The Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the easiest Great Rides in New Zealand. Perfect for those looking to enjoy our temperate climate and eager to discover the real New Zealand.
What makes The Coromandel good for your soul?
Renowned for its natural beauty, green pastures, misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches, The Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways, making it an ideal place to escape. Plan your travel on the official site for The Coromandel and discover why this destination is good for your soul…
The 136km trail showcases some of the best scenery and is one of the easiest New Zealand Great Rides. Accessible from Kaiaua, Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi, and the Karangahake Gorge, the Hauraki Rail trail is an easy grade one family-friendly excursion.
Voted as one of the 101 Must Dos for Kiwis. Many will have driven through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge but few will have ventured into the walkways, old tunnels, discovered the rich history hidden in the gorge or cycled the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Within two hours either side of low tide visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach to find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Rated as one of the world's most renowned beaches - digging your own natural spa is one experience that should be on your bucket list.
The Pinnacles walk is rated as one of New Zealand’s most popular overnight hikes. It can also be walked in one day (allow 8 hours), however it’s staying at the 80-bed DOC hut that gives the opportunity to capture the sunset and sunrise.
Follow in the steps of the early pioneers who plundered the Kauaeranga Valley in pursuit of fortune, logging kauri for timber and gum and mining for gold.
Cathedral Cove is best visited by boat or kayak with local tour guides who explain the geology, cultural and historical significance of the many scenic sites they explore in Te Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve.
Cathedral Cove is also accessible by foot, with several walking tracks adjacent to the reserve giving access to Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay, Mares Leg Cove and Cathedral Cove.
This town is the official home of Lemon and Paeroa, New Zealand's home-grown soft drink, and this alone makes it worth a visit. But there is much more to this bustling and historic rural town. Lying at the junction of two rivers, Paeroa is a gateway to the scenic Karangahake Gorge bisecting the peninsula and also to the lush farmlands further south. It was a major transport hub in the goldmining days and the town still provides an interesting and historic stopping point for visitors travelling by road and the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Back in the goldrush days, Thames was a teeming mining town and the seat of commerce in the area. That atmosphere remains in the historic buildings and heritage experiences that Thames is now known for, but there's lots more to see and enjoy in this rural hub, that retains the grandeur of its glory days. Great food, a thriving cultural and arts scene and the scenic backdrop of the bushclad ranges and the calm expanse of the Hauraki Gulf to explore.
The Mercury Bay, with its calm waters and sentinel islands, shelters the largest town on The Coromandel, Whitianga. While still far from the hectic bustle of the city, the town offers all the amenities of the big smoke alongside The Coromandel good for your soul experience. Boating, delicious fresh seafood, great festivals, shopping and dining, and close proximity to the world-renown icon Cathedral Cove, means most visitors will come here at some stage whilst on The Coromandel.
The distinctive shape of Mt Paku, the volcanic peak that guards the entrance to the harbour and town of Tairua greet you as you arrive on the eastern seaboard after crossing the Coromandel Ranges. Tairua, "two tides" in Maori, has the advantage of a surf beach and a tranquil harbour, and its worth a detour from the main highway to discover the delights of this small seaside village.
The long gently sloping beach and tranquil inner harbour that surround Pauanui provide a safe playground for the holidaymakers that flock to this seaside resort. For lovers of fishing, surfing, diving, kayaking and swimming, Pauanui also boasts wide coastal reserves, walking paths, and golf courses, laid back pastimes for all comers.
The strong surfing culture of Whangamata is evident from the moment you arrive, and the laid back, active outdoor lifestyle of the town encompasses the full range of activities. There's a sophisticated vibe as well, with great shopping, restaurants and bars, and iconic events, like Beach Hop, that attract visitors from around the world.
The abundant natural resources of The Coromandel are nowhere more evident than in the southern town of Waihi. Bush and farm clad hills, the stunning Karangahake Gorge and the seemingly endless white sand arc of Waihi Beach provide a scenic and recreational backdrop to this thriving community. Man's search for gold led him here in the early days, and the spectacular pit of the Martha Mine is a famous landmark, and modern day attraction.
The Coromandel is located on the Pacific Coast Highway - on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, and is within an hour and a half drive of the major centres of Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and their international airports.