaikohe Aerodrome built in 1942 as a US Marines bomber base, is the largest grass strip in the Southern hemisphere used now by general aviation.
  • Arriving in Kaikohe - you are at the highest point of the trail. Kaikohe is a farming town in which you will find plenty of eateries and supermarkets and accommodation places.
  • Visit the Kaikohe Pioneer Village. Just 200 metres off the trail this 5 acre outdoor museum full of historic buildings and treasures welcomes visitors with its friendly staff and also offers complimentary tea, coffee and water!

“I cycled this section of the trail from West to East so I didn’t have the slight incline to Kaikohe at the end of my cycle! I thoroughly enjoyed the vistas of rural New Zealand and loved the Suspensions Bridges with the roaring river below!” Slightly unfit traveler – May 2017

The Basics

  • Parking, toilets and food at Kawakawa, Moerewa and Kaikohe
  • Toilet along the trail – between Otiria and Kaikohe at Rakautao 16.9 kms
  • Going East to West slight incline riding up to Kaikohe for approx. 3 kms
  • On Ngapipito Road between Otiria and Kaikohe the detour requires cyclists to ride on the road for about 500m before re-joining the formed trail

Important - Don’t forget to lock your bike!



  • Johnson Park, Kawakawa
  • Kawakawa Railway Station, Gillies Street
  • In the public car park opposite the Star Hotel (access from Old Whangae Rd)


  • Station Road (near Taumarere School)


  • Station Road (opposite Kaikohe Refuse Centre – small carpark)
  • Taheke Road Reserve (adjacent to Taheke Rd, SH12) – main carpark)

On Completion Tell Us About Your Ride