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On The Trail With Riverside Adventures Waikato

Riverside Adventures Waikato are an Adventure company, specialising in Biking and Kayaking tours, bike hire and trail shuttles and have been in business for almost 11 years.

Getting people out and enjoying the magnificent trails is part of their DNA, and so it was a no-brainer for them to add the Hauraki Rail Trail to their offering. It complements what they do, and the relationships built with other trail partners has been invaluable.

The Waikato business currently offer popular combo tours, which include kayak, bike and walking tours. Exploring the Waikato River by bike, kayak and walking is a special experience as you get to see the Awa from three different perspectives.

The activities complement each other well, and combined with a shuttle make it easy for people. The combos are perfect if you like to do ‘a little bit of everything’ and suit groups, such as couples, families, corporate groups or a group of friends.

We sat down with Business Development Manager, Memorie Brooky to hear more about how they tailor adventures, their 4-Day ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail, the Amazing Adventure Race for schools, and the exciting launch of accommodation pods with stunning views of Lake Karāpiro, the Waikato River and Maungatautari.


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - riding through Victoria Battery


Your Combo Tours are perfect for groups, what do you take into consideration for these and the varying abilities?

When tailoring adventures for our customers we take into consideration interests, previous experience, physical capabilities and the amount of time people have with us. It all comes down to communication and making sure we put together a trip everyone is going to enjoy. For our school and larger group bookings a lot of time goes into making sure we include activities that will challenge everyone, but most importantly promote inclusion and teamwork.


How do your bespoke tours work? Can guests completely custom build their own?

Yes, they can! People generally have an idea of what they would like to do to start with, so most of it comes out of conversations to determine what will be the most enjoyable. We haven’t done two tours that were exactly the same. There are so many variables involved - standard bike vs e-bike, fitness levels, and accommodation requirements. We have a dedicated Adventure Planner, Kelly, whose job is to match people to adventures!


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - Time for coffee at Cafe 77


You offer one-day and multi-day adventures on the Waikato River Trails, Te Awa River Ride, Timber Trail, including a 4-Day ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail. Tell us about this package, and which is the most popular?

We have teamed up with some great trail partners on the Hauraki Rail Trail to provide a popular 4-Day package. People love to tick off the trails, so we definitely see a high return of customers who will start by doing the Te Awa trail and then want to come back and try the Hauraki Rail Trail, and then the Waikato River Trail. Be sure to check out the cool video shot on the Trail at the end of this feature!

It is hard to say which is most popular as all of the trails have their own market. The Te Awa is more accessible but can be done in two days, so there is a high volume of users. However the Hauraki Rail Trail is popular for International visitors who want to be immersed in a beautiful rural setting, and Waikato River Trails and Timber Trail are popular for the Mountain Bike community looking for an adrenaline hit.

All of our tours include our popular Twilight Glowworm Kayak Tour from our base on Horahora Road. At just 20 minutes from Matamata it’s a fantastic way to end a few days on the Hauraki Rail Trail, and for our clients to get the full Waikato experience, and of course rest the legs!


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - pausing to appreciate the beauty of Owharoa Falls in Karangahake Gorge


You also offer stand alone shuttle and hire services. Is this a good option for those wishing to plan their own self-guided ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail?

Shuttles are a great way to see more in the same amount of time. We provide shuttles for many groups who want to ride at their own pace and not be restricted by a timetable. By picking people and their bikes up from wherever they have parked and dropping them along the trail to ride back to their vehicles is a fantastic way to experience the Trail.


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - Shuttle service


Tell us about the Amazing Adventure Race for schools. What does it involve for the kids?

Our main base is situated on the southern edge of Lake Karāpiro which gives us the perfect location to incorporate kayaking and biking with our team building activities. We are flexible, can go wherever the group are staying, and work in collaboration with camps and organisations in the area. The organisers of the groups give us an indication of what the desired outcome is, whether it be based around mental or physical strength, team work or just to have fun.


What other positive benefits do you encounter with your school groups?

A holistic approach to personal and social development, combining physical activity, problem solving, and interpersonal skills in an enjoyable and engaging way. Leadership development, resilience and adaptability by working in a group they may have never worked with before.


You’re based at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome which is a perfect location for up-skilling. Tell us about your bike skills sessions and the kind of progress riders can expect.

We have recently taken over the bikeshop at The Grassroots Velodrome in Cambridge. As part of our offering, the bike skills sessions give participants the chance to gain confidence, improve their technique, promote safety, overcome challenges and enjoy the numerous physical and social benefits of biking. We work with people new to biking or who perhaps haven’t ridden in many years to build their confidence. Having the Gallagher Skills Park and Te Awa River Ride on our back doorstep offer the perfect opportunity to develop their skills.


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - at the Grassroots Velodrome in Cambridge


Riverside Adventures also offer Corporate Group experiences. Why would you encourage businesses to get their team outside?

Activities that involve biking and kayaking can help promote team building and bonding, stimulate creativity and provide a refreshing change of environment. These experiences enhance communication, collaboration, and problem solving skills among team members, ultimately leading to a more cohesive and productive work environment.


Photo credit: Riverside Adventures - Family time


You’re currently building six unique, contemporary units with stunning views of Lake Karāpiro, the Waikato River and Maungatautari. What can visitors expect from an overnight stay?

Once built, our accommodation pods will have stunning unique views over the Waikato River and be the perfect place to rest after a day of biking or kayaking.



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