John and Kate Driver describe themselves as Sailors who love to Bike. They have pushed past their comfort zone over the years, mostly through John’s thirst for adventure and inspirations, with Kate as facilitator. Over 30 years, Kate and John have clocked up an impressive 70,000 kms adventuring around the world. We asked Kate and John to tell us about their time on the Hauraki Rail Trail, how it compares to other Great Rides they’ve ridden, and offer a few Trail Tips for when you next explore the Trail.
The Hauraki Rail Trail has some wonderful Cafés either alongside the Trail or nearby. The Miranda Farm Shop, Café & Gallery is one, and located at the bottom of the Firth of Thames it offers expansive views of the Coromandel Peninsula. We caught up with owner operators Sean and Annie to hear a few of their favourite things about the area, and of course where they’re planning to adventure next.
The Coromandel Distilling Co. in Thames craft gins and other limited release spirits with a relentless focus on quality and the art of distilling. Gin from the tiny micro-distillery was recently awarded the World’s Best Classic Gin. Founders Paul Schneider and Daniela Suess have lived in Thames for 15 years. We asked Paul for a few of his insider tips.
With Easter just a few weeks away, it offers a perfect long weekend of biking adventures and delicious chocolate treats of course. We all love holidays, and if you’re partial to a sneaky egg or two, be sure to include something chocolatey in your backpack. With multiple access points, you can tailor your ride to almost any length. We've put together a few popular rides suited to leisurely chocolate laden adventuring.
Nikki Scott and her husband took on the full Hauraki Rail Trail in June 2021 riding over 4 days. We asked Nikki to tell us about her best decision, her biggest lesson, and a few sightseeing tips too.
Corbett House, or The Big House as it’s known locally, is situated in the peaceful rural village of Hikutaia, just a 20 minute drive from Thames and 1.5 hours drive from Auckland. David and Anja Corbett bought the house in 2018. It was the first time Corbetts had lived in the house for 40 years. We asked Anja to tell us more about the connection she shares with the property which is run as a Bed & Breakfast, and the benefits of being located so close to the Trail.
HELP Waihi, is an incorporated society originally established by people representing the local section of Forest & Bird, Newmont Waihi Gold, and local schools. Established in 1997, projects undertaken by the society aim to improve the local natural environment of the Waihi Ecological area, and also across the Hauraki district, particularly along riverbanks, and use the help of community volunteers and schools. We caught up with the society's Chairman, Warwick Buckman to hear more about his work and the special relationship with the Trail.
Firth Tower Museum is a great destination for users of the Te Aroha to Matamata Section of the Hauraki Rail Trail. The Trail runs right past the door, so riders can veer off to use the facilities and enjoy the tranquil grounds. Or for a nominal fee, explore the historical village and climb the tower. The team at the Tower love visitors, and having riders pop in to say hello, and enjoy what's on offer. We caught up with Amy Hunter, Manager of Firth Tower to hear about what visitors can look forward to this Summer.
As children, there’s nothing better than extra curricular adventures with your school friends. And as adventures go, bike rides topped off with overnight camping would possibly come top of the list. In October this year, not just one class, but the entire Kerepehi School headed en masse to the Karangahake Gorge. The overnight stay at Waitewheta Camp amounted to a whopping 72 children aged 5 -13 years, and 22 adults to ensure a safe and successful outing.
Adventure Specialties Trust is a not-for-profit charitable organisation delivering outdoor education and adventure therapy programmes, that seek to facilitate the holistic development of individuals, families and communities. The Hauraki Rail Trail is a favourite location for the Trust's activities, and provides a number of rides of various lengths in differing locations. We caught up with the Trust's Auckland Operations Manager, Jeff Lappin, to hear more about their outdoor adventure programmes.
