Welcome to Kawakawa

Top experiences in Kawakawa

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

Image for

Kawakawa activities

$110.51 Shore Excursions

5.5-Hour Bay of Islands Shore Excursion from Waitangi Wharf

At 9am you will be met by your tour guide at the Waitangi Wharf before you depart on your half-day tour. Your first stop is the Kawiti glow worm caves which is about a 30-minute drive from the Waitangi Wharf. You will be able to enjoy a magical glowworm experience. You will then move on to Kawakawa. This is a small town which is also known as “train town”.   At 11:45am you will be at the Puketi Forest. This is a 15,000 hectare forest which contains magnificent stands of Kauri and a rich ecological diversity. The next stop is the Makana Chocolate Factory in Kerikeri. This is a boutique chocolate factory where you can watch the making of chocolates, taste a few samples and of course shop for some delicious treats. You will also be able to visit the Kauri Workshop next door which has crafts and collectables for sale. You will then visit the famous horse shoe waterfalls, Haruru Falls. These falls are located in a hidden valley on the beautiful and peaceful Waitangi River. The last stop of the day is the Waitangi look-out Loop. This is a final chance to take in the stunning views over Waitangi and the Bay of Islands, before your transportation back to the wharf or Paihia if you would prefer to have a look around.

$39.51 Walking & Biking Tours

1-Day Bike the Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Experience the best part of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail from Opua to Kawakawa! A scenic and family friendly adventure. Depart from Paihia in our purpose built mountain bike trailer and vans, and get dropped in the nearby Port town of Opua. Start following the old railway tracks, a flat and very scenic trail from Opua to Kawakawa, taking in the train tunnel, rail bridges and historic towns. Make sure you have your camera ready! Spend some time for lunch or a snack in historic Kawakawa, checking out the famous Huntertwasser Toilets, Vintage Railway and Steamtrain running right through the main street in town. This train operates in the weekdays and some holidays, so may be possible to add to your trip. Afterwards, retrace your tracks and follow the meandering Kawakawa River through to the seaside Opua. Time for another coffee or bite to eat before your shuttle takes you back to your accommodation or Paihia Mountain Bikes HQ in Paihia for a well deserved rest. This trail is 11km in each direction (22km return). It is is all off the main road, a very easy gradient and achievable by all levels of fitness so great for all ages and abilities   All our trips include quality front suspension bike hire (or an easy access, low rise bike)- perfect for the cycle trail, transport for pick up and drop off, padded gel seat (to make it even more comfy), helmet, map, repair kit, pump, lock and all trail advice. (4hr Total Trip including transport)   Departs Paihia: 8:30am, 10:30am, 1pm Return Paihia 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 5pm

$73.67 Walking & Biking Tours

2-Day Full Twin Coast Cycle Trail Bike Experience

Day 1: Depart from Paihia in the morning, and get dropped at Kaikohe in our purpose built mountain bike trailer and shuttle van. Today, ride the trail all downhill from Kaikohe to Opua (45km) taking in th train tunnel, swing and rail bridges, traditional maori community buildings (marae’s) and historic towns. Spend some time for lunch in historic Kawakawa, checking out the famous Huntertwasser Toilets and Vintage Railway and Steamtrain running through the main street in town. This train operates in the weekdays and some holiday, so may be possible to add to your trip. After your break, follow the meandering Kawakawa River through one of the most scenic sections of the trail to the seaside town of Opua. Time for another coffee or bite to eat before your shuttle takes you back to your accommodation or PaIhiaMTB HQ in Paihia for a well deserved relax and dinner out in one of the many eateries in town. We often ride this part of the trail in this direction to allow for an easier downhill gradient, and the wind to be blowing behind you...it can be a bit of a tough ride in the opposite direction! Day 2: Depart from Paihia in the morning again, heading for Kaikohe for the second day of 44km riding.. This time, you will be riding in the opposite direction (but still downhill!) all the way past picturesque Lake Omapere on the old Rail Corridor to Okaihau for a rest stop. Carry on riding down through the beautiful Utakura Vally, following bubbling streams through backcountry farmland and untouched rural New Zealand. Some of these sights are 'only in Northland' type views- spot the cows! Stop along the way for a break at the lilly-pond or at one of the many picnic tables or patches or grass dotted along the route.. Finish your ride on a 2km boardwalk over the mangroves before a cold drink or brew at the famous Horeke Tavern, right on the edge of the Hokianga Harbour. It is well worth to continue riding a further 3km to the Mangungu Mission Station at the end of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Your shuttle will take you back to Paihia from here at Horeke.This cycle trail is predominantly off the main road, an easy gradient and achievable by most levels of fitness so great for all ages and abilities All our trips include quality full suspension or front suspension bike hire- the ultimate in luxury riding, transport for pick up and drop off, padded gel seat (to make it even more comfy), helmet, map, repair kit, pump, lock and all trail advice

