Bay Of Islands Vintage Railway

Bay Of Islands Vintage Railway
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Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
All aboard! This classic train ride in Kawakawa takes you back in time and provides a memorable experience for the whole family.

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway trains depart from Kawakawa on New Zealand’s North Island and run right through the middle of the charming main street before taking you across several bridges to a picnic area by the river at Taumarere.

Since 1985 this historic railway has been operating fun rides in vintage carriages. Jump aboard for the almost 3-mile (4.5-kilometer) trip to hear all about the history of the railway as you are transported through the rolling hills of Northland.

Just over 150 years ago this railway was constructed to transport coal from the local mines to the port in Opua. It was the island’s first metal train track. The trains soon also carried the region’s meat and dairy products and passengers to the harbor.

As of 2019, restoration works are underway by the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust to extend the railway to Opua once more, a change which would take passengers along 14 bridges and through a longtunnel.

Traditionally the carriage is pulled by Gabriel the steam engine from 1927, which was moved and restored here in 1986. Volunteer engineers, with the help of local unemployed youth, make sure the old locomotive won’t run out of puff.

When Gabriel is undergoing repairs, other classic engines take over. A popular diesel model is the black-and-yellow painted Esmae, nicknamed “the Bumble Bee.”

Back at the station, you can also admire other models like Charlie (1967) and Ruby (1973),imported from Burton-on-Trent in the U.K. Have drinks or lunch in the heritage-listed station café to chat with locals and fellow passengers.

Trains are running Friday to Sunday year round and daily during the longer school breaks. Get your tickets locally or via the Paihia i-Site. There are discounts for young kids, families and seniors. If you are doing the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, you can “cheat” by taking the train for part of the way at no extra charge for your bike.

The historic Bay of Islands Vintage Railway station is located on the northern side of Kawakawa and on-site parking is free. While in town, don’t miss the artistic Hundertwasser toilets in the main street, one of the worlds most “out there” public toilet blocks.

363 Cheap Hotels Near Bay Of Islands Vintage Railway

Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Opua, Opua
Stay at this family-friendly apartment in Opua. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and on-site parking. Popular attractions Bay of Islands Marina and Paihia Beach ...
5/5 Exceptional! (9 reviews)
Peaceful
"Loved our short stay at this lovely location. The place is set in a quiet beautiful bush area with lovely gardens in the back. Nice and quiet. A quick 5-7 min drive to Paihia and the Russell ferry. The owners greeted us and had everything ready for us. Thank you for a lovely stay"

Reviewed on 16 May 2021

Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Opua, Northland
Stay at this family-friendly holiday home in Opua. Enjoy WiFi, a hot tub and on-site parking. Popular attractions Bay of Islands Marina and Paihia Beach are ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (7 reviews)
Gorgeous place & location - perfect for action & relaxing
"This house is very spacious with lots of areas to relax and perfect for our big family group, from my 12 yr old nephew to my 79 yr old mum. The deck is huge and the views are amazing, its so peaceful looking out across the bush and water. Serena was just lovely to communicate with and very accommodating ..."

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2021

Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Opua, Northland
Stay at this cabin in Opua. Enjoy WiFi, on-site parking and barbecues. Popular attractions Bay of Islands Marina and Paihia Beach are located nearby. Discover ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Fantastic spot
"Had a great time in this beautiful location. Clean and private. Would 100% recommend staying here. Even though it rained all weekend, this is a place you want to stay no matter the weather."

Reviewed on 1 Nov. 2021

Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Top Bay Of Islands Vintage Railway Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Opua Boutique Seaview Motel
Opua Boutique Seaview Motel
3 out of 5
24 Franklin Street, Opua, Bay of Islands, 0200
The price is NZ$144 per night from 20 Aug. to 21 Aug.
Opua Boutique Seaview Motel
Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Opua, Opua
Bay of Islands at your doorstep.
Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Opua, Northland
Absolute Waterfront Retreat
Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Opua, Northland
Escape to this romantic cabin in amongst the trees.
Opua kiwi forest retreat with complementary catered yacht charter by master chef
Opua kiwi forest retreat with complementary catered yacht charter by master chef
Opua, Northland
Opua kiwi forest retreat with complementary catered yacht charter by master chef
The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands
The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands
5 out of 5
State Highway 11, Opua, 0241
The price is NZ$380 per night from 25 Aug. to 26 Aug.
The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
3.5 out of 5
104 Marsden Road, Paihia, 0200
The price is NZ$149 per night from 21 Aug. to 22 Aug.
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
Blue Peter - Opua Holiday Home, OPUA
Blue Peter - Opua Holiday Home, OPUA
Opua, Far North
Blue Peter - Opua Holiday Home, OPUA
Paihia Views...Private Home
Paihia Views...Private Home
Paihia, Northland
Paihia Views...Private Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.