Biking across New Zealand’s countryside provides an unrivalled travel experience. Mostly off-road, the Hauraki Rail Trail 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.
The new 5th Section from Te Aroha to Matamata is nearing completion, and will see the Trail increase to 197km in length. Riders can look forward to a journey past goat, dairy and thoroughbred farms, and one of New Zealand's must see attractions, Hobbiton Movie Set.
Cycle between heritage towns. Make time to meet the locals. Sample delicious organic cheese, ice cream, wood fired pizza and boutique wines. If you’re hungry for adventure, and want to experience the true essence of the region, we’ve got you covered.
Multi-day rides provide an active, memorable way to take more time to explore the landscape and culture of a region. A few days in the saddle enables us to experience the terrain, wildlife, people and towns at a more leisurely pace than from behind the wheel of our car.
With good preparation, research, and planning a self-guided ride offers freedom and independence. You can ride at your own pace, stop to take extra photos, and laze for longer over lunch if you desire.
Supported tours have the advantage of providing planning, support, transport, and local knowledge of the Trail and region. Their expert guidance will enrich your experience, so you can relax and make the most of 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.
Large or small there are options to ride the Trail depending on the kind of experience you’re seeking. Bike hire, self-guided tours or supported tours are available through our official partners, with a variety of services at great value. Similarly accommodation and eateries range from thrifty through to a little bit of luxury.
Researching your destination is a good start. With multiple access points, consider where you’d like to start and finish your ride, exploring towns along the way. If time permits, why not tack on an extra day or two and enjoy a few off-saddle attractions.
New Zealand’s climate is quickly changeable, which means it’s essential to check current track conditions and the weather forecast. Always be prepared for sudden weather changes and pack clothing layers accordingly.
The Trail comprises of four sections, each varying in length from 23km to 55km. For a leisurely tour, riders can comfortably traverse one section each day. Remember holidays are meant to be fun. Even short rides with a handful of stops can quickly fill up a day.
Seeking local knowledge is a great way to help work out which route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take. A fully supported tour with luggage transfers allows you to travel from A to B without the kitchen sink.
With a guided tour, everything is arranged for you. From bike hire, to routes, meals, and accommodation. With a light load, and your route planned, you can relax and soak up the scenery.
This 2 day ride is ideal for those wanting to cover the entire Rail Trail in the shortest time. Day 1 the ride is from Miranda to Paeroa (83kms), and Day 2 from Paeroa to Waihi, and on to Te Aroha (71kms). Riders enjoy the peace and tranquility of this stunning rural landscape, with views of the Hauraki Plains, Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges.
Highlights of the ride include the Firth of Thames and the World renowned Wetlands. The dramatic bush clad Karangahake Gorge and 1.1km railway tunnel, rich in pioneering and gold-mining history. There’s an opportunity to browse antiques in Paeroa, and take a ride on the vintage steam train to Waikino before heading south to Te Aroha.
You can view and download the Trail Map here.
This 4 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.
Day 1 - Kaiaua to Thames (55kms)
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.
Day 2 - Thames to Paeroa (34kms)
Refuel at cafés along the way and peruse the antique shops of Paeroa.
Day 3 - Paeroa to Waihi (24kms)
Explore the majestic Karangahake Gorge, cool off with a swim at Owharoa Falls. Gold mining Tours are available at Waihi.
Day 4 - Waihi to Te Aroha (47kms)
Hop on the Train from Waihi back to Waikino, and enjoy the downhill ride through the Karangahake Gorge back to Paeroa. Finish your ride with a soak at the Te Aroha Mineral Spa.
You can view and download the Trail Map here.
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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