This November a group of us biked a part of the rail trail. I have biked just a small part of it but always was keen to do more. So here were, a group of friends with varying levels of fitness and biking experience, ready to enjoy the Hauraki Rail Trail from Waihi Station to Paeroa and then on to Thames the next day.
Biking through the Karangahake Gorge was so picturesque as the bike track meanders beside the river, punctuated with gastronomic compulsory stops such as the Waikino Cafe, at the Waikino Train station, The Bistro, set amongst a glade of trees, and Ohinimuri Winery. There is at least one other but we did need to get to Paeroa before sun-down!
We stayed in the old Paeroa Hotel, one of the experiences on my bucket list. It is old and rambling from a Victorian era. It’s friendly, accommodating, casual and very reasonable. We saw there is a garden restaurant and bar there which was unfortunately not open when we visited.
From there we biked to Thames. This is all flat with just two stops, one being a dairy, ‘The Convenient Cow’ which did stand up to its name as we were VERY ready for a stop and an icecream by then! Another solid but flat ride and we reached Matatoki Cheesebarn for lunch and then, the last long effort against the windy plain to Thames. By the time we reached here we were just in time for our shuttle back to Waihi Beach where we stayed the first night so, unfortunately, didn’t get to have a look around this lovely old town.
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