Northland’s newest cycle trail, stage one of this route was officially opened on 10 June 2023. The two new sections of the trail are connected by quiet gravel roads making a total route of approximately 30 kilometers from Dargaville to Kaihu.
The new sections pass through farmland, following the historic rail line. Stage 2 still to be completed will continue along this historic route. Currently, users diverge slightly onto Opanake Road which takes you up over a hill offering views down to the Kaihu River, and across to the Tutamoe Ranges.
Two new suspension bridges allow cyclists and walkers to cross the river just north of Dargaville and then again at Ahikiwi at the northern end. The surface is primarily compacted gravel with squeeze bars at the various road crossings and entry points. It is a Grade 2 ride suitable for Ebikes, Mountain Bikes, and gravel bikes. You can ride it just one way if you have organised a lift back, or stop for a drink and bite to eat at the Kaihu pub before returning the way you came. The return trip is 60km with around 450 meters of elevation so if you are on an Ebike make sure you use your battery wisely. If starting in Dargaville there is parking along Station Road near the intersection with Hokianga Road, or in the center of town which is only a few blocks away.
Further information about the history of the trail and updates about future stages can be found on the Kaipara District Council website Kaihu Valley Trail.