Cycling from Hokianga Harbour — Dargaville (1-2 days, 113km)
The Kauri Coast Cycleway starts from the historic settlement of Rawene and heads out to the Hokianga Harbour entrance.It then turns inland to travel up through the Waipoua Kauri Forest, before following farmland through to Dargaville and out to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.
Highlights of the trail include the twin settlements of Omapere and Opononi set alongside the beautiful Hokianga Harbour, the kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest including Tane Mahuta, and the Trounson Kauri Park, a restoration ‘mainland island’ forest reserve.
To start following the trail, take a bus from Auckland to Kaitaia and follow the Far North Cycleway down to Rawene, or bus to Dargaville and ride north from there.
There is a range of food and accommodation options available at the start and end points of the trail at Rawene and Dargaville. There is also a tavern at Kaihu.
DARGAVILLE HERITAGE HUB:
As this is New Zealand’s ‘kumara capital’, it’s no surprise to find a museum dedicated to farm machinery here. Harding Park is home to vintage tractors, harvesters and logging equipment. Dargaville’s main museum reveals stories of the area’s maritime, logging and gum-digging history. For a small town Dargaville boasts a lot of art and craft, a prime example being The Woodturners Kauri Studio, which showcases kauri carvings and gives access to a workshop to see how it’s done. For amazing views of the region, take a short sharp walk to needle-like Tokatoka Peak.
Waipoua Forest is the domain of New Zealand’s largest living Kauri, Tane Mahuta, ‘Lord of the Forest’. This imposing giant has a 13.77m girth, a trunk height of 17.68m and a total height of 51.5m.