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Photo Credit: Amanda Sandlin on Unsplash

Walks On And Around The Hauraki Rail Trail

With so much on offer when you ride the Hauraki Rail Trail, book in a few extra days either side of your ride and linger longer.  If you’re keen for more adventures, swap biking for hiking and stretch your legs with one of the many excellent walks both on and around the Trail. 

Factor in a detour or two and make the most of the arts, culture, local cuisine and walks in the region.  Cycling between heritage towns to sample delicious organic cheese, ice cream, wood fired pizza and boutique wines is the perfect way to refuel.  

 

Bullswool Farm Heritage Park

The Bush Discovery Trail is part of the Farm’s Bush Reserve.  Visitors can learn about native New Zealand birds, trees and aquatic life.  Fascinating history of the Karangahake Gorge’s first miners and kauri bushmen is also a feature.

Bullswool Farm Park is minutes from the Karangahake Gorge Walkway, and a unique slice of rural paradise.  The working farm has a variety of animals in their natural flocks and herds, ranging from miniature horses and cattle to deer and donkeys.  Family Passes are available.

 

Windows Walk

This lovely walk starts in the Karangahake Gorge carpark area and is about an hour round trip.  Along the track visitors can observe relics of the many processes that took place in extracting gold.  From the tunnels where rock was extracted, to the roasting pits where the rock was broken down, and remnants of the huge stamper battery processing plant. 

 

Victoria Battery

Concrete cyanide tank stands reminiscent of ancient ruins are among the remains of the Victoria Battery at Waikino.  Constructed on the south bank of the Ohinemuri River, it’s easily accessible from the Hauraki Rail Trail.  The loop walk starts and finishes at the Waikino Railway Station and takes about 1 hour.

 

Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway

The Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway follows the old Paeroa to Waihi railway line, with the remainder of the track following the banks of the Ohinemuri River.  Old mine buildings, machinery, walkways and tunnels tell stories of a rich mining history.

Situated between Paeroa and Waihi, the walkway is serviced by four carparks, located at the Waikino Visitor Centre, Waitawheta Road, Karangahake Reserve and Crown Hill Road.  The walk is 7km and incorporates a 2km loop section.

 

Karangahake Tunnel Loop Walk

The Karangahake Tunnel Loop Walk is a must do, taking you along the Ohinemuri River and over the lower Waitawheta River, fully immersing hikers in New Zealand native flora.  The walk includes the 1100m railway tunnel, so ensure you pack a torch or head lamp.

Part of the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway, the Loop takes 45 minutes.  This walk can start at the main Karangahake carpark or further North at the carpark by the Karangahake Hall.

 

Historic Walks of Thames

The Historic Walks of Thames comprise of 6 walks.  Grahamstown and Moanatairi, Grahamstown and Irishtown, Tararu, Totara Pa, Block 27 & Shortland, and the Parawai and William Hall Memorial Reserve.

Colour coded and given names by which the areas were known in the Goldfield Era from 1867, they take in historic buildings, reserves, natural beauty spots and cemeteries.  These walks accompany the information contained in this handy downloadable pamphlet.

 

Crown Tramway Track to Dickey Flat

Beginning at the Confluence of the Ohinemuri and the Waitawheta Rivers, this walk heads up the Waitawheta River through the Waitawheta Gorge Tunnels to the remains of the Woodstock Pumphouse and beyond.

The easy, scenic river walk passes through beautiful bush and good swimming holes.  A torch is needed for the 180m tunnel.  Five minutes from the tunnel exit is a suspension bridge and then a track junction to Dickey Flat campsite.

This walk starts at the carpark by the Karangahake Hall, North of the Main Karangahake car park.  You can also start at the Main carpark at the Karangahake Reserve.  The walk takes 4 hours return.

 

Martha Mine Pit Rim Walkway

If you’re visiting Waihi, this is an easy but spectacular walk.  The walk begins at the Cornish Pumphouse and rises gently to the edge of the open pit for the overwhelming view down into the vast chasm.

The wide gravel path continues West on an easy gradient around to the highest point on the North wall where the view is breathtaking.  Interpretative signs offer interesting facts about Martha Mine as you complete the 4km loop back to the Pumphouse.

 

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