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“Good day out”

Hauraki Rail Trail Thames
Ranked #3 of 20 things to do in Thames
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Hauraki Rail Trail is only 1.5 hours from Auckland and passes through Thames, Paeroa, Waihi and Te Aroha. The trail is a family friendly and is an easy grade one ride, suitable for all ages and abilities. A true sense of pioneering hospitality and mouth-watering food can be tasted along the way, fare to satisfy the most ardent explorer. The Trail also passes through the Karangahake gorge known as one of New Zealand's 14 wonders.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

We rode from Te Aroha to Waihi and back in one day, having hired bikes in Te Aroha. It is a very well maintained track. It is probably best to use a mountain or comfort bike with wider tyres as it is all gravel. The cattle grids are quite narrow but save you from having to get off your bike at every fence. The highlight was the gorge which warrants getting off to explore the mine shafts on foot ; take a head torch. We had a break at the Waikino station cafe which served excellent food. There was also quite a bit of wildlife to spot. Over all an enjoyable day out on mostly flat and traffic free paths.

Thank Ina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 - 78 of 90 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

I rode from Te Aroha to Thames, its flat but in places the gravel is quite thick, you also need to watch out where the bridges are as the metal has worn away and their is quite a dip in places. That said, its still a good ride, I rode the whole day and didn't meet one other walker or cyclist. The trail goes through farmland, but can be a little boring. I stopped at Matatoki CheeseBarn which also has a variety of animals in their paddocks worth looking at.
Paeroa is worth having a quick look around.

1  Thank kiwigirl801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Rode from Thames to Te Aroha - good ride although Paeroa not well setup for riding through. Flat and wide gravel path. Appreciated the cattle stops that you could ride straight through rather than getting off. Got shuttle back from Te Aroha to Thames - well organised and good trip. Stayed in Thames for night and then drove to Paeroa and did section to Waikino. Excellent ride although is uphill to Waikino. Had lunch then had fast ride back to Paeroa.

Thank BruceD122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This trail is on my doorstep and so we feel very lucky. We have cycled it in sections and so far each section we have done has been amazing. The countryside is just beautiful and peaceful. The Karangahake gorge section is my favourite so far although I am looking forward to cycling the newly opened Waikino to Waihi section. Do come and explore this area - you will not be disappointed.

Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013 via mobile

The Hauraki rail trail is a wide gravel cycleway stretching from Thames to Te Aroha, with a side trip to Waikino also.

The path is almost all off-road, which is nice, and usually wide enough for two people to cycle side by side.

The cycleway is not hugely smooth. I would recommend taking mountain bikes. We did it on a hybrid and a road bike, and were forced to stop each day to make repairs, due to our bikes being shaken apart. We averaged about 6km per hour, but we were loaded up with panniers and anxious not to damage our bikes. That being said, both of us are pretty seasoned cyclists. I reckon you could get to 10kmph if you were less cautious and weighed less.

You can access the track from all sorts of places, and intercity buses will take your bikes to most of these towns.

The ride from Thames to Paeroa to Te Aroha is a pretty dull but easy 55km through farmland. There are cafes along the way to break up the monotony, (matatoki cheese farm for example), but by and large we found the when thing a bit uninteresting.

The ride from Paeroa to Waikino on the other hand, is stunning and pretty fun, and has a much higher quality track surface to boot. That part alone made it worth it. There are some neat surprises along the way that I won't spoil for you.

Overall I enjoyed our trip, but I'd aim to spend most of the time on the Paeroa - Waikino stretch if I did it again. Probably won't do it again though.

1  Thank kiwicritic28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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