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Kaiaua to Thames
Thames to Paeroa
Paeroa to Waihi
Paeroa to Te Aroha
Te Aroha to Matamata

Rail Trail Tales With Biking Hiking Shuttles

Biking Hiking Shuttles is a family owned and operated business run by Sue and Pete Middleton. The duo are based approximately 7km south of Te Aroha, close to the Hauraki Rail Trail and within easy access to the Kaimai Range hiking trails.

Sue and Pete set up Biking Hiking Shuttles when they moved into this beautiful area after the Covid lockdowns. Sue grew up close to the famous Wairere Falls and was always keen to return to this area following an extensive period of overseas travel.

Both love the outdoors and are passionate about cycling and hiking, so it felt an obvious choice to set up a business which allowed them to be involved with the things they enjoy doing.

They told us they were delighted to become an Official Partner of the Hauraki Rail Trail, as it provides them with the opportunity to be involved with and support the initiatives of all the efforts made by the Trust to ensure this Trail is one of the gems of New Zealand's World class cycle trail network.

We caught a shuttle with Sue and Pete to learn more about their passion, and to hear how this creative team can enhance your experience of the Trail and the surrounding countryside.


Photo: Sue and Pete enjoying the Trail by bike


Which Sections of the Trail have you ridden/walked, and do you have a favourite?

We have ridden all sections of the Trail several times, and enjoy the variety of scenery and points of interest which the Trail has to offer. It’s hard to choose a favourite for cycling as each of the Sections has something different to offer.

The coastal trail between Kaiaua and Waitakaruru provides stunning birdlife viewing opportunities. Thames to Paeroa enables you to appreciate the local farm scenery with great food stops and historic points of interest along the way.

Paeroa to Waihi takes in the famous Karangahake Gorge with great scenery, history and even the opportunity to have a cooling river swim on hot days, or put your feet up and have a ride on the Goldfields Railway.


Photo: Sue and Pete exploring the Karangahake Gorge


Paeroa to Te Aroha takes you through more classic dairy farm scenery, with non-stop views of the iconic Mount Te Aroha. It’s tempting to stay for two nights in Te Aroha, so you can take on the challenge of hiking Mount Te Aroha and / or take a well earned rest and enjoy the natural mineral spas at Te Aroha Domain.

Te Aroha to Matamata is a very well surfaced part of the Trail and allows an enjoyable journey with stunning views of the Kaimai Range, Wairere Falls and time for coffee stops! We’re always happy to be able to cycle any part of the Trail when the opportunity arises. We’re so lucky to have it on our doorstep.

It’s also hard to choose favourites for the hiking as each walk/multi-day hike offers different scenery and terrain, depending on your ability and interest. If you are wanting a walk where there is something for everyone, and where you can extend the timings and take in more Mining relics, it would be the Waiorongomai Valley.

A day hike would be hiking up Tuahu Track West or East side and then heading towards Motutapere Hut (3 bunk), returning the same way as it takes in a spectacular section hiking the ridge-line with rock out crops and views in either direction over Waikato and the eastern coastline.

A multi-day hike would be Waitawheta Valley/Waitawheta Hut, taking in logging history of the valley, hiking along the Waitawheta Tramway which is relatively flat, crossing over the Waitawheta River multiple times, (along to the hut). There are also great swimming holes along the way, perfect for summer adventures.


Tell us about the services and packages you offer.

We offer a bespoke bike shuttle service. We pick you up / drop you off from where you want to set off from, at a time that suits you. For those that need more help or guidance with planning a trip, we are happy to work with you to create an adventure especially for you. This can include accommodation, bike hire, luggage relocation, secure parking, booking of restaurants, spas and even a train ride.

We also offer a bespoke hiking shuttle service. So, depending what you are wanting, we offer it. Our clients often park at our property, secure in the knowledge their car will be safe. We then shuttle them to the start and end of their hike, enabling people to walk new routes without the need to retrace their steps.


Photo: Biking Hiking Shuttles


What are the benefits of a multi-day walk or ride, and what would you say to anyone concerned about the level of fitness required?

