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Hauraki Rail Trail

The laid-back Hauraki Rail Trail is a Great Ride for all ages. With its gentle terrain and abundance of accommodation, cafes and restaurants, it’s one of the easiest and most satisfying trails in the North Island.

Leisurely riding traces the Shorebird Coast, quaint historic towns, lush farmlands, a historic railway corridor through the Karangahake Gorge, and then heads South to Matamata, home of the Hobbiton Movie Set.  With options to explore the Coromandel further, it’s the perfect getaway for a relaxed 4-5 day adventure.

The varied Trail offers a memorable journey across 197 km of track comprising of 5 sections.  Take the time to enjoy the ride as a 5 day journey at an easy pace.  As a Grade One cycle trail it is suitable for riders of all ages, fitness and abilities.  Book accommodation, shuttles and bike hires through one our official trail partners.

Have you ridden the Trail recently? We need your feedback to help us secure future funding to take the Trail from Good to Great. Please take a few minutes to complete the Survey, and be in the draw to win a Kennett Brothers Cycle Trails Book.

Less than 2 hours from New Zealand's largest City

The Hauraki Rail Trail is a short drive from Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and is accessible from the quaint townships of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi and Matamata. Officially starting from Kaiaua in the North, the start of the trail traces the Shorebird Coast along the Firth of Thames.  Riders enjoy contrasting landscapes from the verdant Hauraki Plains, to the intriguing Karangahake Gorge, carved by the forces of nature.  Finally, there’s a gentle ride South through lush farmlands to the hometown of the Hobbiton Movie Set.

The temperate climate provides a great all-season riding experience.  The Trail is predominantly wide, flat and smooth, with a gentle gradient, making it suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes.  Bike hire, shuttles, luggage transfers, tours and accommodation are available from operators based on and around the trail, with Thames, Waihi and Paeroa the major hubs.

City & Commuter E-Bikes

Day Rides:


Section A: Kaiaua to Thames - 55 kms (5-6 hours) Internationally renowned for its 'Wetlands of International Significance’ and migratory shorebirds. The section, Waitakaruru-Kopu, is currently closed until April 2023.

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)

Free Hauraki Rail Trail Guide


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