Kaihu Valley Trail

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New Zealand is experiencing a surge in domestic tourism. This means more local opportunities for employment and business, as well as finding sustainable ways to share our local environment.

The Kaihu Valley Trail forms part of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail which was developed and endorsed by the NZ Transport Agency in 2019.

On behalf of the community, Council has been seeking funding to design and construct a cycleway along sections of the Kaihu Valley, generally following the historic rail line between Dargaville and Donnellys Crossing. It will be the backbone of the Ancient Kauri Trail, connecting to Kai Iwi Lakes, Waipoua Forest and north through other trails.

The trail brings some great opportunities for the area:

  • providing local employment for those who’ve lost jobs due to COVID-19,
  • a new tourism addition, bringing people and visitor spending through Kaipara, to Dargaville and surrounds, and,
  • a place for new and interesting business opportunities related to the trail, e.g. hospitality, transit services, cultural tourism, or other recreational activities.

In August 2020 $4 million of funding was announced from the Infrastructure Reference Group for the Kaipara District Council to develop the Kaihu Valley cycle trail. We will begin work as soon as possible, with our first priority to talk to you and other landowners and plan a route. 

About the trail

The Kaihu Valley Trail (KVT) was established in Kaipara’s Walking and Cycling strategy in 2017. Subject to funding, it has been a  priority for the Council,  given the opportunities to generate positive economic, social and cultural impacts on the western side of the Kaipara District. 

The cycle trail would start/end at the Rail Station in Dargaville and travel north to Donnellys Crossing. It will be completed in stages, as funding and resource allows. It is likely to use portions of corridor along the historic Kaihu Valley Railway line that was constructed in 1896, connecting Donnellys Crossing to the bustling port of Dargaville.


  • The Archaeological Assessment (AA) has been completed. We have now lodged the AA with Heritage New Zealand.
  • The Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) is in progress.

The AA is available for viewing.  Due to the size of this document we have split it into two parts. They will take some time to open/download.

Previous progress updates:



Looking to start a cycling or walkway project?

If you are a community group looking to start a cycling or walkway project or are just wanting information we have put together some examples and templates of how to begin which you may find helpful.