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Hauraki Rail Trail

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The 160km Hauraki Rail Trail showcases New Zealand’s rich pioneering history against a backdrop of stunning rural and mountain scenery. This easy, flat Great Ride makes a relaxing 3-4 day adventure, cruising from Miranda through to Thames in the north, to the historic Waikino Railway Station and Waihi in the east, and the spa town of Te Aroha to the south. This simple to follow Grade 1 trail is suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. Perfect for e-bikes.

The Hauraki Rail Trail follows two historic rail lines, combining spectacular scenery with a glimpse into the area’s rich gold mining past. Its easy gradient makes it perfect for relaxed riding and family adventures.

The Hauraki Rail Trail is divided into four sections – Pukorokoro-Miranda to Thames | Thames to Paeroa | Paeroa to Waikino Station and Waihi | Paeroa to Te Aroha. With a fifth section from Te Aroha to Matamata coming soon. 

Leaving Miranda, this is an open section heading east 45km to Kopu. An easy ride which is mostly along the top of stop banks, taking in lush farm lands and wetlands with magnificent views to the Coromandel Ranges.

Riders can enjoy a break at the Thames end of the trail, taking in the small gold mine town’s charms before embarking on the 34km journey to Paeroa. This leg offers views of the Firth of Thames and the Coromandel Ranges as the trail meanders through farmland alongside the Waihou River. 

The 14km Paeroa to Waihi leg winds through the stunning Karangahake Gorge, famous for its gold mining history. Spot glowworms as you ride through the 1.1km Karangahake Rail Tunnel. The remains of old mining buildings and machinery used during a gold rush in the late 1800s and early 1900s can still be seen. This leg can also be extended to 25km if riders continue on to Waihi.

The 23km ride from Paeroa to Te Aroha offers views of Mount Te Aroha and a well-deserved relaxing soak in the Te Aroha Mineral Spas at the end. The spa building is located in the Te Aroha Hot Springs Domain, home to the world’s only hot water soda geyser, and the perfect place to rejuvenate and unwind after a great few days on the bike.

Guided tours are available plus bike hire and shuttle services. Accommodation options are varied, from backpackers and B&Bs to lodges, motels and hotels.

For further information visit: The Hauraki Rail Trail website

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A couple of riders stop to take in a rail tunnel in the Karangahake Gorge on the Hauraki Rail Trail. Photo: Derek Morrison

Insider Tips

  • Make sure to stop off at Owharoa Falls – a staircase waterfall you’ll discover at the heart of Karangahake Gorge.
  • Indulge in the mineral spas at Te Aroha to revive your legs for the next day. 
  • The Hauraki Rail Trail makes a perfect weekend ride escape for the whole family.
  • Don't forget to book a shuttle if you don't want o ride both ways.

Gallery: Hauraki Rail Trail

Getting There 

The Hauraki Rail Trail can be accessed at Miranda on the northern side or at the southern end in the historic spa town of Te Aroha. However, if you are keen on a day ride, any of the sections is accessible from the charming rural towns along the trail.  Just remember to book a shuttle if you don't want to ride both ways.

Tell Me More

The Hauraki Rail Trail forms part of the Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail, for information on the trails we recommend visiting NZCycleTrail.

Explore more of The Coromandel and Waikato regions. 

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