Feature: Hauraki Rail Trail

From Waihi township, an excellent day excursion is to combine a train ride, on the heritage Goldfields Railway, with a few hours' cycling part of the popular Hauraki Rail Trail through the scenic Karangahake Gorge. Bikes can be rented at the railway's terminus in the gorge, the Waikino Station Cafe, or at Waihi Bicycle Hire in town and then carried on the train. This part of the Hauraki Rail Trail is spectacular as it winds on a gentle gradient through a beautiful river valley. Book ahead for lunch at Bistro at the Falls Retreat, located in a cosy wooden cottage in the the heart of a sun-dappled forest. Gourmet pizzas and rustic meat dishes emerge from the wood-fired oven on a regular basis, and there’s a great little playground for children.

See www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz for detailed information, including trail maps and recommendations for other day rides on this popular cycle route linking Thames to the towns of Paeroa, Te Aroha and Waihi.