The Hauraki Rail Trail follows two historic rail lines – one from Thames to Paeroa and the other from Waikino Station to Te Aroha. The journey combines 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 / Waihi | Paeroa to Te Aroha. With a fifth section from Te Aroha to Matamata currently under development.
Riders can begin at the Thames end of the trail, taking in the small gold miner 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 it meanders through farmland alongside the tidal Waihou River.
From Paeroa, riders can head for historic Waikino Station and take the vintage train on to Waihi, or return to Paeroa to cycle the Te Aroha section.
The 14km Paeroa to Waihi leg winds through the stunning Karangahake Gorge, famous for its gold mining history. Here riders can spot glowworms as the 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, and some of the historic mining shafts are still accessible via the ‘Windows’ walk in the gorge. 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 relaxing soak in Te Aroha Mineral Spas at the end. This section of the trail traverses a landscape of lush green pastures with the forested slopes of the mountain as a backdrop. The spa building is located in the Te Aroha Hot Springs Domain, home to the world’s only hot water soda geyser. The spa is the perfect place to rejuvenate and unwind after a great few days on the bike.
When the Te Aroha to Matamata (37km) section is completed riders will take in past goat, dairy and thoroughbred farms, with amazing views to the Wairere Falls, the Firth Tower and Hobbiton Movie Set.
Guided tours of the trail are available and bike hire, shuttle services and accommodation booking can be arranged. Accommodation ranges from backpackers and B&Bs to lodges, motels and hotels.
- Unearth the area’s rich gold mining history
- Cycle through the spectacular Karangahake Gorge
- Explore old railway tunnels
- Enjoy a mineral spa in Te Aroha after a day of riding
Hauraki Rail Trail Sections
- Pukorokoro-Miranda to Tahmes, 55km, Grade 1 (Easiest)
- Thames to Paeroa, 34 km, Grade 1 (Easiest)
- Paeroa to Waihi, 24km, Grade 1 (Easiest)
- Paeroa to Te Aroha, 23 km, Grade 1 (Easiest)
- Te Aroha to Matamata, 37km, Grade 1 (Easiest) - UNDER CONSTRUCTION