Hauraki Rail Trail

The Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the 23 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Status: Open

Grade: Easy

Duration: 2 days

Total Length: 77km

The Hauraki Rail Trail showcases some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer, rich in pioneering history.  A major highlight includes riding through the stunning Karangahake Gorge, one of the “14 Wonders of New Zealand”.

There are three distinct sections to the Hauraki Rail Trail. The trail from Thames to Paeroa and Paeroa to Te Aroha follows an historic railway formation that runs across lush green farmland. These sections are flat and easy riding. The third section of the trail runs from Paeroa, through the Karangahake Gorge, to Waikino Station. The trail through the gorge follows the Ohinemuri River and includes a number of interesting bridges and a long railway tunnel. 

The trail can be accessed from Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, or Te Aroha, and the trail also offers a range of shorter riding options, including day rides.


Key attractions include:

  • Thames – gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Paeroa - the home of the World famous L&P bottle
  • Waihi – historic gold mining town, only 10 minutes from the beautiful Waihi Beach
  • Te Aroha – home to the luxurious, historic Te Aroha Mineral Spas and the Te Aroha Leisure Pools
  • Old mining infrastructure such as the Victoria battery, the Blackpool Dam and Water Race
  • The Waihi-Waikino vintage railway

Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha and Waihi all offer a range of restaurants, cafes and bars as well as accommodation options including hotels, motels, backpackers, and Bed and Breakfasts.

Best time to ride

The trail’s easy gradient and great local climate make it a good ride all-year-round. If you prefer to stay clean and dry, the best months to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail are September to May. Whatever the weather you’ll be able to cool off at nearby Waihi Beach, or warm up at the famous Te Aroha Mineral Spas. The trail is a grade 1 ride, which will cater for all levels of riding ability including families and cyclists of all ages.

Getting there

The trail’s easy gradient and close proximity to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga make it an easily accessible weekend activity for a huge portion of New Zealanders and international visitors. The trail can be accessed from Thames, Paeroa, Waihi or Te Aroha.

Trail partners

This trail is a partnership between the Hauraki District Council, the Matamata-Piako District Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council, Department of Conservation and Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Click here for more information, photos and maps.