Te Ao Māori on the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail
Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail is a journey into Te Ao Māori – ngā tāngata, whakapapa, whenua and mātauranga that give this place its unique mauri and identity. Kei te haere koe i runga i to pahikara – get on your bicycle – to deepen your knowledge, make new connections, and improve your reo Māori while enjoying a Great Ride full of local hospitality, lovely scenery and significant historic sites.
Essential viewing for anyone visiting the Far North, Waitangi is way more than just the place where Māori and Pākehā signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi – the country’s founding document. See, feel, hear and understand biculturalism through excellent museum displays, historic architecture, beautifully carved waka (canoes), and spectacular visual arts and performance. A cafe, gift shop and expansive gardens complete the picture. The Treaty Grounds are close to Opua at the Bay of Islands' end of the cycle trail.
Close to Kaikohe in an peaceful outdoor setting, these newly renovated hot mineral baths will soothe your bike-weary body. A warm welcome awaits, with the Māori-owned complex yet another way to connect with tāngata whenua and hear of Ngawha’s place in history. For the best therapeutic benefits, time your visit outside of summer or on cooler evenings.
Visit the Māngungu Mission
Close to Horeke, Māngungu is a Wesleyan mission established in 1828. It’s worth going for the view alone, its hillside grounds affording a magnificent view over the inner Hokianga Harbour. When the mission house is open (Sat, Sun & Mon; Dec–April, or by arrangement), take a trip through time taking in early Māori–Pākehā interactions, mission life and colonial architecture. Māngungu was the venue for the second, and largest, signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 12, 1840, which was witnessed by a crowd of around 3000 people.
Admire the views from Kaikohe's Monument Hill
Take a stroll up Monument Hill to visit the memorial to Hōne Heke Ngāpua, and for spectacular views across rural Northland. Locally born Hōne Heke earned a reputation as peacemaker in disputes between Māori and the Crown. In 1898, he hastily returned to his electorate, catching a train from Wellington to Auckland and then riding at a gallop on horseback from Auckland to Waima in the South Hokianga. He arrived just in time to defuse a face-off between Māori led by Hōne Riiwi Tōia and Crown forces. From the memorial you can also see Te Aprehama Anglican Church where Hōne Heke is buried.
Practice your reo all the way along the trail
Learn about Te Tai Tokerau's fascinating Māori pūrākau (legends), whenua and tāngata, and bone up on your reo at the same time, with the trail's evocative, bi-lingual information panels. You'll find them installed at regular intervals along the whole 87km trail between Ipipiri (Bay of Islands) and Hokianga Harbour.
Locals' stories from the trail
The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail offers an opportunity to cycle through communities rich with culture and shared histories, and pass areas of significant sites, events and locations encountered on the ride.
The trail's trust has captured some of these important stories reflecting the tangata and places nearby to the cycle trail by engaging the talented Jason Taylor of Tai Huri Films. Watch these fascinating and heartwarming videos on the official trail website.