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Coromandel to give Aucklanders a million dollar view

09 December 2015

Top tourism project gets million dollar tick

Map of Kopu to Kaiaua cycleway route

A grant of $1 million toward the Kopu to Kaiaua leg of the Hauraki Rail Trail cycleway has been conditionally approved by Thames-Coromandel District Council.

This leg of the trail will deliver a spectacular and unique additional stage to the Hauraki Rail Trail and also provide a safer transport link for people cycling from Auckland to the Coromandel peninsula.

The $1 million will be used for the construction of the part of the cycleway running from the iconic Kopu Bridge, along the stop banks around the Firth of Thames and up past the world famous Miranda Shorebird Centre to the Miranda Bridge.

The grant was conditionally approved subject to execution of the grant funding agreement and formal approval of New Zealand Transport Agency funding for the Piako river bridge clip-on pathway.

What will it be like to ride?

The Firth of Thames is a birdwatcher's and geologist's paradise.

You can start out at Kaiaua or Miranda and head around the bottom of the Firth to pass shallow estuarine waters, intertidal mudflats, mangrove and saltmarsh and graded shell beach ridges.

The shell banks between Miranda and Kaiaua are an example of a Chenier plain, a landform composed principally of fossilised cockle shells that is rare globally.

The Firth is also one of the best parts of New Zealand to spot migratory shorebirds. Many of them come on an epic flight from Siberia and Alaska to feed and rest for a few months over the summer before heading back north.

The trail along the base of the Firth of Thames will access significant ecological wetland areas that cannot be currently accessed from the highway, and finshes with an easy riverside cruise into Thames.

The extended trail section creates the opportunity for fantastic multi-day tour itinerary options linking rail trail to the boutique historic township of Thames and on-going to the multitude of the Coromandel's iconic tourism attractions.

This Kaiaua to Kopu leg of the trail is a significant addition to the trail connecting Thames, Waihi, Paeroa and Te Aroha and now totalling 126 kms of cycle trails to be enjoyed over multiple days. 


Construction on the Kopu to Kaiaua extension of the Hauraki Rail Trail could begin early next year.

For more information, go to our web page