Frequently asked questions about the Hauraki Rail Trail
The Hauraki Rail Trail is suitable for all fitness levels. Most sections are Grade 1 (easiest). The Paeroa to Waihi Section is also Grade 1 (Easiest), although there are couple of places where it is considered Grade 2. The Hauraki Rail Trail is mainly flat - you will encounter a few inclines and declines on Section C. The track surface is mainly gravel. Please look at the maps and photos to help you understand what lies ahead on the trail. Sections of the track range from 22 - 50 km. If a person rode at an average of 10km per hour, this is 2 - 5 hours out of the day. Spread it out and take it easy, or go fast and do 2 sections per day – the choice is yours. It is recommended that you practice cycling some distances before attempting to cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is suitable for all ages and skill level. It is recommended that you have some prior experience with cycling on loose gravel prior to starting out on the trail. The Trail is predominantly wide, flat and smooth, with a gentle gradient. Riders should take extra care on short road sections and crossings, and at cattle grids.
There is no charge to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail, however if you need to hire a bike or require shuttle services then there is a charge for this. Please contact one of the services providers or i-SITEs for further information. If you enjoyed riding the Hauraki Rail Trail you can make a donation (however small) towards the on-going maintenance and improvements via our Givealittle Page.
Due to the gravel surface of the Hauraki Rail Trail, it is advisable to use a mountain bike or comfort/hybrid bike. The Trail is suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes. We recommend that all cyclists wear a helmet for safety purposes. Bikes and equipment are available to hire from one of the service providers. Please contact them directly or through one of the i-SITEs.
No, camping is not allowed on the Hauraki Rail Trail. A wide range of accommodation can be found along the trail in Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi, Matamata, the surrounding countryside and popular destinations nearby such as Waihi Beach, Coromandel town and Whangamata. Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are listed on the Hauraki Rail Trail website here.
This region enjoys some of New Zealand's best weather, which makes the Hauraki Rail Trail a good all-year-round ride.
Temperatures range between 24-31 ̊ C in the summer months, and average around 12-14 ̊ C in the middle of winter, although at night it can be colder.
If you prefer to stay clean and dry, the best months to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail are from September to May. However, as with any outdoor activity, it is best to check the weather before leaving. We recommend you carry some warm clothes and a rain jacket. A lack of shade on the Plains makes sunblock essential in summer.
The weather can be changeable so it is advisable to carry clothing to manage any changes. Take bottled water for your trip and pack snacks and a picnic. There are also plenty of places to stop for a drink and something to eat at the businesses and towns along the trail. It is also advisable to carry basic bike repair tools, an appropriate means of communication such as a mobile phone and a first aid kit.
In most places on the Hauraki Rail Trail mobile phone coverage is generally good, although it can be patchy on Section C through the Karangahake Gorge.
Yes there are public toilets dotted along the trail. We advise trail users to carry their own tissue paper and hand sanitiser should these items not be available.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is well signposted and you are never far from a road or a town. So as long as you stick to the trail it is unlikely you would get lost.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is suitable for cyclists, walkers and runners, although we advise all users to be aware and considerate of others on the trail.
Bike hire, shuttles and luggage transfers are available from operators based on and around the trail, with Thames, Waihi and Paeroa the major hubs. While casual bike hire is usually easy to arrange on the spot, it pays to book in advance during the peak season (December to March). It’s essential to book shuttles in advance, either through the local iSITE or with the service provider themselves. There is a cost involved for these services.
Yes, each section of the trail has its own uniqueness with lots of excuses to step off the track and explore. You can visit the local iSITE for advice before setting off, or look at the See & Do page on this website. You can also take a look at the Ride Experiences page where you'll find plenty of ride suggestions / itineraries for different interests.
Secure parking is currently available at Secure Storage in Te Aroha and Paeroa RV Centre in Paeroa. Miranda Holiday Park no longer offer this service. If for any reason you consider parking at an alternative venue, please seek permission prior to leaving your vehicle. Thank you.
Dogs are prohibited from a number of lengths of the Hauraki Rail Trail corridor. The corridor is defined as being the formed Hauraki Rail Trail track, including any area between the fences on either side of the formed track, and includes any bridges, underpasses and farm access tracks. You can find detailed information and maps of where Dogs are prohibited / permitted on Page 14 of the Dog Control Bylaw 2021 PDF which can be found here.
Motorbikes are not permitted. This includes any e-bike or scooter larger than 300Watts (300W).
Kaiaua 1003 East Coast Road, Kaiaua (approximate) -37.103093, 175.299646
Thames, Thames Wharf, Jellicoe Street, Thames -37.146038, 175.544935
Paeroa – William Street, Paeroa -37.377257, 175.667538
Waihi – Waihi Railway Station - 38 Wrigley Street -37.398461, 175.832983
Te Aroha – i-SITE 102 Whitaker Street, Te Aroha -37.544746, 175.713950
Matamata – Beside i-SITE – 35 Broadway, Matamata -37.809062, 175.771622
If you have an accident that is a medical emergency call 111. You can use your phone to locate a GPS position to help services find you. If possible, we recommend you carry a personal locator beacon to help services find you on our 160km network. Shortly we will be installing km markers that will assist in locating you. If you require a shuttle to help get you and your group back to your accommodation, contact one of our shuttle providers.
Public Parking is available for Trail users at the following locations.
1010 East Coast Road, Kaiaua
562 East Coast Road, Kaiaua
Pakura Close, Kopu
The Wharf, Jellicoe Cres, Thames
Marshall Street, Paeroa
Princes Street, Paeroa
Behind Karangahake Hall, Crown Road
Cornes Paddock, County Road
Entrance Road to Victoria Battery (Waitawheta)
Opposite Waikino Hotel
Seddon Street, Waikino
Wrigley Street, Waihi
Burgess Street, Te Aroha
Hetana Street, Matamata
You can view a detailed Distance Chart which includes locations for toilets here.
Cattlestops are 1300mm wide, and the bridges at their narrowest are 1100mm wide.
We’re often asked what can be done about motorcycles on the trail. While motorcycles are prohibited on the trail, the best thing to do at the time, is nothing. Please make your safety the priority, and when safe report incidents to the Police (dial 111 for emergencies and 105 for non emergencies). Thank you.