The benefit of spending several days on the trail is that it allows you to enjoy the area in your own time, at your own pace, and appreciate how much more the area has to offer, turning a bike ride into an experience. The Hauraki Rail Trail does not demand high levels of fitness. The Trail does not have any big hills and is well surfaced throughout.

The different Sections allow you to easily choose the length of ride you are comfortable with. If you want to push yourself harder, you can ride several Sections at once. We would definitely recommend you take an extra day or two to hike and explore the many interesting trails which Karangahake Gorge and the Kaimai Range has to offer.

Some of the main benefits of multi-day hikes are that you cover more ground, see different scenery and don't have to backtrack. Plus spending time out in nature and having a day away from everything is just what one needs. This also can mean you know your ability, and when planning you don't underestimate the distance you need to hike and can take time to enjoy and take it all in.


Photo: Exploring the region with Biking Hiking Shuttles


Why would you recommend a self-guided tour?

A self guided bike tour allows you to travel in your own time, at your own pace allowing you to spend as much or as little time as you like at the different points of interest and cafes along the way. The Trail is very well marked, so you don’t need to worry about route finding and of course we are always on call to help with any queries or questions along the way. We can even arrange a shuttle pick up if you decide you want a more leisurely day or if there is a sudden change in weather.


What proportion of your customers are local, or visiting the region from across New Zealand or overseas?

The majority of our biking clients are either New Zealanders or overseas travellers visiting the region. Whereas we have a bigger proportion of locals making the most of our hiking shuttle service, to enable them to explore the Kaimai Range. We think the trails on the Kaimai’s are a hidden gem. There are so many different opportunities for both day hikes and multi-day hikes, for those that want a less demanding walk or those looking for a real challenge.


Photo: A Biking Hiking Shuttles group set off on an adventure


What other local adventures would you recommend to tack on when riding the Trail?

This is one of the beauties of the Hauraki Rail Trail. There are so many additional experiences you can have along the way. We would definitely recommend putting time aside for a hike in the Kaimai’s.

When riding the Gorge it is a very short and simple detour to park up your bike and walk the spectacular Windows Trail.

The Pūkorokoro-Miranda Shorebird Centre is a real Must Visit, and make sure you have enough time to visit the bird hides. There is such a wide range of wading and shorebirds to view.

The Aviator Experience in Thames is amazing. The flight simulators can take you to another time and place!

The Cheese Barn at Matatoki is a fun stop for all the family. Tasty cheese and a variety of animals to see in the paddocks.

The Paeroa Maritime Park has so much fascinating and surprising history of the area, and it’s a lovely spot for a picnic too.

Don’t miss having a good look around Victoria Battery when travelling through Karangahake Gorge. There are so many historical relics to discover.

The Gold Mine Tour in Waihi is another fascinating experience.

A visit to the Mineral Spa’s in Te Aroha is a well deserved treat. It is also only a short detour to get a delicious real fruit ice cream at The Earth Produce Berry farm, and if you’re lucky you might see Fluffy the Highland Cow at feeding time!

After arriving in Matamata a trip to Hobbiton Movie Set is a Must Do. In addition to all of this we are so lucky to have a wide variety of Cafes, Fish & Chips, Restaurants and Pubs throughout the entire length of the Trail.


Where are you hoping to adventure next?

We currently have a couple of trips planned. A bike ride from Cape Reinga back home to Te Aroha with the finishing km’s being along the Hauraki Rail Trail of course! And a multi-day hike along the Kaimai Range on the old North - South track. We’re doing this with family and will take seven days sleeping in huts and camping along the way.


Photo: Sue and Pete on a recent adventure


Hiking Biking Shuttles 6 Sightseeing Tips


1    Have lunch or a snack stop at…

Fish & Chips at Kaiaua - the best!


2    Add on a hiking day in…

Te Aroha/Waiorongomai Valley to enjoy hikes for all abilities.


3    Allow plenty of time to explore the…

Karangahake Gorge.


4    Don’t miss…

The Shorebirds at Miranda.


5    Take a detour to…

The Windows Walk.


6    Remember to pack…

A camera / phone to take photos of all the stunning scenery

Sunblock and water

Swimming gear for river swims or hot pools

Eftpos card for all the fantastic food stops


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