The Hauraki Rail Trail is the easiest riding Trail in New Zealand with various stages allowing for comfortable 3 day Rail Trail cycle rides. The trail is in close proximity to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and is accessible from Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi/Waikino. The temperate climate on the Coromandel Peninsula and the Hauraki Plains provides a great all-year round riding experience.
The 3 Stages of the Hauraki Rail Trail.
There are three sections on the Hauraki Rail Trail.
The first section goes from Thames to Paeroa or Paeroa to Thames. This section follows the historic railway which ran between the two towns. On either side of this section of the rail trail is some of the best farmland in New Zealand. Because the rail trail is elevated you get great views across the Hauraki plains. This section of the Hauraki Rail trail is the longest, but is also one of the easiest as it is relatively flat.
The second section of the Hauraki Rail Trail runs from Paeroa to Te Aroha. This section, like the first, runs along the old rail trail, through lush farmland. This section again is relatively easy and flat.
The third section of the Hauraki Rail Trail runs from Paeroa, through the Karangahake Gorge, to Waikino Station, and then on to Waihi. This section has some of the historic bridges and sites. The old Waikino Railway station is a great place to stop for refreshments or visit old the Karangahake Tavern, a social hub for the miners of yesteryear. Riders can then continue onto Waihi or take the vintage train to Waihi for a change of pace.
Click to enlarge image below showing the different stages of the Hauraki Rail Trail.