Planning on riding the Hauraki Rail Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip.
The two-three day, 77 km Hauraki Rail Trail will follow the path of two historic railway lines while taking in some of the best scenery in New Zealand. A mild, local climate, an easy trail gradient and its close proximity to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga make it a fantastic weekend activity for many North Islanders and international visitors.
The Hauraki Rail Trail can be accessed from Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, or Te Aroha, and the trail also offers a range of shorter riding options, including day rides. The trail can be ridden year-round. In the cooler months, cyclists will be especially appreciative of the link from Paeroa to Te Aroha where an evening soak in the luxurious Te Aroha Mineral Spas will be the great way to end the day.
Keen cyclists could very easily ride this trail in one day - if this is your approach, we recommend starting in Thames and riding through to Paeroa. This flat section through local farmland can be completed in under two hours - including a stop for coffee if you're so inclined. From Paeroa, the trail gradually climbs up the fantastic Karangahake Gorge to the old railway station in Waikino. Here you can refuel and get ready for a fast downhill back toward Paeroa. This section is the highlight of the trail and features a 1.2 km tunnel - don't forget your headlight! From Paeroa, it's another 21 kms through farmland to Te Aroha where a hot soak in the thermal pools awaits you.
Sections of the Hauraki Rail Trail include:
Thames to Paeroa - 33 km
Thames to Paeroa follows the old rail route while enjoying the beauty of the Coromandel Range and visiting the ubiquitous L&P Bottle of Antique Town - Paeroa. This is a fairly flat section that passes through quiet countryside.
Paeroa to Waikino - 14 km
Paeroa to Waihi takes cyclists through the Karangahake Gorge to Waihi via a mixture of rail corridors and existing walkways. Riding through the stunning Karangahake Gorge - one of the “14 Wonders of New Zealand” - is a major highlight. Cyclists enjoy breathtaking views, the opportunity for tramps and visiting historic gold mining attractions in Waihi. The cycle trail shares the walkway from Karangahake to Waikino along the tunnel route. A highlight of this section is the impressive 1.2 km tunnel.
Paeroa to Te Aroha - 21 KM
Paeroa to Te Aroha This 'Kaimai Express Trail' links the main section of the trail to the epic little spa town of Te Aroha. After a 20 km ride from Paeroa, cyclists will be greeted with heaps of accommodation options, great local mountain biking and natural hot soda spas to relax in after a long day on the trail. Te Aroha is also very well situated with ample mountain biking opportunities in the Kaimai Ranges.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is a Grade 1 ride - making it ideal for families and inexperienced cyclists. There are a variety of accommodation options, cafes, things to do and fantastic New Zealand scenery along the entirety of the trail.