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.
If you’re concerned about visiting New Zealand and exploring on two wheels, the ideal trip is one that’s easily navigated. If you enjoy riding in a group and to a schedule, a supported tour could be for you. With a light load, and your route planned, you can relax and soak up the scenery.
You can arrange your own luxury experience, or let a tour operator look after your every need. Comfortable bikes, transport, luggage transfers, advice on activities, and top quality food and accommodation provide an unforgettable journey. Local knowledge of the Trail and region will enrich your experience, so you can relax and make the most of your ride.
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 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. Situated along Section E (Te Aroha - Matamata) it offers a perfect night of indulgence and incredible home cooked food to celebrate nearing the end of your ride.
On arrival guests are welcomed by an inviting porch. The bold oak door and antique Welsh knocker hinting at the experience awaiting. 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.
The Falls Retreat is a stunning haven, and an ideal stop when cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail. Visitors can enjoy delicious food and warm hospitality in this beautiful setting. Located in the Karangahake Gorge, the venue offers award winning dining and boutique accommodation options.
Stay in the secluded Rose Cottage or Waterfall Cabin, surrounded by native bush and birdlife, and just a minute away from Owharoa Falls. If you’re celebrating a special occasion visitors can book one of the many packages available.
These include the Romantic Getaway with massages and pamper packages in the comfort of your cottage. Or choose from the Girls Getaway for a night of relaxation and pampering with luxury bath robes and Prosecco on arrival. And for the Guys there’s an outdoor experience which includes bike hire, craft beer and fly fishing.
Book ahead to enjoy the Social Pizza Nights on selected Fridays, for those wanting a casual style of dining. Or for a little more luxury, the Paddock to Plate Dining Experience on Saturday evenings is a 4-course degustation menu. Sunday lunches offer the perfect family style set menu.
There are “in-house” dining options available for all overnight guests. This means you can enjoy a 2-course restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own cottage. A continental breakfast is included as standard, or you can upgrade to a cooked breakfast, both of which are also delivered to the cottages.
The abundance of history, steam trains, mining relics and lush forest make Waikino an ideal place to stay when you ride the Hauraki Rail Trail. The Cottage offers a luxury retreat in a beautifully restored late 1900's gold miner's cottage. There are spectacular views over Mount Karangahake, and the location offers easy access to the Rail Trail for visitors wanting to explore on foot or by bike.
Within easy walking distance of the local historic pub, The Cottage also has secure and covered facilities for bicycles, including a power point for guests needing to charge e-Bikes. Its central Gorge location offers the perfect vantage point to set out on the Rail Trail towards Waihi or Paeroa through the stunning Karangahake Gorge.
Villa Walton is an idyllic homestead and Boutique Bed and Breakfast set in the quiet historic village of Walton. Known for its beautiful cottage gardens and specimen trees, Victorian features, and sweeping verandahs allowing for privacy and intimate spaces with views towards the Kaimai ranges.
Situated in close proximity to a wide range of activities including the Hobbiton Movie Set, this villa is an opportunity to enjoy the experience of being on a farm in the heart of New Zealand’s dairy country.
The pretty coastal town of Waihi Beach lies just 10 kms to the east of Waihi, at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. The beach offers 9 kms of glorious sand, and at its northern end the 145 hectares Orokawa Scenic Reserve offers several short walking tracks along the coast and to Orokawa Bay.
With its boutique stores, cafes and restaurants, Waihi Beach is an ideal place to explore and unwind after your ride. Waihi Beach Paradise Resort has everything for a relaxing stay and to recharge. With a heated swimming pool, spa pools, and two tastefully decorated fully self-contained units just 80m from the beach, it’s a great base to end a busy day cycling.
Photo: Waihi Beach Paradise Resort
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.
Consider hiring an e-bike. Electric bikes work like ordinary bikes. They can be pedalled, gear shifted, and steered but come with the added benefit of a tiny engine when you’re flagging. With the pressure off, you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Stop more often to take photos, ride further, and all with your new best friend the E-Bike who’ll minimise the physical challenges.
Formerly the Ohinemuri Winery, the Karangahake Winery Estate is located in the stunning Karangahake Gorge. The Winery and Restaurant are couched in a native bush and formal garden setting above the Ohinemuri River. A 160m track leads from the tunnel entrance on the Trail to the Cellar Door, making it a great place to stop and indulge.
Nearby Fourforty Mountain Bike Park is a premium destination for mountain biking in the upper north island. The trails cater for beginner to expert riders, with a dedicated uphill trail to access the lower half of the park as well as an uplift service. Riders can opt for full access to the whole park with their own private shuttle. Coaching sessions are available for all ages and abilities and are fully customised to your needs, with the course tailored to areas you want to focus on.
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 to where it enters the Hauraki Gulf, Te Waihou winds its way gently northwards. A variety of different tours are offered to suit all ages. Custom Tours can be tailored to suit needs on request, but must be booked in advance.
Exclusive tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set can be organised for individuals or groups. Personal guides escort you through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the beautiful Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Visitors can also choose to enjoy a Festive Feast lunch in the Party Marquee. Alternatively the Evening Banquet Tour lets visitors experience Hobbiton Movie Set at dusk with a guided tour of the Shire and a banquet feast fit for a Hobbit.
Photo credit: Hobbiton Movie Set - Craig Oakley
The Hauraki Rail Trail showcases the best of New Zealand’s landscape, environment, culture and heritage. If you’re ready for an adventure with a little bit of luxury, there are great options for every rider.
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