Hi, we have now started to organise complete Hauraki Rail Trail experiences, and that's been great so far! during the last weeks, we have been checking out accommodations and transportation services to bundle it all up for you individually after your personal preferences, at a great price, with no hassle.
The trail experience from Thames to Paeroa is dominated by the cruisy ride through rural environment. Gravel tracks lead through paddocks with cows and turkeys, accompanied by a pittoresque mountain ridge and farmsteads. Good points to rest and have a coffee are the Cheese Barn and the Puriri Hotel.
Paeroa prouds itself to be the antique town of the Waikato with many antique shops. There are a number of good places to have lunch, e.g. the Courtyard Cafe, the Refinery and Maru Sushi.
Then you ride on towards the stunning Karangahake Gorge, the main attraction of the Hauraki Rail trail, with it's swing bridges and mining tunnels. Good indulging points are the Ohinemuri Winery, and The Falls Retreat at the Owharoa Falls just after the gorge. You can then see the Victoria battery, and next you come to Waikino Station, with a cafe again, from where you can take the historic train to Waihi (depending on their time table, which is more frequent in holiday times).
Waihi is famous for it's impressive Martha gold mine with a quite newly opened museum across the road. There are numerous nice cafes. There is an option to ride a further 10 km, currently on the road, to Waihi Beach.
The leg to Te Aroha bears similarity with the leg from Thames to Paeroa. In Te Aroha you will find yourself welcomed by the air of a spa town, and a breeze of bygone grandeur is part of it. Te Aroha means love, and the town lies on the slopes of the same-named mountain.
A new part of the Hauraki Rail Trail will lead you, again at first through farm land, along the famous Miranda Bird Coast, a melancholic, quiet landscape and an important stop for numerous sea birds. There is a well equipped information centre nearby, and from two bird hides at the coast it is possible to observe birds. Binoculars are recommended. If you like to relax in the Hot Springs instead, these are the largest natural thermal pool on the Southern Hemisphere, and open until night. You can even spend the night there in the adjacent Holiday Park. The Rail Trail ends in Miranda at the moment, but will be opened to Kaiaua within the next months. Kaiaua is famous for a Fish&Chips shop, which claims to be one of the best in the whole country.
We can organise the trip for you including either B&B type accommodation or motel style, and all accommodations have been hand picked by us.