It’s Week Four of the Hauraki Rail Trail & JollyBikes Competition. Click here to ENTER.
Adventuring has become incredibly easy with smart phones, the internet, google maps, and APPs. 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.
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.
Diverse trails range from super easy to hardcore and epic, offering rides for all abilities, interests and itineraries. All trails make the most of the spectacular coastline or countryside, yet are seldom far from towns.
A seemingly endless network of forest trails, abandoned railways, farm tracks and other backcountry routes usher riders through an array of stunning backdrops. Cyclists can make interesting detours to enjoy walking, arts, culture, local hospitality and a wealth of attractions.
Biking provides an unrivalled travel experience. Mostly off-road, the Hauraki Rail Trail in the North Island traverses a remarkable range of landscapes. From pristine coastlines and green pastures, to misty rainforests, you’ll discover places four-wheeled travellers never knew existed.
The 197km trail showcases some of the region's best scenery, and as a Grade One (Easiest) trail, it’s suitable for all fitness levels and cycling abilities. Although the Trail can be enjoyed as manageable day sections, this versatile trail lends itself to multi-day adventures.
With multiple access points from Kaiaua, Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, Te Aroha, Waikino, the Karangahake Gorge and Matamata, all options are within a two hour drive from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. The Coromandel’s temperate climate also means the Trail can be ridden all year round.
If you want to focus on riding with someone else taking care of the logistics, a guided cycle tour might be for you. Supported tours have the advantage of providing planning, support, transport, and local knowledge of the Trail and region.
Expert guidance enriches your experience, so you can relax and make the most of your adventure. If you’d like to enjoy New Zealand's famous scenery, culture, food and wine here’s an example itinerary to help you plan.
This 5 day ride enables riders to cruise at a leisurely pace, enjoying additional attractions and activities the area has to offer. At the end of the ride take a shuttle back to your start point.
Ride along stop banks beside the Firth of Thames taking in the Kaiaua Shore Birds, lush farm lands and wetlands with magnificent views to the Coromandel Ranges. Secure parking is available at Miranda Hot Springs ($20 per day). This ride departs from Kaiaua, coasting along the chenier plains. Hop off your bike and take a short walk up to the Bird-Hides at the Robert Findlay Reserve, then make your way through the wetlands. Take the short detour to Thames following the arts trail, where you'll find great lunch options.
Heading east, travel through lush farmlands to Paeroa. Stop at cafes along the way to refuel. Ensure you arrive early enough into Paeroa to explore the antique shops, and quench your thirst with a bottle of 'Famous in New Zealand' Lemon & Paeroa.
Take time to explore the majestic Karangahake Gorge, take a dip at one of the swimming spots along the way. Travel from Paeroa through the Karangahake Gorge to Waihi. Take time to explore the gold mines, relics and breathe in the majestic scenery. Enjoy the Gold Mine Tour in Waihi. A whole day can be spent in the Gorge, as there is plenty to see and do.
Take the Vintage Train from Waihi back to Waikino, and enjoy the downhill ride through the Karangahake Gorge back to Paeroa. Travel south under the watchful gaze of Mount Te Aroha. Explore the art work of Adrian Worsley in Te Aroha township, and enjoy the domain with its geysers and walking tracks. Finish the day with a soak at the Te Aroha Mineral Spa.
An unexpected journey past goat, dairy and thoroughbred farms, with views to the Wairere Falls and Firth Tower then on to Matamata. Head south crossing over the active train line that passes under the Kaimai Ranges. From Firth Tower, it is a short journey into the township of Matamata, home of the Hobbition Movie Set. Cold refreshments and great food await. Book early to enjoy an evening out at the Green Dragon Inn.
The Hauraki Rail Trail showcases the best of New Zealand’s landscape, environment, culture and heritage. No matter how fast or far you want to ride, if you’re ready for an adventure there’s a great option for every rider.
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