Hauraki Rail TrailThames > Paeroa > Waihi > Te Aroha (2 days, 80km)
Thanks to the Hauraki Rail Trail, the best way to experience the Hauraki/Coromandel District is on a bike.
Following the historic railway corridor, the Trail whistles through the Karangahake Gorge to Waihi, steams from Paeroa to Te Aroha, chugs on up to Thames, and will soon make tracks from Kopu (near Thames) to Kaiaua and the Seabird Coast.
One of the easiest trails in the country to cycle, the Grade 1 Hauraki Rail Trail is regularly traversed by kids barely out of trainer wheels, as well as those who have been pedalling since the days of Penny Farthings. Located south of Auckland and north of Tauranga, it showcases some of the best scenery in New Zealand and gives cyclists plenty of reasons to stop and get off their bikes along the way.
Once the site of one of the country’s busiest gold strikes, the Karangahake Gorge is steeped in history and peppered with interesting relics and walks. Waihi shares its gold mining history having been home to gold miners from the 1800’s to today, with a modern gold mine still operating in the town. Thames and Te Aroha have seen their share of gold fever too, although Te Aroha is now better known for the healing properties of its mineral spas – a welcome relief for many Hauraki Rail Trail riders at the end of a hard day’s pedal.
Cyclists will also soon be able to explore the Seabird Coast. World renowned for its shore birds, home of the Miranda Hot Springs and (arguably) New Zealand’s best Fish and Chips, this highly scenic coastline is sure to become as popular as the rest of the Hauraki Rail Trail once the Kopu to Kaiaua leg is completed.