Most of us have a favourite tipple, but our newest Official Partner Wayne Chowles (and partner Kathy) has just won an Award for his Gold Gin. The Waikino Hotel publican is a gold-medal winner for Eliza’s Claim Gold Gin at this year’s New Zealand Spirits Awards. We caught up with Wayne to hear more about his new venture, what he believes makes the Hauraki Rail Trail so unique, and of course what’s next…
The small and picturesque settlement of Waikino sits alongside the Ohinemuri River, between Waihi and the Karangahake Gorge. The abundance of history, steam locomotives, mining relics and lush forest make Waikino an ideal place to stay when you ride the Hauraki Rail Trail. It's no wonder locals Kevin and Sarah fell under the spell of an old miner's cottage in the village. We caught up with the creative duo to hear about the cottage's renovation, why they love to run their business right on the Trail, and of course where they're hoping to adventure next themselves.
Historically cycling networks have been designed around two wheeled bikes, and with able bodied cyclists in mind. There is however a growing demographic of cyclists with a disability, whom with improved technology and equipment have been introduced to a mind blowing, world expanding opportunity to explore our trails like never before. Ross Ormsby has ridden parts of an impressive 11 Great Rides, which as a Tetraplegic is no small feat. We caught up with the inspirational adventurer to hear about his experience on the Hauraki Rail Trail, why cycling is so beneficial to the disabled community, and of course where he’s hoping to adventure next.
Whether it's short riverboat rides, mineral spas, or mouth watering food to keep you going, the Hauraki Rail Trail offers plenty of opportunities to hop off the bike and make the most of your ride. With this in mind, we've put together a ride between Paeroa and Te Aroha, which includes places of interest and great spots to fill up hungry tummies. As all New Zealanders look to their backyard with fresh eyes, we hope you'll enjoy supporting the wonderful businesses along this short and easy section of the Rail Trail.
The Cheese Barn at Matatoki can be found along the Thames to Paeroa section of the Hauraki Rail Trail. This 34km leisurely ride passes through lush farmland with expansive views across the Hauraki Plains and the Kaimai Ranges. With the Historical Maritime Park, and the quaint townships of Thames and Paeroa to explore, it makes for a fun and manageable day ride. We caught up with owners Cathy and Kelvin to learn a little more about the Cheese Barn, what visitors can expect, and hear where they're headed next.
Across the road from the iconic Cornish Pumphouse, the Gold Discovery Centre invites visitors to step into the past and hear about tales of love, war and social strife in early Waihi. The Gold Discovery Centre also houses the regional i-SITE, the visitor hub for the area’s abundant attractions, along with Waihi Bicycle Hire. We caught up with owner operators Eddie and Karen to hear about why riding the Trail isn’t just about riding a bike, what’s putting big smiles on faces, and where they’re exploring next.
E is not just for e-Bike, but also ecstatic as our lucky Winner Alan Lockett made the journey from Palmerston North to Thames to collect his Avanti Explorer E2 e-Bike prize. We caught up with Alan to find out a little more about the bike’s recipient, what benefits it will bring for him, and where he’s intending to adventure first.
Every bike ride is enriched by the things we can see and do along the way. Whether it's short detours to waterfalls, train rides, or the mouth watering food that keeps us going. The Hauraki Rail Trail offers plenty of opportunities to slow down the pace and hop off the bike. With this in mind, we've put together a ride between Paeroa and Waihi, which includes places of interest and great spots to fill up hungry tummies. As all New Zealanders look to their backyard with fresh eyes, we hope you'll enjoy supporting the wonderful businesses along this iconic section of the Rail Trail.
With some of New Zealand’s greatest Must Do’s found in the Coromandel, there is every reason to ride, stay and play longer in this magical region. A 5 Day ride allows visitors to explore attractions and activities along or near the Trail, which showcase this unique and idyllic destination. We’ve put together a 5 Day Ride setting you off from Kaiaua in the North, or you can simply enjoy the itinerary in reverse.
With Summer in full swing there's never been a better time to explore New Zealand with fresh eyes. We can research travel options, book cheap flights and accommodation for the first few nights, and everything else can be taken care of once we arrive. We've put together a ride for Section B of the Hauraki Rail Trail, which includes a selection of our incredible Official Partners. We hope you enjoy all they have to offer as they work hard to enrich your Rail Trail experience.
