With temperatures warming up it's a great time to dust off the bike and make the most of the Trail. We're grateful for our visitors ongoing efforts to support each other, as we all continue to do our best to keep family and community safe. Remember it's time to #backyourbackyard, so we look forward to seeing you out on the Rail Trail.
With New Zealand's shift in focus to domestic tourism it's now more important than ever to support local businesses. We've put together a ride for Section A of the Hauraki Rail Trail, which includes a selection of our wonderful Official Partners. We hope you enjoy all they have to offer as they work hard to enrich your Rail Trail experience.
Starting from the seaside village of Kaiaua in the North, the trail winds around the edge of the shallow Firth of Thames, over chenier shell banks and through wetlands of international significance.
Stop off at the Pūkorokoro–Miranda Shorebird Centre where you can learn about the area’s precious birdlife and incredible feats of the Godwits annual migration. Take the time to go to one of the bird hides during summer to see these amazing aviators up close. Remember your bike lock, as you can't bike right up to the hides.
The Kaiaua to Kopu section of the Trail is unique, offering great natural attractions which can be enjoyed from the cycle trail. At the Centre, visitors can find information, birding tips, environmental education, accommodation and the most comprehensive natural history bookshop in New Zealand.
A visit to the Miranda Farm Shop, Café and Gallery is a Must Do. Factor in 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.
From the award winning Miranda Holiday Park the trail skirts around the Firth, following stop banks for much of the way. Expansive views of coastal wetlands, verdant farmland, and the volcanic Coromandel Ranges provide a dramatic backdrop. Refreshments are available in the villages of Pipiroa, Kopu and Thames, with extra special ice cream at the Country Store in Waitakaruru.
The quirky Bugger Cafe is just 50 metres from the Pipiroa Bridge and makes for an easy stop on your journey. Food is fresh, seasonal and local wherever possible, catering for breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas, lunches, snacks and drinks, and a good child friendly selection. The Kopu Cafe is also perfect to refuel, with a wide range of cabinet foods and all day menus, and just a short distance from the Trail.
From the Kopu Bridge the trail turns north to reach Thames. Built on the pioneering industries of gold mining and kauri logging, it’s full of character with plenty of dining and accommodation options. As you approach the town centre, stop and enjoy the many sculptures along the community’s Arts Trail.
Fascinating Māori, industrial, education and geological history converge at the Thames School Of Mines, one of New Zealand’s largest and best-preserved mining schools in the heart of the Hauraki gold fields. In 1885 Thames became the location of one of 30 national Schools of Mines, opened to stimulate the returns from mining.
Make the most of the guided tours on offer which bring this special Heritage New Zealand site to life, with captivating stories about the Hauraki area’s people and places. Thames School of Mines is an excellent venue for school or group tours, and a great place to add to your Hauraki Rail Trail adventures.
If you're looking for some extra fun on the bike, nearby Fourforty Mountain Bike Park is a premium destination and trails cater for beginner to expert riders. There's 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 and fully customised to your needs, with the course tailored to areas you want to focus on.
You can find all Official Partner businesses for Section A below
Thames i-SITE - 200 Mary Street, New Zealand. Ph: 07 868 7284 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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