1-5 Days 160km


  • Karangahake Gorge and Goldfields Railway
  • Diverse landscapes and birdlife
  • Quaint, historic townships and Hobbiton™


Grade 1-2

Easiest - Easy

This cruisy Great Ride blends birdlife, beautiful countryside, a bush-clad gorge and quaint townships brimming with gold-rush history and local hospitality.

Hauraki Rail Trail, Coromandel

Following a historic railway corridor, cycle trails and stopbanks for most of the way, this Great Ride rolls through Thames, Paeroa, Waihi and Te Aroha, and onward to Matamata which is home to the must-see Hobbiton™ Movie Set. It offers contrasting scenery – from the Firth of Thames, Shorebird Coast and verdant Hauraki Plains, to the forested Karangahake Gorge with its amazing 1,100 metre long tunnel, waterfalls and intriguing gold mining relics. One of the easiest of the 23 Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window), it’s a wonderful way to soak up the sights of this lovely, rural region. 

Couple cycling in Autumn, Hauraki Rail Trail,, New Zealand

Ride experience

The Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window) has five sections between six quaint townships and rural settlements. Ride it across a lesiurely 3–5 days or enjoy it as shorter adventures.  

The trail starts in coastal Kaiaua, tracing the Firth of Thames Shorebird Coast with its notable wetlands and rare birdlife. It’s a super-scenic journey through to Thames, a laid-back old gold town and gateway to the beachy Coromandel Peninsula 

The Thames to Paeroa leg offers expansive views across the Hauraki Plains and forested Kaimai Ranges, with the option of a riverboat trip, from the Historical Maritime Park(opens in new window) along the Ohinemuri River into Paeroa township. The Cheese Barn at Matatoki and Convenient Cow Cafe(opens in new window) are tasty highlights of this section.  

Delve into a distinctly different landscape on the Paeroa to Waihi leg, which follows the Ohinemuri River to Karangahake Gorge’s gold mining relics, unforgettable railway tunnel, and cascading Owharoa Falls(opens in new window). 

From Paeroa, a relaxing cruise reaches Te Aroha, famed for its mineral hot pools. The southernmost section then heads to Matamata, and features Wairere Falls and Hobbiton™ Movie Set and its fabulous tours – a must-visit for garden-lovers as well as Lord of the Rings fans. 

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Official Website

A detailed description of this Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here.

Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window)

Karangahake Gorge, Coromandel

Need to know

  • The trail’s wide, smooth surface and gentle gradient make it a mostly Grade 1 (easiest) trail, suitable for riders of all ages and abilities and all bikes including E-bikes. 
  • As well as the full trail experience, there are day rides galore, with the towns along the way making great holiday bases for exploration on and off the trail. 
  • A temperate climate makes this an all-season trail. Riders should be prepared for a lack of shade on the plains during the hotter months, although some shelters are provided. New Zealand sun can be harsh and burn quickly, make sure you wear sunscreen, sunhat and dress accordingly.  
  • The trail is well signposted and seldom far from roads and settlements, many with cafes and shops. Toilets are located at convenient intervals. 
There are not too many hills on the Hauraki Rail Trail, Coromandel

Transport & tours

Whether you’re looking for a short ride or the full, multi-day adventure, there are plenty of companies offering everything from bike hire and shuttles to fully supported guided tours with everything included. Bike hire depots are handily located along the trail in Kaiaua, Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, and Waihi. 

This Great Ride's official partners can be found on the Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window) and Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) websites. 


A wide range of accommodation can be found in all six main trail settlements and dotted through the surrounding countryside. Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are also listed on Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) and Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window) websites 

Useful links

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails(opens in new window) 

Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window) 

The Coromandel(opens in new window) 

Waikato NZ(opens in new window) 

Great Rides app - Hauraki Rail Trail(opens in new window)

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