The Grade One Easiest Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the 22 Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Ride Network and is suitable for all ages, fitness and abilities. Leisurely riding traces historic towns, lush farmlands, scenic coastlines and a historic railway corridor. With its gentle terrain, tour services, accommodation, and restaurants, it’s one of the easiest Great Rides in New Zealand. The 197km Hauraki Rail Trail can be completed in 4-5 days, and comprising of five sections ranging from 23km to 55km it allows for excellent and manageable day rides. Starting from Kaiaua in the North, the trail follows the Firth of Thames through a number of townships, the spectacular Karangahake Gorge, to Matamata in the South. Thames is the perfect place for an overnight stop with the prospect of continuing on the Hauraki Rail Trail to Paeroa and beyond to Te Aroha and/or Waihi (on the spur through the Karangahake Gorge). Or, base yourself in Thames to see the rest of the Coromandel. Further information on what to see and do in Thames is available on the Thames visitor website. For a guide to the Coromandel Peninsula, go the Destination Coromandel website. Kaiaua - Thames, 55km - Grade 1 Easiest (5-6 hours) Thames - Paeroa, 34km - Grade 1 Easiest (3-4 hours) Paeroa - Waihi, 24km - Grade 1 - 2 Easiest/Easy (3 hours) Paeroa - Te Aroha, 23km - Grade 1 Easiest (2-3 hours) Te Aroha - Matamata, 37km - Grade 1 Easiest (2-4 hours) From the seaside village of Kaiaua, the trail follows the Firth of Thames through wetlands of international significance. At the Pūkorokoro–Miranda Shorebird Centre you can learn about the area’s precious birdlife, with bird-hides offering the chance to view shorebirds up close. Expansive coastal wetlands, verdant farmland, and the volcanic Coromandel Ranges provide a dramatic backdrop. From the Kopu Bridge the trail turns north to reach Thames. Built on the pioneering industries of gold mining and kauri logging, it’s full of character with plenty of dining and accommodation options. As you approach the town centre, enjoy the many sculptures along the community’s Arts Trail. The region’s temperate climate provides a great all-season riding experience. The Trail is predominantly wide and flat, with a gentle gradient, making it suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes. Bike hire, shuttles, luggage transfers, tours and accommodation are all available from operators based on and around the trail. Find out more about the Hauraki Rail Trail.