If you would prefer to do your own thing, Freewheelers is designed for you. Set off on your own ride adventure from the Paeroa Maritime Park. Whether it is lunch in Paeroa or ice-cream in Hikutaia, you are guaranteed a memorable day. 

Paeroa is an ideal and central location from which to explore the Hauraki Rail Trail. Whether you want to do a short or long ride, there's an adventure to be had for all ages and abilities.

One option is to ride towards Thames on a journey following the Waihou River, with memorable views across the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel Ranges.

Lush farmland and the small village of Hikutaia is just 11km away. Stop for morning tea or ice-creams to cool off on your way.

You can ride on to the Historic Kōpῡ Bridge, which crosses the Waihou River near Thames, and is the last remaining operational swing span bridge in New Zealand. 


Paeroa township is just a short ride away. Hop off the bikes and enjoy the many antiques and collectables shops.  

We’ll let you into a little secret. A track under the Criterion Bridge at the eastern end of town, will take you and your bike safely to the giant Lemon & Paeroa Bottle without the need to cross the busy highway.

The giant bottle stands 7 metres high and is 1.3 metres in diameter and is a favourite photo stop for many travellers to the region.


The most popular section of the Rail Trail follows the Ohinemuri River through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge. The ride starts in Paeroa and ends in Waihi and is 24km one-way.

This distinctly different landscape includes the cascading Owharoa Falls, photogenic gold mining sites, the charmingly old-fashioned Victoria Battery Museum, and an amazing 1100-metre long railway tunnel, wobbled through with the aid of a torch or headlamp.

The Goldfields Railway is a Must Do, and riders can take their bike on the train for the 30-minute journey between Waikino and Waihi.


From Paeroa, it’s also an easy journey to the township of Te Aroha. Heading south, this leisurely section passes through lush Waikato farmland dotted with dairy cows and farm animals. 

The Kaimai-Mamaku Ranges and Mt Te Aroha (952m The Mountain of Love), and expansive views over the Hauraki Plains are a feast for the eyes.

Te Aroha is a small and rural town. It has a lovely domain, and is home to some great walkways, quirky art and cafes. Look out for Adrian Worsley’s Bike Rack sculptures which combine functionality with art, and can be found prominently displayed in Te Aroha’s main street. 


You choose how far you ride!

Set off any time from the Hub

Price: Adult $25.00 - Child $12.00

Ticket includes:

Entry to the Paeroa Maritime Park Festival Hub on Saturday 6 April.


Festival Hub

On Saturday, start and finish your ride at the Festival Hub. Fuel up with delicious fare, grab a cold drink, listen to live music, kick back, and share the highlights of your Bike Fest experience with family and friends. Relax and enjoy the festival atmosphere, and make the most of the stalls, entertainment, live music, food and licensed bar. 

Bring your own bike, or hire a bike in advance with a local bike operator, which will be at the Festival Hub on the day. If your bicycle or skills are a little rusty, before setting off make the most of the Tips & Tricks Sessions, which offer the chance to prep your bike or seek advice. You can also warm up, or have fun on the bike confidence course challenge. 

HMP riders
HMP picnic
L&P bottle