With some of New Zealand’s Must Do’s found in the Coromandel, stay and play longer in this magical region, and explore the many attractions and activities along or near the Trail. We’ve put together four options for a 3 Day Ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail. There’s a ride starting in the North, South, or centrally, plus an Advanced rider option which takes in the entire Trail across just 3 days.
With temperatures warming up it's a great time to dust off the bike and make the most of the Trail. Remember it's time to #backyourbackyard, so we've put together a ride for Section A of the Hauraki Rail Trail which includes a selection of our wonderful Official Partners. We hope you enjoy all they have to offer as they work hard to enrich your Rail Trail experience.
Get a taste of the Hauraki Rail Trail with our 1 Day Rides. Whether you're short for time, or passing through the Region, the Trail is one of the easiest cycle trails in New Zealand and the 5 Sections allow for a range of manageable scenic day rides.
Located in the bountiful Western Bay of Plenty and gateway to the Coromandel, Waihi Beach is just 2 hours drive from Auckland, 1.5 hours from Hamilton and 50 minutes from Tauranga. The name Waihi Rising Water is said to be named after a stream which flows into the beach. With its boutique stores, cafes and restaurants, Waihi Beach is the ideal place to explore and unwind after your ride. We caught up with locals Peter and Karen West to hear about why they’re excited to run their business so close to the Trail, why riders should extend their adventure to the town, and where their next cycling holiday will be.
With 5 sections to choose from the Hauraki Rail Trail offers the perfect opportunity for Half Day Rides to get a taste of the Trail. Riders can comfortably traverse one section each day, or select a shorter route for a relaxed morning or afternoon of sightseeing and leisurely biking. Whatever your adventure looks like we've got you covered with a handful of suggested trips that will have you coming back for more.
Regardless of age, fitness, or the list of aches and pains, you can enjoy the freedom, fun and health benefits of biking. Whether you’ve recently got into cycling or have well worn pedals, here’s a few things to consider, and suggested rides to kickstart the adventure.
Long weekends away offer the perfect combination of biking adventures together with an excuse to indulge in all things delicious. The Hauraki Rail Trail has an abundance of eateries with delicious food, either alongside the trail or nearby. If your ideal spin on the bike includes mouthwatering temptations en route, we’ve selected a few heavenly options to help get your outing underway.
Waihi’s Trilogy Events created the Trail Trilogy in 2017. The vision was to get people of all ages active, and to promote the Hauraki Region through the Rail Trail. The onslaught of Covid-19 put pay to both the 2020 and 2021 event, however the epic day will return on Sunday 11 September 2022. We caught up with Event Director, Mark Samson to hear more about the initiative and find out which race tickles his fancy.
When it comes to Winter, it’s safe to say most of us probably fall into one of two camps. The die hard wrap up and hit the trails kind, and those of us whose bike rests in hibernation covered beneath a season’s dust and cobwebs. So, if Spring’s warmer days and lighter evenings have you fired up and heading out for your first ride, spend a little time getting your bike fit for the trails. Our basic bike maintenance tips will help ensure a safe and efficient ride all season.
The varied Waikato Hauraki Rail Trail offers visitors a memorable journey across 197km of track comprising of 5 distinctive and manageable sections. The diverse trails are Grade 1 Easiest and offer rides for all abilities, interests and itineraries. If you’re hungry for adventure, and want to experience the wild and natural essence of the region, we’ve got you covered.
With it's wide, flat and smooth terrain for most of the way, the Hauraki Rail Trail is a safe and ideal place to test drive an E-Bike, or ride your own with confidence. With a little extra power to back you up, you can explore the trails with friends or keep up with the rest of the family. At or below 300 watts, an e-bike is considered a bicycle rather than a motorcycle. Whilst E-bikes aren’t cheap to buy, most bike hire or tour companies offer them so you can get a feel for it before investing in your own. We've put together a few facts and popular day rides suited to leisurely and gentle E-bike adventuring.
If you want to spoil yourself, or celebrate a special occasion there are a few ways to introduce a little bit of luxury to your Rail Trail experience. Whilst spectacular landscapes and towns are there for everyone to enjoy, you can introduce extra special activities, food and wine or luxurious accommodation to enrich your adventure. So if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury when you book your Rail Trail adventure, here’s a few special places to stay, dine and experience to get you started.
