Hauraki Rail Trail Guide
Embark on the laid-back Hauraki Rail Trail with Jollybikes, a Great Ride suitable for all ages. Its gentle terrain, coupled with abundant accommodation, cafes, and restaurants, makes it one of the North Island's easiest and most satisfying trails.
This leisurely ride unfolds along the Shorebird Coast, charming historic towns, lush farmlands, the Karangahake Gorge's historic railway corridor, and then heads south to Te Aroha and Matamata, the home of the Hobbiton Movie Set. For those seeking to explore the Coromandel further, it's the ideal setting for a relaxed 4-5 day adventure.
The diverse trail spans 197 km across 5 sections, offering a memorable journey. Take your time and savor the ride over a 5-day adventure at an easy pace. As a Grade One cycle trail, it caters to riders of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities.
Less than 2 hours from New Zealand's largest City
Just under 2 hours from New Zealand's largest city, the Hauraki Rail Trail is conveniently accessible from Hamilton, Auckland, and Tauranga, with entry points in the charming townships of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi, and Matamata. The trail officially begins in Kaiaua in the North, tracing the picturesque Shorebird Coast along the Firth of Thames. Riders traverse diverse landscapes, from the lush Hauraki Plains to the captivating Karangahake Gorge, and then enjoy a gentle southbound ride through verdant farmlands to the hometown of the Hobbiton Movie Set.
Benefiting from a temperate climate, the trail offers a superb, all-season riding experience. Predominantly wide, flat, and smooth, with a gentle gradient, it accommodates a range of bikes, from children's bikes and uprights to touring bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes. Bike hire, shuttles, luggage transfers, tours, and accommodation services are readily available from operators situated along the trail, with major hubs in Thames, Waihi, and Paeroa.
The travel times are conveniently short, with just 1 hour and 15 minutes from Auckland to Thames via State Hwy 2, making the Hauraki Rail Trail an easily accessible and enjoyable biking destination.
Section A: Kaiaua to Thames - 55 kms (5-6 hours)
Internationally renowned for its 'Wetlands of International Significance’ and migratory shorebirds.
Section B: Thames to Paeroa - 34 kms (3-4 hours)
Farm to Gate, with a cheese factory and wineries, while passing through tranquil farmland
Section C: Paeroa to Waihi - 24 kms (6 - 8 hours Return)
Riding through the historic and scenic Karangahake Gorge past gold mines and through the 1km long tunnel.
Section D: Paeroa to Te Aroha - 23 kms (2-3 hours)
A leisurely ride through lush farmland under the gaze of Mount Te Aroha (‘The mountain of love’)
Section E: Te Aroha to Matamata - 37 kms (2-4 hours)
An unexpected journey past goat, dairy and thoroughbred farms, with views to the Wairere Falls and the Firth Tower to Hobbiton (Matamata)