The Twin Coast Cycle Trail from Bay of Islands to Hokianga


The 84km Bay of Islands to Hokianga Cycle Trail runs from Opua to Mangungu near Horeke on the Hokianga harbour and is close to Ohaeawai for much of this route. The cycleway construction has been divided into four stages. The first section to be completed, on 13km of an old rail corridor between Kaikohe and Okaihau, opened in 2011. The trail then runs for 34km from Kaikohe to Kawakawa, 25km from Okaihau to Horeke and a further 11km from Kawakawa to Opua.

The Twin Coast Cycle Trail is one of a series of 18 Great Rides that showcase the best that New Zealand has to offer in terms of New Zealand’s landscape, culture and communities. more »

Taiamai Plains

Rolling farmland surrounding Kaikohe, with dramatic volcanic cones. Other volcanic features include Ōmāpere, a shallow lake created by an ancient lava flow, and Ngāwhā thermal springs. Many of the cones are marked with pā fortifications that indicate the density of the early Māori population. The volcanic loams were well suited to growing kūmara (sweet potato), intensively cultivated by Māori. A mission-trained Māori, Rāwiri Taiwhanga, had the country’s first dairy farm in about 1840, and is remembered in a Kaikohe park. Today the landscape is studded with the small white churches distinctive to the north. The northern war (1844–46) brought fighting to the area: a short distance to the east of Kaikohe, the Ōhaeawai battle is marked by St Michael’s Church and graveyard, built on the battle site. Another historic spot is Pakaraka, site of a northern war battle, and of missionary Henry Williams’s retirement home and church.


Te Waimate Mission House

1832 Te Ahu Ahu Rd,

Waimate North

Believing that spiritual and practical instruction should be combined, the Reverend Samuel Marsden established a mission farm at Waimate North in 1831. The original aim of teaching agricultural and trade skills to Māori converts faded, and the station later became a theological college. 

Pouērua pā Volcanic cone (282 m) and historic pā at Ohaeawai, are not far from the junction of highways 1 and 12. People first settled on the Taiamai plain in undefended kāinga (villages), but between 550 and 350 years ago some pā (fortified villages) were built. Pouērua is one, and has been investigated by archaeologists in collaboration with local hapū (sub-tribes). The fortifications stretched 600 m, with massive earthworks and palisades encircling the high points of the volcano. It would not have been occupied permanently (water supply would have been too difficult), but was a refuge in times of conflict. The arrival of Europeans diverted Māori interest to coastal settlements such as Kerikeri and Kororāreka, where they could engage in dealings with the newcomers, and the pā was abandoned.

Ngāwhā Hot Springs

The Ngawha hot springs are about 9 km. from Ohaeawai, off SH 12. They are perhaps the smelliest hot springs in New Zealand, that just means they're pretty damn good!! The therapeutic properties in the minerals are said to be some of the best in the world!! The pools are a great place to have a chat with some real, genuine Kiwi's. The aroma from the pools is also something pretty special but don't worry, you'll get used to it!

Heritage Kaikohe

Kaikohe is the home of the Kaikohe Pioneer Village, The Bush Railway,and an amazing heritage collection, set in well tended grounds, on the heavy vehicle bypass through Kaikohe. Have a look at the website for further info.


Kawiti Glowworm Caves

World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors,20 min south of Ohaeawai, the Kawiti Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in almost everyones New Zealand vacation wish-list. The Kawiti glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as our expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. Over your 45 minute guided tour, you'll take in the spectacular Glowworm Cave with its majestic and ornate cave decorations, the deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo and the equally magnificent Cathedral cavern . Your tour guide will deliver an informative and entertaining commentary, sharing stories, cultural legends and the natural wonders of this living masterpiece.


Omahuta Kauri Sanctuary Walk

The giant kauri in this six hectare sanctuary were protected from logging in 1951. A loop track leads you through a stand of mature kauri, where you can admire their size and majesty.Walking track Time: 30 min Distance: 550 m Getting there Puketi and Omahuta forest is easily accessible from the Hokianga harbour and the Bay of Islands. You can access Omahuta Kauri Sanctuary from State Highway One. It is signposted a few kilometers south of Mangamuka Bridge. The track is signposted from the car park at the end of Sanctuary Road. 


Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)

Tane Mahuta is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. It is thought this tree was discovered and identified in the 1920’s when contracted surveyors surveyed the present road State Highway 12 through the forest. In 1928 Nicholas Yakas and other Bushmen, which were building the road, also identified the big tree Tane Mahuta. According to Maori mythology Tane is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tane was the child that tore his parent’s parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have here today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tane’s children. Measurements Trunk Girth 13.77 m Trunk Height 17.68 m Total Height 51.2 m Trunk Volume 244.5 m3



Location 3 km north-west of Paihia. At its centre is one of the country’s most spectacular and historic places. James Busby, British Resident, took up residence on the north side of the entrance to the Waitangi River in 1833. In 1834 Māori chiefs gathered at Waitangi to select a national flag, and in 1835 to sign a declaration of the country’s independence. On 6 February 1840 Waitangi was the site for the signing of a treaty between Māori and William Hobson, representing the British Crown.


The Treaty House

The Waitangi Treaty House and grounds, together with an additional 1,000-acre land block, were gifted to the nation in 1932 by the governor general, Lord Bledisloe, and his wife. His intention was to create a national historic site to mark the country’s foundation document. A trust board was set up, the dilapidated house restored, and the grounds gradually developed. The Treaty House underwent extensive renovations in 1989–90.