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“Hauraki Rail Trail and rail trail official site”

Hauraki Rail Trail - Day Rides
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Paeroa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Hauraki Rail Trail and rail trail official site”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I have done Thames-Waihi-Te Aroha (1 nigh/2 days) on 1 occasion, and Paeroa-Karangahake-Te Aroha (2 nights) on another, both times booking via the Rail Trail.Think the trail is a brilliant initiative and have found all the services recommended and booked via the "Rail Trail" outfit to be very helpful and in many ways more than what we expected. However, on 1 occasion (booked, admittedly, in a hurry as it was a last minute decision - booked in the morning for the trip to start that day), the information wasn't really accurate (leaving the vehicle in front of the Tourist Info. Centre in Paeroa is NOT secure parking; the staff in the cafe adjoining who helped us get the bikes out from the closed (it was after 5:00) 'i" office told us where to try - the RV Centre in Coronation Street, who were really helpful), and they didn't get it quite right (we were going to cycle back from Te Aroha to Paeroa on day 3, and they had us booked on the bus out from Te Aroha at 4:00), so check your itinerary they give you carefully!
I found 'Sherpa' incredibly helpful when we used them the first time - very amiable about a mercy dash they made to get us from Waikino to Waihi when we missed the train for example - and I don't really think they are a rip-of as such - there's a lot of mileage involved, and handling of bags and bikes, though I can't speak of the circumstances of the previous reviewer with the children.
I think the bikes that are hired are brilliant for the purpose - I wouldn't want to take my own bike on the trail, and the cycle packs provided are great - but I do wish there was some organised provision for what to do if your tyre goes flat (I didn't check mine as we were in such a rush from Paeroa, and only realised the reason why the first 14 - 21 km was suchslow, hard work was because the rear was very,very, very soft!. Fortuntely, the brilliant Bistro at the Falls Retreat not only gave us a fantastic dinner (can't praise it enough), but the chef lent us his cycle pump, and even offered to drive us back to the Ohinewhai Winery where we were staying, if we wished it.
The winery acccommodation was quirky, just remember despite having a cafe under you it is NOT open in the evening, it's self-catering - and Aroha Mountain Lodge is brilliant = also self-catering, but a really brilliant kitchen. FULL of character. Again, the advice given to my husband about dining opportunities in the Gorge was inaccurate - "Oh, there's loads of places to eat" - I happened to know there AREN'T loads of places there for dinner, so had booked the Bistro, so be prepared to cycle there and back in the dark (unless high summer) if staying in Waikino/Karangahake. The tunnel lights seem to go out at 10 (not that that's a problem as you wouldn't cycle without a light, anyway).

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Mimi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
51 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Biking”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I really enjoyed biking the trail from Paeroa to Waikino. It was a pretty chilly day, but there were still lots of people out doing it. It was an easy ride and varied ride, with lots of interesting things to look at, including the remains of the goldmining near Waikino. The track goes along the riverside and through the old train tunnel. I also did the trail from Te Aroha to Paeroa the week or two before. Whilst this track is well-made, it's a bit irritating that one has to hop off their bike many times to get through the barriers when the track meets a farm road. If they were made just a wee bit further apart like the trail I did in Opotiki it would be much better.

Visited June 2012
Thank Helen290111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Sherpa pick-up rip-off”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Hi, If you use the haurakirailtrail.co....site and want to avoid the Sherpa pick-up rip-off, make sure that you declare that you are a family with kids under the age of twelve. We didn't and were charged twice the amount our friends were charged - no explanation, apology or refund were offered or received!

Visited March 2013
4 Thank 111Mart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
“Hauraki Rail Trail - a great holiday”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Four of us enjoyed our 3 day holiday: (a) Thames to Paeroa. (b) Paeroa to Karangahake. (c) Karangahake to Te Aroha.

It was great to ride in the fresh country air away from the noise of traffic. Highlight was the Karangahake Gorge including a night ride between the Falls Bistro and the Golden Owl.

Look forward to more trails being developed across the country. Hope the Kaiaua to Thames trail isn't too far away.

Congratulations to the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust (- http://www.hauraki-dc.govt.nz/HRailTrail/

Visited April 2013
Thank Kokopu-King
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Hauraki Rail trail”
Reviewed March 30, 2013

During 2 days over Easter weekend we cycled the rail trail from Thames to Te Aroha and back. Really nice ride, trail was well marked, well laid out and well looked after. Several places to join the trail; Thames, Paeroa and Te Aroha with bikes for hire at all three. Another spur runs to Waikino and Waihi through the gorge, which we didn't do this time, but is probably the best and most scenic part. Couple of places to stop along the way for food/ drinks, but would suggest you carry a drink with you, especially if it's a hot day.

Highly recommended for all ages and abilities. Visit http://www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz/ for details.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank foodlover71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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