Recently when I was in Kiwiland, I came across the Hauraki Rail Trail. You have to hand it to those Kiwis. While we are still arguing about helmets, they are getting in and putting infrastructure in place to make the most of their beautiful country. The Hauraki Rail Trail is part of the National Cycle Trail Project, which aims to put in cycle trails from the bottom to the top of New Zealand. Sure, this will take a while, but at least they have a plan, and some cycleways across the country are already up and running.
The 76kim Hauraki segment is one of the completed tracks. Located on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island it is a good 2-day ride, or you can break it into a half or full day run. The whole ride goes from Thames to Paeroa, then Paeroa to Waihi and Paeroa to Te Aroha. However the helpful staff at the Te Aroha Info Centre, let us know that Thames to Waihi is the most scenic. It meanders through Karangahake Gorge, an old gold-mining town, then follows the river to beachy Waihi. It’s only 21km and you can even put yourself and the bike on a tourist railway at Waikino for the last 7km into Waihi.
There is bike hire at all the major centres and a pick up drop off service if you book in advance. The best port of call is www.nzcycletrail.com or www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz. On yer bike and I intend to get on mine and do this too!
(pic courtesy Hauraki Rail Trail)