A short 500 meters from the Palm Motel, the start of the Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the best riding Trails in New Zealand, with various stages allowing for comfortable 1/2 day to 3 day Rail Trail cycle rides.
And when staying with us at the Palm Motel, don’t forget that inviting SPA POOL to unwind in at the end of the day.
The trail is in close proximity to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and is accessible from Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi/Waikino. The temperate climate in these parts provides a great all-year round riding experience.
Paeroa – Waikino (14Km) and once in Waikino, catch the Goldfields Train to Waihi
Paeroa – Waihi (25Km)
This leg of the Trail is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque cycle rides in New Zealand, with the spectacular Karangahake Gorge, voted one of the “fourteen wonders of New Zealand” and one of “101 must-do’s for Kiwis”. Carry a torch and a lock for your bike and explore the labyrinth of historic glow worm-lit mining tunnels. Carved out of solid rock and 1 million bricks, the 1.1 km Karangahake Rail tunnel – once the Paeroa-Waihi railway line – is a highlight for riders of all ages. The Victoria Battery, where ore from Waihi’s rich mines was once extracted, and the must-do “Windows Walk” are also destinations in their own right. From “windows” cut into the sheer cliff faces, riders can marvel at the spectacular gorge scenery and the mighty Ohinemuri river below. Nestled in close proximity to the Victoria Battery site at Waikino, is the beautiful staircase Owharoa Falls, the perfect respite to relax and soak up the area’s beauty. The Waikino Historic Railway Station and Café is a must stop and a short diversion off the main trail. From the station, the curving Trail hugs the left bank of the Ohinemuri River, on a “Rake Line” once used to transport ore from Waihi to the Victoria Battery. An abundance of rail relics, from carriageways to railroad “sleepers” can be seen along the track. Remnants of the masonry Blackpool Dam are a point of interest, as are the eight bridges the Trail crosses, including the longest suspension bridge on the Hauraki Rail Trail. In Waihi riders can view Waihi’s impressive open pit mine, although it is not currently being used. The Waihi Pit Rim Trail is a 4km trail which circumnavigates the pit, and offers dramatic views of the Martha Mine below. It’s also a pleasant 1 hour walk. For detailed information on the full ride visit www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz/ Palm Motel is located 300 meters from the entrance to the Hauraki Rail Trail Waihi side and is the perfect accommodation as part of your Hauraki Rail Trail Experience
Riders should note there are some excellent places to stop and eat in the Karangahake Gorge. The Ohinemuri Winery is signposted before you enter the Tunnel or off State Highway 2, opposite the Karangahake Gorge car park. Opening hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm. The Talisman Café is situated opposite the Karangahake Gorge car park on State Highway 2. Opening hours: 7 days, 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Falls Retreat is situated at 25 Waitawheta Road, Karangahake Gorge. Opening hours: 7 days, for lunch and dinner (summer hours).