The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is a heritage railway in Kawakawa, half an hour’s drive from Paihia; uniquely it is the only working railway in New Zealand where the trains travel down a State Highway and right through the middle of a busy town!

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is the most northerly railway in New Zealand, and is a volunteer-run charity of significant historical and cultural importance.

The railway at Kawakawa was North Island’s first ever railway and also the first to run a rail passenger service in the North Island. The station was rebuilt in 1911 to replace the original one which was destroyed by fire.

Today the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway offers train rides using diesel-hauled locomotives as far as the Long Bridge – the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. The train slowly winds its way through scenic countryside, making this an ideal excursion for railway enthusiasts and anyone who wishes to enjoy a unique and memorable experience in the Bay of Islands.

As this rail excursion is operated by volunteers, dates of operation cannot be guaranteed.


Please note: All Freedom Day descriptions represent a typical itinerary and may not operate exactly as described. Local operators may vary from time to time.