It’s Week Four of the Hauraki Rail Trail & JollyBikes Competition. Click here to ENTER.
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. Specialising in Bike Hire for every Rail Trail adventure, the Team offer bikes of all shapes and sizes along with transport options from their convenient rental location at the Paeroa Information Hub.
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.
A My family moved to Paeroa about 20 years ago, with a plan to be here for 3 or 4 years. We came to realise what a great place Paeroa was to live, and so it became home for Trina, myself and later our 3 boys. We have watched and been part of the growth of Paeroa over this time with the Rail Trail being a big part of that development. It’s amazing how well it’s been received by locals and visitors alike.
A We feel lucky that we live in the Hub of the Trail, where we can enjoy the playground that is known as the Karangahake Gorge. We have walks/rides on the Ohinemuri River, and the lifestyle is to die for. So many people miss out on what we have here because they’re in a rush to get somewhere else. If they were to stop and look around them, they’d realise they had already arrived.
A We have ridden most of the Trail, but our favourite section must be Paeroa to Waihi. You can’t beat the beauty along the river, places for walks and swims, the waterfall, great food stops and the peace right on our door step. We are lucky enough to take advantage of this all year round. Mother nature looks after us well.
A We had family visit from Ireland and showed them all the best spots - the Windows Walk, Goldfields Railway, the Waihi Gold Museum, all topped off with a great time at the Karangahake Winery Estate. It has become a great memory for my family and my Sister. Every time we visit the Gorge we find more adventures to add to the collection.
A The Hauraki Rail Trail is unique in a number of ways. It’s something people of all ages and fitness can enjoy. The trail shows people that they can ride, and get back to what really matters - family, peace and making the most of our wonderful environment.
A Planning a mid week ride is ideal as there are less people on the trail. Don’t rush your trip as there is so much to see and do whether you ride to Waihi, Te Aroha or Thames. Take time creating memories that will last a life time, and if you are lucky like me, you can re visit this stunning adventure time and time again. Riding the Paeroa to Te Aroha leg of the trail, with the sun on my skin, wind in my face, fresh air in my lungs and the solitude of wide open spaces offers a fantastic biking adventure.
A The next part of the adventure I hope will be a paddle steamer ride up the Ohinemuri River once the wharfs in Paeroa have been rebuilt. It’s an exciting prospect, and definitely something to plan towards. It’s a brilliant family adventure with fantastic scenery, and hospitality that is second to none.
1 Hop off your bike and enjoy the Windows Walkway.
The Windows Walk in the stunning Karangahake Gorge has unique framed views out onto mining heritage sites, and the stream below. Along the track visitors observe relics of the many processes that took place in extracting gold. From tunnels where rock was extracted, to roasting pits, and remnants of the huge stamper battery processing plant. The walk is about an hour round trip.
2 Take a dip, or snap a few pics at the Owharoa Falls.
The stunning staircase Owharoa Falls are nestled in the heart of the Karangahake Gorge. The Falls make an ideal picnic spot while riding the Trail. If it’s warm enough cool off with a swim in the crystal clear fresh water.
3 Indulge at the Karangahake Winery Estate.
The Winery and Restaurant are couched in a native bush and formal garden setting above the Ohinemuri River. A 160m track leads from the Hauraki Rail Trail to the Cellar Door, making the Estate a great place to stop, rest and refresh after a day in the saddle.
4 Take a ride on the vintage train with Goldfields Railway.
The Goldfields Historic Railway operates a daily timetable between Waihi and Waikino. Riders can take their bike on the steam engine for the 30 minute journey between stations. Re-fuel at the Waikino Station Cafe and relax in the picturesque Waikino Gorge.
5 Visit the interactive Waihi Gold Discovery Centre.
Waihi Gold Mine Tours take you inside the fence to experience modern day gold mining up close. Visitors are shown every stage of the process from ore extraction and crushing, through to final processing. Rattle the drill, crank the handles and immerse yourself in interactive activities at the Waihi Gold Experience.
Paeroa is centrally located for Hauraki Rail Trail adventures, just minutes from beautiful bush, river walks and the spectacular Karangahake Gorge. Offering art galleries, antique shops, golf, river cruises, trout fishing, delicious eateries and accommodation, you’ll want to linger longer. Book in a visit to Mike and the Team, and they’ll promise the adventure of a lifetime.
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