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​ ​ Tour 5 - The Ultimate Hauraki Rail Trail Tour

5 day Self-guided Complete Hauraki Rail Trail Cycling Experience from Miranda, 

via Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, Te Aroha to Matamata.

JollyBikes - Hauraki Rail Trail - Kaiaua

Day 2

This historic area was once only accessible via the two rivers that run through, The Waihou and the Hikutaia River. The Rail trail follows the old railway out of Thames and through the Hauraki plains country, with views of the Kaimai Ranges. Have morning tea at the Matatoki Cheese Barn and then ride on to your first destination, The town of Paeroa. This was where the ‘World Famous in New Zealand’ L&P drink was founded, a kiwi icon. You will have time to browse the antiques shops of Paeroa, and then have an overnight stay there.

Day 4

Ride back to Paeroa, back through the Karangahake Gorge which gives you another chance to stop and enjoy the view. From Paeroa, you will end onto Te Aroha, Following the Rail Trail, making it an easy journey. Enjoy Lunch in The Refinery in Paeroa, a rustic cafe. On the Ride to Te Aroha you pass through sections of Waikato Farmland, dotted with Cows and other farm animals. Te Aroha is sitting at the Foot of Mt Te Aroha (953m.) The mountain gives great views over the expansive views of the Hauraki Plains. Soothe your muscles as you soak in the natural, silky mineral water that has made Te Aroha famous for over 100 years. Overnight stay in Te Aroha.

Duration:

  • Day 1: 6-7 hours (incl. lunch stop), 42 km
  • Day 2: 4-5 hours (incl. lunch stop), 34 km
  • Day 3: 6-7 hours (incl. walks/attractions), 24 km
  • Day 4: 6-7 hours, 47 km
  • Day 5: 4-5 hours (incl. lunch stop), 37 km

Fitness level: Moderate (long hours in the saddle)

Trail Conditions: Straight Easy Gravel Trail

Group size: Min. 2 people

Recommendations:

Check out the bird-hides in Miranda. If you get lucky you might be in for a free guided bird walk. Have a short stop at the Kopu bridge to have a look back at Thames to get a great view. While in Paeroa, Visit the L&P Cafe and the giant L&P Bottle for a photo. Check out the Windows Walkway which is in the Karangahake Gorge to enjoy the bush and to see the Gold-Mining history in the area. (Approx, 45 Minutes - 1 hour). Also have a quick stop at the Owharoa Falls to take in the beauty of the Falls. If you start early on day 4, you could reach Te Aroha around lunch time. You could take a short walk up to the Whakapipi Lookout (45 minutes one way, on the Mt Te Aroha Summit Track) to have an amazing view over the Waikato. Alternatively you can relax in a mineral spa pool (bookings essential) or walk one of the many other walk tracks around town.

Experience the highlights of the Hauraki Rail Trail

Day 1

Pick up your bike from the Jollybikes store in Thames, A shuttle will then take you to the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Center, Miranda. This is where you can begin your ride. The the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Center you can learn about the bird-life in the area, and the feast of the Godwits annual migration. Bird Hides offer the chance to view the shorebirds up close and identify the various migratory species. From Miranda holiday park, the trail shirks around the First, following stop banks for the most of the way. Views of the coastal wetlands, farmland and the volcanic Coromandel Ranges offer a great backdrop to the ride. In Waitakere there is a Sculpted Metal shop which is worth visiting, on the opposite side of the road is a country store for ice cream which is a great treat during the summer. You could also stop at the Bugger Cafe for lunch. Crossing the Kopu Bridge over the river Waihou into Thames. Thames has a history in Gold mining and Kauri Logging, With plenty of dining and accommodation options. To finish the day you have an overnight stay in Thames.

JollyBikes - Hauraki Rail Trail

Day 3

The most popular section of the Rail Trail is through the Karangahake Gorge following the Ohinemuri River. A deep canyon cutting through the Kaimai Ranges. This area has breathtaking landscapes such as the Owharoa WaterFall. Also through the gorge are many places of historic  significance, like the Karangahake mining sites, the Victoria Battery which was erected in 1897 and going past the Windows Walk which sends you through old mining facilities, burrowed in a side gorge. The pièce de résistance is the 1100 meter long railway tunnel which has been repurposed as a bike tunnel, to aid you through riding through the gorge. Halfway down the ride there is the Waikino Station which holds the Waikino Station Cafe, where you can enjoy great food. Once you reach Waihi you can look back on the history by visiting the Waihi Gold Discovery Center. There is no rush during the day, You'll be riding back through here the next day. Overnight stay in Waihi.

JollyBikes - Hauraki Rail Trail - Karangahake Gorge

Day 5

Depart Te Aroha at your leisure and continue down the Rail Trail through the Waikato. Passing Cows and Horses. As you ride on to Matamata, Home of the Middle Earth. On your way over check out Cafe 77 for lunch and the Wairere Falls, the highest waterfall in the North Island. Just out of Matamata is the Firth Tower and the museum and gardens within its grounds. Then get a shuttle back to Thames to end your journey at 3:00pm.

JollyBikes - Hauraki Rail Trail

Included Services:

  • Bike hire incl. instructions
  • Helmet, Lock & Bike Bag Hire 
  • Map and travel tips
  • Meal voucher for the Bugger Cafe
  • Meal voucher for Matatoki Cheese Barn 
  • Meal voucher for Waikino Station Cafe
  • Meal voucher for The Refinery
  • Meal voucher for Cafe 77
  • Gold Discovery Centre entry
  • 45 minute soak at Te Aroha Mineral Spa's
  • Overnight accommodation in Thames (Double/Shared twin room)
  • Overnight accommodation in Paeroa (Double/Shared twin room)
  • Overnight accommodation in Waihi (Double/Shared twin room)
  • Overnight accommodation in Te Aroha (Double/Shared twin room)
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Shuttle from Thames to Miranda/Kaiaua at 10.00am on day 1
  • Shuttle from Matamata to Thames at 3.00pm on day 5

Price:

E-Bike: NZ$ 2,550 pp

Standard Bike: NZ$ 2,450 pp/Children up to 12 years NZ$ 2,300

Optional:

  • Price with tour guide on request
  • Pre- or post-nights NZ$200/night
  • Kayak Tour Te Aroha from NZ$45 pp



 

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