A subtropical climate, miles of captivating coastline, and a fascinating history make Northland a great, all-year-round holiday destination. And now there’s yet another reason to visit: the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s northern-most Great Ride – the Twin Coast Cycle Trail – is officially open for business.
Running from the beautiful Bay of Islands on the east coast, to peaceful Hokianga Harbour on the west, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail offers riders the chance to pedal right across the width of New Zealand. Along the way, take in lake, river, bush and farmland views, the delights of small towns like Kawakawa and Kaikohe, and significant cultural sites such as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds near Paihi.
Mostly following disused railway trails, the route is flat and easy to ride. (The stretch from Okaihau and ending at Mangungu Mission is the most demanding). Like all Great Rides, you have the option of riding the entire 84km length, or splitting the route into shorter half or day rides.
Packed full of stunning coastal scenery, the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s must-see spots. It’s also an area of enormous historical significance. It was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up and first signed by 46 Maori chiefs in 1840. Take a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds near Paihi, to learn all about this significant event.
The Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa are definitely worth a pit stop. The quirky structure features curved shapes and brightly coloured ceramic tiles and bottles.
Near Horeke, you’ll get to cycle a 1.25km boardwalk, the longest boardwalk built on any trail in New Zealand.
As you make your way along the trail, keep an eye out for the distinct poupou carvings. Hand-crafted by local iwi, these recall the history and stories of the area, and are used as trail markers.
Beautiful Hokianga Harbour is a quiet and peaceful spot today, but it used to be one of the busiest and most populous parts of New Zealand. Even before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, its shores were being milled by timber men working from up to 20 ships at a time.
Fancy riding the Twin Coast Cycle Trail? We can supply you with bike hire. Send us an email if you’d like to start planning a trip.
Have a great week,
P.S. Although the Twin Coast Cycle Trail is officially open there are currently two short temporary detours – one on Ngapipito Road between Moerewa and Kaikohe, and another on Horeke Road. The detours require cyclists to ride on the road for about 500m before re-joining the formed trail. Check the official trail website for updates.
P.P.S. Talking of Waitangi…New Zealand is celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi this coming Monday (6 February), which means both our Auckland and Christchurch branches will be closed.