Subscribe to our email newsletter for regular updates on the Kaihu Valley Trail.
Explore a valley of dramatic contrasts, through farmland and forest, along an enchanting river on the untamed west coast of Kaipara.
Stage One of the Kaihu Valley Trail (KVT) was officially opened on 10 June 2023.
Stage One comprises two sections of the planned trail – from Mamaranui to Kaihu and Dargaville to Parore. The sections are currently linked by low-volume roads. View the current trail map.
The KVT winds through the beautiful green farmlands of Kaihu Valley alongside the Kaihu River at times and currently ends at the northern end in the Kaihu settlement. The Trail generally follows the historic rail line built in 1896 to service the kauri industry between Dargaville and Donnellys Crossing.
The Kaihu Valley Trail forms part of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. The Twin Coast experience is one of contrasts, starting and finishing in Auckland. It is the ultimate journey for those who want to see, feel, and discover it all in including the beautiful Kaipara.
The KVT is also part of the Heartland Rides/Kauri Coast Cycleway which explores Te Tai Tokerau/Northland, mostly on-road, through our scenic landscapes and small towns. Two beautiful harbours, charming wee towns and towering kauri forest are all highlights through Kaipara along Northland’s west coast and out to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.
We are currently seeking funding to complete further off-road sections of the trail. When built, the trail will stretch 45km from Dargaville to Donnelly’s Crossing.
Getting to the trail
The trail has several entry/exit points, see suggested routes below.
You can do a return trip of Stage One of the Kaihu Valley Trail in one day, or choose parts of the trail to suit you. There is a cycle shop in Dargaville that provides van transport if you want to be collected and returned to your starting point.
- Dargaville – the intersection of Hokianga Road and Station Road.
- Kaihu – the hall and sportsground/rugby club.
- Mamaranui – by the Playcentre or outside the Bowling Club.
* Please check local events that may affect parking availability.
Here are some suggested routes, which can be completed in either direction.
Please note: distances are approximate. Opanake Road can be soft and rutted during the wet months.
Dargaville to Parore swing bridge | 7.5km return
Start at the corner of Station Road and Hokianga Road. Turn on to Station Road. Stay on Station Road for approx. 3km. Follow the trail from the cow shed to the Parore Bridge. Turn around here (7.5km return route) or continue on to Babylon Creek.
Dargaville to Babylon Creek | 14km return
Follow the route above, cross the swing bridge and continue on the trail to Parore West Road. Cross Parore West Road, go through the squeeze gates and continue for 2.3km to Babylon Creek. This is the end of the trail. Return to Dargaville the same way.
Optional return loop route – on road * | 15km return
* Note this option is for confident road riders and is not suitable for families.
For a steeper return ride, from Babylon Creek, return back along the trail to Parore West Road. Turn left at Parore West Road and ride for 500m to the intersection with Opanake Road. Veer right to continue along Parore West Road for a further 700m to Waihue Road. At Waihue Road, turn right. Follow Waihue Road south for 2.6km onto Hokianga Road. Continue straight down Hokianga Road for 1.7km back to your starting point.
Mamaranui to Kaihu | 20km return
Start at the corner of Mamaranui Road and SH12. Travel along Mamaranui Road for 3.5km. Continue straight onto Ahikiwi Road and ride for 2km to the Ahikiwi swing bridge. Cross the bridge and follow Kaihu Wood Road for 4km, finishing in the Kaihu Township.
Dargaville to Kaihu | 60km return
Start at the corner of Station Road and Hokianga Road. Turn on to Station Road. Stay on Station Road for 3km. Follow the trail from the cow shed to the Parore Bridge. Cross the swing bridge and continue on the trail to Parore West Road.
For Babylon Creek, cross the road and follow to the end of the trail then return back to Parore West Road and turn left (this will add 4.5km to your route).
If you are skipping Babylon Creek, turn right onto Parore West Road for 500m to Opanake Road.
Turn left onto Opanake Road. Stay on Opanake Road for approximately 12.5km to Waihue Road. Turn Left and go down Waihue Road for 1.3km to State Highway 12.
At SH12, turn right and travel 50m. Veer right onto Mamaranui Road for 3.5km. Continue straight onto Ahikiwi Road and ride for 2km to the Ahikiwi swing bridge. Cross the bridge and follow Kaihu Wood Road for 4km, finishing in the Kaihu township.
Return along the same route.
Dargaville has everything you need including a full service bike shop, Countdown supermarket, accommodation options and cafes/eateries. In Kaihu, the historic Kaihu Tavern is a popular stop for tourists and locals alike. Kaihu is a small country town without major shops.
Kaihu is close to the stunning Kai Iwi Lakes which has two popular campgrounds. We’ll be updating this section with accommodation and services along the trail, contact us if you have a business that services users of the Kaihu Valley Trail.
The Kaihu Valley Trail (KVT) will be completed in stages, as funding and resource allows, along the historic Kaihu Valley Railway line which connected Donnelly’s Crossing to the bustling port of Dargaville.
Stage One of the trail was opened in June 2023.
The AA is available for viewing. Due to the size of this document we have split it into two parts.