The abundance of history surrounding the Hauraki Rail Trail is there for everyone to enjoy along this unique Trail. From heritage towns and buildings, Captain Cook’s landing, concrete cyanide tank remains, the 1100-metre long railway tunnel, a vintage Railway, to the modern day working Martha Mine. We’ve put together a list of historical highlights, so whether you’re intending to ride the entire Trail across 4-5 days, or choose a Section to enjoy across a day, there’s plenty to see and learn about for history buffs and lovers of yesteryear.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is an ideal destination for a family friendly holiday. Quality surfaces, steady gradients, and off road trails away from traffic, offer multiple benefits. There's also a range of activities, sights, and points of interest along the trail, with support available for bike hire, accommodation and transport. To help kickstart your adventure, we've put together a handful of options for accommodation, dining and activities. With a little research and careful planning, hopefully you’ll be cultivating a lifelong love of cycling in your kids.
Hauraki Rail Trail in the North Island showcases some of the region's best scenery. There’s a variety of detours to be had off the bike too, with walking, arts, culture, local hospitality and a wealth of attractions to add to the fun. One such feature is the growing addition of Art installations along the Trail. Riders can enjoy these works from the towns of Thames and Te Aroha.
New Zealand is a great destination for an active cycling or mountain biking break, and with options for every budget there’s no need to break the bank. Whatever your budget there are options to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail depending on the kind of experience you’re seeking. If your perfect adventure needs to be thrifty, we’ve put together a few places to stay and things to enjoy which won’t blow the budget.
Adventuring with friends and family is hard to beat. There is much to be said however for hitting the trails by yourself. Just you, your bike, your thoughts and fresh air, and utterly in keeping with physical distancing. So next time there’s an opportunity to ride, seize the day. Converse with yourself, bike your favourite trail, lunch at your desired cafe, and head home when you’re good and ready. If you need convincing…here’s our 10 reasons to fly solo.
For many of us cycling is a way of life. It’s something we love to do, and want to be good at. As with any physical activity however there’s bound to be ups and downs, sometimes with our motivation lurking or absent. The good news is it happens to us all, and there are many ways to find your biking mojo - especially after lockdown.
We are in this together has become a familiar term as we all self-isolate at home in our bubbles. Some of us under each other’s feet in large families, whilst others rattle around the house alone with or without the dog. The key to this long road, is to work out how we’re going to look after our own wellbeing, our whānau, and our community as we get through this together. We've put together some tips to help protect yourself and others, along with a handful fun bike related activities to do from the safety of your home.
Recently retired Glen Goodnough and Pam Griffen from Maine USA, are cycling New Zealand following the Tour Aotearoa Route. Their first night on the Hauraki Rail Trail which is part of the TA route would be the Miranda Holiday Park at the northern end of the trail. Less than 10kms into their ride, their all essential bag of tent pegs and poles jettisoned off the back of a bike. We caught up with Pam and Glen to hear all about their adventure (and adversity) on the Rail Trail.
The laid-back Hauraki Rail Trail is a Great Ride for all ages. With its gentle terrain and abundance of accommodation, cafes and restaurants, it’s one of the easiest and most satisfying trails in the North Island. The Trail is ideal for families looking for a manageable adventure, retired people, school groups, social clubs, to celebrate special occasions, and overseas visitors looking to experience the best of New Zealand. If you’re looking to ride the Trail, we've put together a basic guide to get you started.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is a buzz with excitement as construction nears completion on the new extension from Te Aroha to Matamata. Matamata offers a range of walking options, golf courses, and an extensive selection of Cafés and Accommodation, making it a great place to unwind after riding the Trail.
Many of us live close to a handful of great trails to enjoy in our downtime. There are only a handful however who are lucky enough not just to have the Rail Trail on their doorstep, but who use and enjoy it for work every day.
