Your journey, your way
On the Hauraki Rail Trail, the soundscape of tyres on the trail becomes the baseline of the journey. The melody, of course, is entirely up to you.
The Hauraki Rail Trail in The Coromandel region, just an hour’s drive from Auckland Airport, has become one of New Zealand’s most popular bike tracks, as it provides a smooth, scenic ride for even the most tentative pedaller. As a Grade 1 cycle trail, it’s known as the easiest riding trail in Aotearoa, making it accessible and enjoyable for cyclists of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. The trail is gently undulating, which is what makes it so ideal for families and groups of friends.
It is also one of the most scenic ways to experience The Coromandel region in New Zealand’s North Island. A top holiday spot for Kiwis, The Coromandel spans marshlands, picturesque farmland and arresting volcanic coastline.
The Coromandel boasts many well-known gems, including Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. The trail runs through the stunning Karangahake Gorge, a New Zealand must do that is best experienced up close, it is best experienced up close and roving by bike.
The beauty of the Hauraki Rail Trail is it offers unique flexibility to see the sights at your own pace. The 197km ride connects bustling townships of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Matamata, Waihi and Kaiaua on the coast. You can drop in and out at any point, determining your own itinerary and making your own tracks.
The route is entirely open to interpretation: start in the middle, stop at a country pub or boutique cafe and take a shuttle back to base if you want to finish early. The trail’s close proximity to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga makes it easy to plan and even easier to adjust on the fly.
The entire trail can be ridden at a leisurely pace in five days, but with so much to see along the way, it’s worth taking your time to experience all the variety and adventure on offer.
Wineries and artisan producers pepper the route, as well as docile farm animals and relics from the region’s past.
The townships connecting the trail are unique and full of personality. It’s worth stopping off the trail to explore their distinct charms and idiosyncrasies. Most of the businesses along the trail are run by friendly owners who are always up for a chat and are happy to share their local knowledge.
Every year the trail offers up new discoveries and experiences for its visitors. Its scenery changes with the seasons and hidden gems abound.
The newest section of trail between Te Aroha and Matamata (home of Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours), will leave you feeling as though you’re cycling through a picturesque painting. Lush green pastures, majestic bush-clad mountains and the cascading Wairere Falls will demand multiple pauses for picnics and photos.
The Hauraki Rail Trail has grown out of The Coromandel’s gold mining heritage, but for contemporary explorers, today’s treasure is no underground secret. Beautiful backdrops, fresh country air and the possibility of an unhurried, wide open path to anywhere. Your journey, your way. It’s a journey paved with gold.