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Kaiaua to Thames
Thames to Paeroa
Paeroa to Waihi
Paeroa to Te Aroha
Te Aroha to Matamata

And The Winner Is…

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. 

Donated by the team at JollyBikes in Thames and the Trail Trust, Alan has pocketed this super-charged and sporty beast valued at $4,699!  The Prize draw was held on 15 February, with Alan receiving a much anticipated but unexpected call.

Alan was drawn from over 1500 correct Competition entries. Every week for 6 weeks entrants had an opportunity to answer 3 Quiz Questions, with all the answers available on the Hauraki Rail Trail website.

To be eligible to win entrants had to correctly answer three questions in one of the six weekly draws. Well done to everyone who took part, and especially to those who got all the answers right but lucked out in the draw!

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.

 

Photo: From left - Matthias John (Managing Director JollyBikes), Alan Lockett (winner), Diane Drummond (Hauraki Rail Trail CEO), David Erceg (MoreFM)

 

Q    Who are you?

Alan Lockett, from Palmerston North. I’m a mid to late 50’s male who took up cycling two years ago to lose weight, keep healthy, and enjoy the outdoors.

 

Q    What inspired you to enter the Competition?  How did you hear about it?

We had seen the competition on the Rail Trail website when we were checking out the Trail status for the next day. I thought wouldn’t that be an awesome prize to win.

 

Q    How did you find the answers to all the weekly questions?

On the Hauraki Rail Trail website. Everything you need to know about the Trail, cool itineraries and all of the various support services is right at your fingertips.

 

Q    Which Sections of the Trail have you ridden?  Do you have a favourite?

We have ridden all of the Hauraki Rail Trail, apart from Paeroa to Matamata. My favourite section is Waihi to Paeroa through the Karangahake Gorge.

 

Q    What memory or experience on the Trail will stay with you most?

Riding from Waihi to Paeroa in the rain, and the feeling riding through the tunnel. It’s 1km long and a little dark, damp and musty. It’s a great experience but make sure you pack a headlamp!

 

Photo credit: x.escape.reality.x on Instagram - Karangahake Gorge Tunnel 

 

Q    What is it for you that makes the Hauraki Rail Trail unique?

Its location and the different landscapes along the way. From the sea and wetlands to the abundance of farmland and bush.    

 

Q    What benefits will your new e-bike bring to your rides?

It will help my arthritic knee and to be able to ride longer distances.

 

Q    Where are you hoping to adventure next with your new wheels?

To get used to the e-bike we will probably ride the Manawatu river trails, but we will be back soon to completely ride the Hauraki Rail Trail.

 

 

To help Alan tick off the two sections he’s not yet ridden, we’ve gathered together a few things to help kickstart his adventure.

 

Paeroa to Te Aroha - (23 kms, 2-3 hours)

Map

 

Photo: Te Aroha Domain

 

From Paeroa it’s an easy journey down to the township of Te Aroha.  Heading south, this leisurely section passes through lush Waikato farmland dotted with dairy cows and farm animals.  The magnificent Ranges separate the Waikato in the West from the Bay of Plenty in the East.

Te Aroha is a small and rural town, with a lovely domain, and is home to some great walkways, quirky art and cafes.  There are a variety of accommodation options in and around Te Aroha.

Sculptor Adrian Worsley designs and constructs unique and original sculptures entirely from recycled materials from his studio in Te Aroha.  Throughout the town, closer inspection reveals signs of Adrian’s artistic flair including a special fit out for the Ironique Cafe. Open 7 days a week they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving freshly prepared and innovative options which cater for everyone.

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 perfect way to soothe tired muscles and unwind after a days riding, and fun in the heated pools for the kids at Swimzone is guaranteed. Hire the BBQ, relax and unwind, it’s a great place to end the day.

If you’ve got energy to burn, Adventure Te Aroha's river Kayak Tours provide the perfect half day excursion from the Hauraki Rail Trail.  From its source at the Blue Springs the Te Waihou winds its way gently northwards.  A variety of different tours are offered, and Custom Tours can be tailored to suit needs on request, but must be booked in advance. 

The Te Aroha Holiday Park offers a unique country camping experience in one of New Zealand’s few remaining traditional holiday parks in the Waikato.  Set in beautiful rural settings, surrounded by dairy farms and views of Mount Te Aroha, there are plenty of biking and tramping tracks.  All amenities are just a few minutes drive or short walk from the Park.

 

Te Aroha to Matamata - (37 kms, 2-4 hours)

Map

 

Photo: Te Aroha to Matamata

 

This gentle section of trail passes by fertile plains, significant horse studs, goat farms, groves of scented trees.  The Old Forge Kitchen in Te Aroha West takes its name from the history of the site and will set you up for the day.  The 120 seat cafe/restaurant is open 7 days from 7am - 3pm.  A full selection of cabinet food, brunch and lunch menus, and great coffee is available, and there's plenty of parking for cars and bikes.

Alternatively, Café 77 is situated right on the Trail half way between Te Aroha and Matamata, in what was once the old derelict Manawaru Dairy Factory.  Welcoming cyclists not only for great food, coffee and drinks, there’s also a wide range of bike racks, an air compressor and bike tool kits to keep you comfortable on your journey.  There’s free Wifi and plenty of off road vehicle parking to use as the start or end point to your day on the Trail.  Within the lovely landscaped grounds there is also a Motorhome and Caravan Park.

Make time for a detour to the mesmerising Wairere Falls found nearby the trail just before reaching Matamata.  The return walk to the viewing platform at the base of the Falls takes about an hour and a half.  It's an attractive walk along a well-maintained track.  Please note the track isn't suitable for bikes.

Stop off at The Firth Tower built in 1882 by Josiah Clifton Firth which stands on rising ground commanding extensive views.  Visitors can enjoy the tranquil gardens, picnic under venerable oaks and explore the museum displays housed across 13 buildings. 

The Housewithnonails is host to visitors from all over the world, providing a truly luxury experience.  Sitting quietly in its beautiful location in Wardville, the totally handcrafted barn is unlike any other homestay in New Zealand.  Riders can stop for coffee and cake and learn about the unique home.  Contact host Jen to discover options for quick visits, event hosting and overnight stays.

Exclusive tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set can be organised for groups, recounting fascinating details of how the beautiful Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth.  Visitors can enjoy a Festive Feast lunch or alternatively the Evening Banquet Tour at dusk includes a banquet feast fit for a Hobbit. 

Matamata is a rural town nestled at the base of the scenic Kaimai Ranges.  It offers a range of walking options, golf courses, and an extensive selection of Cafés and Accommodation, making it a great place to unwind or stay after riding the Trail.

 

If you want to find out more about e-Bikes and discover a handful of itineraries you might enjoy Popular E-Bike Rides On The Hauraki Rail Trail.

If you need help with planning your adventure, you can find information and support for bike hire, supported tours, shuttle services, luggage transfersaccommodationcafes and restaurants, and things to see and do here.

 

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