Located in Paeroa, the Best Little Town in the North Island of New Zealand, Hauraki Bike Hire is locally owned and operated by Michael Tansey. With an intimate knowledge of the region, there’s no one better to tell a few stories about the Rail Trail. We caught up with Mike to hear about his sister’s visit from Ireland, how he likes nothing more than the solitude of open spaces, and he offers a few tips on slowing down to smell the roses.
People often ask what makes the Hauraki Rail Trail special, and it would have to be it’s versatility at the top of a long list. With multiple access points from townships along the Trail, there are many groups who gather to make the most of the tranquility, variety and fun on offer. One such group is the Pokeno Tramping Group who organise walks in the Hunuas, Coromandel, Northern Kaimais, Waikato and Franklin regions.
Riding together as a family is a great way to get children active, and away from devices and screen time. It’s a social sport they will enjoy throughout their life, and encourages quality family time in the great outdoors. When we exercise, the food we put into our bodies needs to support the activity. Without fuelling up properly, we might notice we have less endurance, and feel tired or perhaps even a little bit dizzy.
New Zealand is a great destination for active cycling or mountain biking breaks, with accessible riding trails and tracks near most cities and towns. You’re guaranteed a cycling holiday to remember, with beautiful landscapes found around each bend. We caught up with Gary Patterson of the Great Rides APP to discover what he loves most about the Hauraki Rail Trail. If you want to follow in Gary’s footsteps, we’ve put together two easy rides for you to enjoy on Section C of the Rail Trail.
Regardless of age, fitness level, or the list of aches and pains, you can enjoy the fun, adventure, and health benefits of biking. Cycling is one of the best exercises for ageing bodies, as it helps you work your cardiovascular system and keep your heart healthy. Whether you haven’t ridden for years, or want to ride more regularly to get a little fitter, here’s a few tips to get started.
Renowned for being the toughest one-day race in the Southern Hemisphere, the K2 Cycle Race is one of New Zealand’s most popular races on the calendar. It’s a Bucket List experience, and a perfect opportunity to explore the Coromandel region, and then slow the pace down with a leisurely ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Whilst the Hauraki Rail Trail is one of New Zealand's Great Rides, there are plenty of people who enjoy the Trail on foot. One such regular visitor is Claire Whittle, who trains on the Rail Trail. We caught up with Claire to find out why the Rail Trail is such a great place to train. Why her favourite section was also once the scariest, and her top tip for enjoying the Trail at its most tranquil.
When you ride with children, it’s time together, new experiences, challenges, fostering independence and building confidence. Introducing kids to an established and easy ride like the Hauraki Rail Trail comes with multiple benefits. We've put together a few top tips to help you plan a smooth and fun family adventure.
The 160km Hauraki Rail Trail provides an unrivalled cycling experience for the whole family, within a two hour drive from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. If you like getting out on the water, Waimarino Kayak Tours showcase some of the best waterways in the Bay of Plenty. If you’re tempted to dip a toe in the water, or are a seasoned waterman, we’ve selected our two favourite tours for you to include a paddle with your pedal.
Dewi is Welsh, and a craftsman. Jen a local Kiwi, and host of the housewithnonails Boutique Bed & Breakfast. This unique, handcrafted, rustic, eco friendly homestead graces the horizon along the new Te Arohoa to Matamata section of the Hauraki Rail Trail. A unique home full of character and personality, and a pure reflection of hosts Jen and Dewi, and their burgeoning efforts to share their space with strangers who depart as friends.
We caught up with Emma Walters, owner of The Falls Retreat to discover what she loves most about the Hauraki Rail Trail. Why her favourite section is all about the ice cream, and a top tip for parents considering an adventure with kids in tow.
With so much on offer when you ride the Hauraki Rail Trail, book in a few extra days either side of your ride and linger longer. If you’re keen for more adventures, swap biking for hiking and stretch your legs with one of the many excellent walks both on and around the Trail.
For men and women there’s plenty of health benefits associated with cycling. However, studies show that physically active women have a lower risk of breast cancer than inactive women. Cycling regularly is a fun and simple way to incorporate physical exercise into your life, and is a great way to keep your sanity in check, stay focused and grow stronger. We've put together a pampering intinerary and 7 reasons why seeing the world from behind handlebars can do your mind, body and soul the world of good.
