The Hauraki Rail Trail has some wonderful Cafés either alongside the Trail or nearby. The Miranda Farm Shop, Café & Gallery is one, and located at the bottom of the Firth of Thames it offers expansive views of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Whilst the Café is 3kms from the Hauraki Rail Trail, it’s a great place to stop for delicious coffee and healthy savoury and sweet food options including gluten free, sugar-free, dairy-free and vegan options. There are homemade soups in the winter months, organic dairy free icecream, and frozen, local, organically produced beef.
As you ride, stop and select homegrown delights to add to your picnic or take home and share. There’s always a selection of fresh seasonal fruit for sale, along with jams, jellies, chutneys and sauces made from fruit that is grown on the property and distinctly local.
When you visit, factor a little extra time to enjoy the work exhibited in the Gallery. Located next door to the Café, there are regular exhibitions of New Zealand print makers, painters, ceramicists and sculptors. A large group exhibition is curated every Summer, with different solo artist shows throughout the year.
We caught up with owner operators Sean and Annie to hear a few of their favourite things about the area, and of course where they’re planning to adventure next.
We are a café, farm shop and art gallery. We're located up Miranda Road, just a short distance from the Trail, and so it made sense for us to offer food and drink to cyclists. We are in between the townships of Kaiaua and Waitakaruru, and offer an interesting toilet stop and art exhibitions as well.
Visitors can relax at a quiet table outdoors with spectacular views over the Firth of Thames and Coromandel Peninsula. We also run a world class art gallery representing some of the best established and emerging Contemporary New Zealand and Pacific Island Artists.
These include Michael Smither, Christine Hellyar, Fatu Feu'u, Dagmar Dyck, Erçan Cairns, Louise Purvis, Warren Viscoe, Clovis Viscoe, Lynda Harris, Neil Miller, Samantha Lissette, Paul Hartigan, Suzy Dunser, Jim Wheeler and Sacha Kronfeld.
We ride from Kaiaua to Waitakaruru and back. Miranda to Kaiaua is magical! From here, the trail skirts around the Firth, following stop banks for much of the way. Expansive views of coastal wetlands, farmland, and the volcanic Coromandel Ranges make for an incredibly scenic route.
Photo credit: Carl Farthing - Firth of Thames
Skylarks singing over your head is always special. The Kaiaua to Kopu section of the Trail is unique, and offers great natural attractions which can be enjoyed from the cycle trail.
At the Pūkorokoro–Miranda Shorebird Centre you can learn about the area’s precious birdlife, and visit the bird hides to see a variety of species up close.
Photo credit: Jason Mills - Shorebird Coast
Section A is home for us, and so we’d have to say it’s proximity to the coastline and the birds which can be found here. Native birds spend part of their year on the Thames coast before flying to the Arctic. The wetlands are a Ramsar site and meet the criteria of international significance.
We are booked to ride The Old Ghost Road and Paparoa Track on the West Coast of the South Island. We’re hoping to squeeze in the Timber Trail some time soon too.
The Café and Gallery are open every day from 8.00am - 4.00pm.
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