$53.58 Walking & Biking Tours

Twin Coast Bike Trail Experience

Depart from Paihia on your purpose built mountain bike trailer and vans in the morning, and make a beeline for Horeke to start the trail. After exploring the Mangungu Mission Station at the beginning of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, ride eastwards around the Hokianga Harbour, past the Horeke Tavern and up into the Utakua Valley. Follow the bubbling streams past back-country farmland and untouched rural New Zealand up the short but steep hill into Okaihau. Carry on riding past the picturesque Lake Omapere on the old Rail Corridor and into Kaikohe, the halfway point. Continue on the trail downhill from Kaikohe to Opua (45km, or 28mi) taking in the train tunnel, swing and rail bridges, traditional maori community buildings (marae’s) and historic towns. Spend some time in historic Kawakawa, checking out the famous Huntertwasser Toilets and Vintage Railway and Steamtrain running through the main street in town. When you are ready to continue riding, follow the meandering Kawakawa River through one of the most scenic sections of the trail to the final seaside town of Opua. Time for another coffee or bite to eat before your shuttle takes you back to your accommodation or PaIhia MTB HQ in Paihia for a well deserved relax and dinner out in one of the many eateries in town.All trips include quality full suspension or front suspension bike hire. This is the ultimate in luxury riding, and includes transport for pickup and drop-off, padded gel seat (to make it even more comfy), helmet, map, repair kit, pump, lock and all trail advice.

$268.66 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Winterless North Tour from Auckland

Day 1: Auckland to Paihia Today we meet at 8.00am at the reception of Haka Lodge Auckland where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast, your guide will introduce everyone to the group and run through everything you need to know. Breakfast and the welcome meeting should take around an hour. We head north of Auckland to begin the tour in the stunning Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Along the way we visit the mighty Tane Mahuta “the Lord of the Forest” in the Waipoua Forest.  Tane Mahuta is the largest known kauri tree standing today.  From there we travel up to the stunning Hokianga Harbour, where Kupe, the legendary Polynesian navigator and explorer first settled. We'll arrive late afternoon in Paihia where the team at Haka Lodge will have a hot meal ready and waiting for you.  This shared dinner is eaten overlooking the waters of Paihia is a beautiful way to end day one. Day 2: PaihiaPaihia is the perfect base to explore the Northland region and the spectacular Bay of Islands. Home to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock,’ there are plenty of boat trips out into the bay, as well as other activities to choose from in the area. You can swim with dolphins, skydive, go sailing or just chill out with new friends and take it all in on one of the many beaches. This is also one of the most historically important areas of New Zealand. Rich in Maori heritage and culture, we’ll have the chance to visit some spectacular waterfalls, take scenic walks or ferry over to one of the islands. If you would like to visit the very top of New Zealand, you can choose to do a day tour to Cape Reinga, situated where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. You may drive on 90 Mile Beach and try sand boarding while on this optional day tour. If you would prefer to have a relaxing day, you can do one of the many well signposted, scenic walks along the coast or through the bush. Russell is also easily accessed from Paihia and has awesome views, as well as a great selection of restaurants and eateries.  Day 3: Paihia to AucklandToday, we'll visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.  The grounds are significant to all New Zealanders as this was where the founding document of New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840 between the British Crown and Maori. The Hundertwasser Toilets are also on our agenda for the day, in the small town of Kawakawa.  This is the only building in the Southern Hemisphere designed by the Austrian born artist Hundertwasser. As we venture back toward Auckland we take in a bush walk from Whale Bay to Matapouri Bay, where we'll see gorgeous white sand, and clear waters - the perfect setting for a picnic. We’ then head back to Auckland to spend the evening in New Zealand’s biggest city, where we stay at Haka Lodge.

$90.42 Private & Custom Tours

Half-Day Bay of Islands Private Jeep Tour

If you are arriving off a cruise ship at Waitangi or Paihia, you will be picked up from the tender port at a time that suits, with no need to wait for other groups. If you are staying in Paihia you will be picked up from your accommodation at 10am. Your day begins with a short drive to a viewpoint above Waitangi for a photo stop overlooking the cruise ship anchorage in the inner Bay of Islands. Next travel along the first of your tour’s unsealed roads to reach the horseshoe-shaped Haruru Falls, with the Jeep’s off-road capabilities providing a safe and comfortable ride. Continuing northward, visit the Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin, site of the famous Stone Store and early trading between Māori and European settlers. Then visit the stunning Rainbow Falls before travelling past orchards and kiwifruit vines to the subtropical rain forest of Puketi. Here you can get up close and personal with ancient kauri trees. Next travel down another unsealed road, past working farmland, native bush and sweeping rural views. If you have chosen the Winery Lunch option you will then arrive at one of Northland's premier vineyards where you will be treated to wine tasting and a sumptuous meal. The next leg of your tour takes you to the quirky town of Kawakawa, famous for its photogenic public toilets designed and built by the Austrian artist Friedrich Hundertwasser. The town also features a historic railway that passes down the centre of the main road. If you are lucky a train may even pass through town and stop traffic. The Glow Worm option, if you have chosen it, is a short drive south to the famous caves, owned and operated by descendants of the Māori chief Te Ruki Kawiti. There you will be guided on a half-hour walk through one of the few places in the world where you can see thousands of glow worms sparkling overhead like stars in the night. You then travel along the Kawakawa-Opua road built by US soldiers stationed in Northland during WW2, stopping along the way at a view point for a final panoramic photo opportunity. Your personal Jeep tour finishes back where you started, or you can end your tour at the Paihia wharf and explore the seaside town. On cruise ship days there are free shuttle buses to the tender port, making it easy for you to get back to your ship.