It’s Week Three of the Hauraki Rail Trail & JollyBikes Competition. Click here to ENTER.
A Girls Getaway provides an ideal opportunity to escape, relax and indulge. Life is busy and often presents a constant juggle between work, children and family. Finding the motivation and energy to manage everything with a smile isn’t easy, but time away can help create a happier balanced life.
All you have to do is decide who’s going and plan your escape to an as yet undiscovered destination or a favourite place. Take a little time for yourself, read a magazine, take long walks, go for bike rides, indulge with chocolate or languish in a spa.
A Girls Getaway brings friends close together, you’ll create memories, stay connected and nurture friendships. So whether you’re planning a hen party, birthday or just escaping from the hum drum of day to day, set a budget, choose some dates, and let us help you plan the rest.
If you’re yearning for peace, tranquility and natural beauty, then look no further than The Falls Retreat. This stunning haven is an ideal stop when cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail. Located in the Karangahake Gorge, the venue offers award winning dining and boutique accomodation options.
Rose Cottage, located in the grounds is nestled by woodland and just a two minute walk to the award winning Bistro. Guests can enjoy the magical forest setting with its barn style dining room and open fire, or the delightful outdoor area under the shady boughs of the Fig Tree.
Set on two levels, Rose Cottage offers charming, country style accommodation with a cosy log fire. French windows open onto a patio to make the most of long Summer evenings under the forest canopy. The Girls Getaway package is based on 4 people and includes one night accommodation and comes with a handful of additional treats.
You’ll find a bottle of sparkling Prosecco to share with the girls, and a hamper full of house made nibbles, cheeses and sweet treats. The delicious continental breakfast basket is filled with freshly baked bread, home made muesli, jams and preserves, and seasonal fruit. Not forgetting 4 luxury bath robes for ultimate chilling out and pampering.
The total cost for the Getaway is $400.00, with the option to add an extra night for only $200.00. Please note this is with 2 people sharing a queen bed. Alternatively Waterfall Cabin can be hired for an extra $150 per night.
To make your stay even more memorable there are plenty of optional extras if your budget permits. Indulge over dinner in the Bistro and relax knowing you don’t have to drive home. Or if you’re feeling lazy, and want to wear pyjamas, opt for takeaway pizzas delivered to your cottage while you watch a movie on DVD.
Massages, facials and group pamper packages can also be arranged in the comfort of your cottage. Guests can choose from a range of treatments, and the getaway wouldn’t be complete without hiring a bike and exploring the Hauraki Rail Trail. The Falls Retreat team can arrange this for you.
The most popular section of the Hauraki Rail Trail follows the Ohinemuri River through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge. A deep canyon cut through the Kaimai Ranges. This distinctly different landscape includes gold mining sites, the Victoria Battery museum, Windows Walkway and an amazing 1100-metre long railway tunnel.
This lovely walk starts in the Karangahake Gorge carpark area and is about an hour round trip. Along the track visitors can observe relics of the many processes that took place in extracting gold. From the tunnels where rock was extracted, to the roasting pits where the rock was broken down, and remnants of the huge stamper battery processing plant.
The Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway
The ruins of the Battery are now managed by the Department of Conservation, and the site is a feature on the Karangahake Historic Walkway. The loop walk starts and finishes at the Waikino Railway Station and takes about 1 hour.
The Walkway follows the old Paeroa to Waihi railway line, with the remainder of the track following the banks of the Ohinemuri River. Old mine buildings, machinery, walkways and tunnels tell stories of a rich mining history.
Situated between Paeroa and Waihi, the walkway is serviced by four carparks, located at the Waikino Visitor Centre, Waitawheta Road, Karangahake Reserve and Crown Hill Road. The walk is 7km and incorporates a 2km loop section.
The Goldfields Railway is a popular tourist railway between Waihi and Waikino, and caters for history buffs, railway enthusiasts and visitors to the Hauraki Rail Trail. The 30 minute nostalgic journey takes passengers through to Waikino at the eastern end of the Karangahake Gorge. The Railway offers a unique experience to learn about the area’s history, and offers a helping hand if lunch is overly indulgent.
Formerly the Ohinemuri Winery, the Karangahake Winery Estate is also located in the Gorge. A 160m track leads from the tunnel entrance on the Trail to the Cellar Door, making it a great place to stop and indulge. The Winery and Restaurant are couched in a native bush garden above the Ohinemuri River, a perfect sport for long lunches.
Nestled in the beautiful domain at the foot of Mount Te Aroha is the Te Aroha Mineral Spas. Renowned for their healing properties since the 1800’s, it’s the ideal way to soothe tired muscles and unwind after a days riding. Each spa has a private room with changing area and ensuite, and a range of luxurious, pampering treatments to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. It’s worth booking ahead to avoid disappointment.
Karangahake Gorge - Waihi (24km return)
This popular and leisurely ride starts at your accommodation in the historic Karangakahe Gorge. A whole day can be spent in the Gorge, so take your foot off the pedal as there’s plenty to explore.
Staying close to the river, the trail passes through the Victoria Battery, a museum and underground kilns offering insight into the gold-mining days of the 1900’s. Pack your togs as you may want to take a dip at one of the swimming spots along the way. Owharoa Falls is an iconic hidden gem and perfect for cooling off.
Photo credit: Craig Oakley
There’s a historic hotel, and old railway station at Waikino where you can shorten your ride and catch the vintage train to Waihi, a beautiful township is worth exploring. If you want to venture further Waihi Beach is home to a bustling beachside community. The sought-after destination has some of the best walking and cycle tracks, and all important boutique shopping and dining.
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