Hauraki Rail Trail - Day Rides

Named one of New Zealand’s most scenic bike trails, this is a fun and energetic way to explore the Paeroa area and its mining history.

Explore the many delights of the Hauraki Rail Trail on the North Island by bike. In all, there are 107 miles (173 kilometers) of track, divided into five sections that can each be done in a day. These easy, Grade One trails take in the region’s scenic countryside and heritage landmarks.

While the trails extend from Kaiaua in the north and Matamata in the south, one of the most popular daytrips is from Paeroa to Waihi and back. This round trip is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) but you can cut the trip short by turning back at Waikino, some 9 miles (15 kilometers) from Paeroa.

Well-maintained, relatively level trails make the Hauraki Rail Trail a Grade One cycling adventure. You can even bring the kids along, because there are many fun stops along the way. One of those is the vintage train at Waikino. Drop in at the train station café of the Goldfields Railway Visitor Centre for a drink or lunch.

Another highlight of the trip is the Karangahake Gorge, once the site of a feverish gold rush. Enjoy the cool air and the rush of excitement as you ride through the impressive tunnel. This crossing roughly marks the halfway point between Paeroa and Waikino. The ride from Waikino to Waihi goes for about another 6 miles (9 kilometers).

On your way back, give your back a break and walk along the river to the Owharoa Falls or take a small detour to the Victoria Battery Museum overlooking the Ohinemuri River.

There are many ways to extend your daytrip if you are very fit. It’s about 20 miles (33 kilometers) from Paeroa to Thames in the Coromandel. Paeroa to Te Ahora is 15 miles (23 kilometers). The cycling trails are generally in excellent condition, with good signage. Cover yourself on sunny days and bring rain gear, just in case.

For detailed maps of the Hauraki Rail Trail, visit the Paeroa Information Hub. Apart from brochures and maps, the staff can also arrange rental bikes and shuttle services for you and your bike.