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

        • 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
  • Track Highlights

    If you are not a local, you might find the green grass, milking cows, sheep, wild ducks in the creeks and the Coromandel Ranges sitting on your left shoulder a little interesting. As for the wind and rain? The dairy farms are around 100 to 200 acres and run on average 2 milking cow’s per acre. Most of the farmers will be running Frisian cow’s for volume of milk, not for high butter fat content.

  • Track Quality

    The two metre track is lightly gravelled and extremely flat. With a number of spectacular wooden bridges to peddle across and underpasses to peddle though. They come in handy on a rainy day. You have to cross a couple of country roads which are very badly sign posted, I had to peddle up and down the road to find the start of the next section. Out of the three section on the Hauraki Rail Trail this was the second best section of the three

  • Hazards

    On my trip I had to cross eight cattle raceways that were 50 mm deep in cow shit, great for the bike and the back of your shirt.

  • Transport

    You can get dropped off and picked up along the cycle way by the local bike shops.
    It will Cost $$$

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Thames is your best bet but there is a Hikutaia country store 50 Minutes into the ride

  • Area & Track History

    In February 2009 the New Zealand government was going to invest $50 million and co-funding of around $30 million to build a 2,500Km New Zealand Cycle it would consist of 18 Great NZ Rides and many smaller rides all link together. The New Zealand Cycle Trail will take you through stunning native bush along rugged coast line, past beautiful lakes and stunning mountains via old historic 1880 gold mining and logging track, coach roads and the abandon rail ways lines by summer 2012-2013. The Governments inspiration came from the great Otago Central Rail Trail, 20,000 local and international people walk or Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail each year and spent $12.3 million.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Mountain Bike Trail, Stage One, Hauraki Rail Trail, Thames To Paeroa

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

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.

All walks in Thames…

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