Electric Bikes otherwise known as E-Bikes are rapidly growing in popularity. Now cyclists can reap the many benefits they offer, with the bikes readily available to hire. We've put together a few facts and benefits, together with a handful of popular day rides suited to leisurely E-Bike adventuring.
The Hauraki Rail Trail provides a perfect opportunity for an easy cycling break. With the trail easily accessible and with support options available, you’re guaranteed a relaxed cycling holiday. There are plenty of cool detours to be had off the bike too, with walking, arts, culture, local hospitality and a wealth of attractions to add to the fun. We've put together our Top 10 List of things to do both on and off the Trail.
Riding a bike offers learning in disguise. It provides an opportunity to experience new things, build skills, share knowledge, tell stories, adventure and make positive transport choices. Introducing kids to an established and easy ride like the Hauraki Rail Trail comes with multiple benefits. We’ve put together a few ideas to help engage young children, so you can encourage them to cycle with you more often, and further.
Winter is a great time for adventuring on and around the Hauraki Rail Trail. It can be wished away, or used well. So rather than lose your biking mojo, combine one section of Trail with a local activity and feel a little smug. We’ve put together 5 Winter Adventures to tack onto your ride.
With Winter just around the corner, our motivation might be lurking beneath a warm blanket by the fire. It’s a time of year most of us need a little persuasion to notch up an adventure or two over the chilly months. There are however plenty of reasons not to put your bike out to pasture over winter.
Goldfields Railway Incorporated was established in 1980 to preserve the rail heritage of the local area. The Society now operates the popular tourist railway between Waihi and Waikino, catering for history buffs, railway enthusiasts and visitors to the Hauraki Rail Trail. With its fabulous scenery, and historical mining sites, it’s a Must Do when riding the Rail Trail.
As the memories of a long, hot Summer fade, it’s time to prepare for the cold of Winter looming on the horizon. Winter cycling can cause extra wear to your bike. We’ve put together a few simple checks to keep your bike in tip top condition.
Concrete cyanide tank stands reminiscent of ancient ruins are among the remains of the Victoria Battery at Waikino. Constructed on the south bank of the Ohinemuri River, it’s easily accessible from the Hauraki Rail Trail. The site got its name from the Victoria Rock, located between Waihi and Waikino, which resembles the profile of Queen Victoria.
The beauty of a day ride is you can travel light, but it’s still worth carrying all the essentials, some of which can be shared amongst your group. Packing the right gear, snacks, and tools can be the difference between a fun day out on the trails and a long walk back to the car.
Whilst most of us enjoy some alone time on our bike, riding with others comes with a handful of benefits. With winter around the corner it provides much needed motivation on a cold morning, knowing your friends are waiting shivering at the start of a trail.
Adventuring has become incredibly easy with smart phones, the internet, google maps, and APPs. New Zealand is a great destination for an active cycling or mountain biking break, with accessible riding trails and tracks near most cities and towns. You’re guaranteed a cycling holiday to remember, with beautiful landscapes found around each bend.
With Easter just a few weeks away, it offers a perfect long weekend of biking adventures and delicious chocolate of course. We all love holidays, and if you’re partial to a sneaky egg or two, be sure to include something chocolatey in your backpack.
Tour Aotearoa is one of the world’s great bike-packing trips. Stretching 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available.
Autumn is one of the best seasons to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail. Busy Summer crowds are long gone, and the weather gloriously settled. Just pack a merino and rain jacket, and you might have the trail to yourself.
Biking across New Zealand’s countryside provides an unrivalled travel experience. Mostly off-road, the Hauraki Rail Trail traverses a remarkable range of landscapes. Although the Trail can be enjoyed as manageable day sections, this versatile trail lends itself to multi-day adventures.
Cycling encourages us to put the brakes on the pace, visit iconic attractions, and discover hidden gems often missed by car. Whatever your age, skills or fitness, everyone can enjoy the fun, adventure, and health benefits of biking. Whether you’re a rusty rider, don’t own a bike, or want to ride more often, you can get out on the trails.