Mountain Bike Trail, Stage One, Hauraki Rail Trail, Thames To Paeroa

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In February 2009 the New Zealand government was going to invest $50 million and co-funding of another $30 million to build a 2,500Km Rail Trail down the center of NZ

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: North Island NZ
  • Distance: 26 kms
  • Time needed: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: One Way
  • Elevation: 11m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: No
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes
  • Last Updated: November, 2019

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

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Points of interest along the walk​

Point 1: Start, Thames To Paeroa

WELL, what can you say but how extremely pissed off I was at the lack of sign posts for the great? Hauraki Rail Trail and when I did find one I needed Magnifying glass to read it. Yes Hauraki Rail Trail web site did say the trail started at Kopu, buy were.
I only found the Hauraki Rail Trail by driving down the side roads and looking for the old railway.

Point 2: Puriri River

0955H was a late start for me.I wasted time trying to find the start.
I was in a hurry to get going, there will be no stopping till I am half way at least. Five minutes later I came across a raceway for the farmers cattle to cross over the mighty Hauraki Rail Trail,
Well It was 50mm deep in runny cow Shit and did it smell, all I could think of was, don’t lose your balance and put your foot down in that stuff and if I peddle to fast after I get through this mess, the rear wheel will flick the stuff all over my back, wonderful.
The Hauraki Rail Trail people say the majority of the track will be suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs? did they mean the first 50m only? Never mind just this one to cross and it will be plain sailing from here on.
Year right. After the eight crossing of deep cow shit, it wasn’t such an issue, or was it the ridiculous barriers they built at all the road crossing to stop the boy’s riding their motor bikes along the Hauraki Rail Trail that was a bigger issue.
Most of the barriers were too high, so I had to lift and hold the front wheel off the ground while trying to squeeze through. On one barrier the shifter was accidently bumped so when I got back on the bike and started to peddle the chain came off and I fell off the bike, Bugger,they also scratch the paint on my brand new bike, I was not a happy chappy.
As for the track it had a good covering of crusher dust, and is high and dry 10 out of 10 for the track surface. But wait till you see the out standing bridges, the men who build the bridges are real tradesmen, just watch out when you approach a couple of the bridges, they had a good lip of about 75mm, if you hit then to hard and fast you could be changing a tire. What was amazing on this section of trail was to see the bridges.

Point 3: Hikutaia Village

After leaving the Puriri bridge there was not a lot to see.
I just missed out on the Xmas dinner crossing the Hauraki Rail Trail.
The trail came to a sudden end at a country road, but after pulling out my magnifying glass I found the sign. IF I had looked 300m to the south I would have seen the houese of Hikutaia Village.
In the village all I saw was is a pub and a country store and the road directly across from the store is were I had to peddle down to get back on to Hauraki Rail Trail.
After 50 minutes on a hard saddle it was time for a little walk and a hot coffee.

Point 4: Paeroa End

12km to go, The sign pointed up the road so off I go.
The Hauraki Rail Trail sign was hidden on the other side of a bridge and there was the pathetic little sign on the right hand side of the road,
The next 45 minutes into Paeroa was very boring, the same old same old, grass, cows and more grass. and to top it off it started to rain.
and out here on the Hauraki plain you are very exposed to the bitterly cold winds and driving rain
I arrived in Paeroa at 1210h and again I could not see a sign to show the way, so I peddled about 50Mt up to a street to my right, then I saw a white cycle painted on the road.
The next question was? is it for the Hauraki Rail Trail, or is it a cycle lane for the school kids?
At 1220h I was in my warm house truck having a hot lunch and getting ready for the last leg of the Hauraki Rail Trail to Waikino Railway Station. Now I just have to wait for the rain to stop.




What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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