About this Ride
Paeroa - Waikino (14Km)
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”. We suggest you carry a torch and a lock for your bike in order to explore the labyrinth of historic glow worm-lit mining tunnels. Note: our bike hire includes helmet and lock.
Carved out of solid rock and 1million bricks, the 1.1km Karangahake Rail tunnel - once the Paeroa-Waihi railway line – is a highlight for riders of all ages (the tunnel is lit but a little dark and walkers can be hard to see so torches are recommended) 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 true 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 watch as gold is won from Waihi’s impressive open pit mine. The Waihi Pit Rim Trail is a 4km trail which circumnavigates the pit, and offers dramatic views of the working, modern-day Martha Mine below. This trail is a Grade Two ride requiring a little more effort however feedback suggests it is well worth the extra energy.
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. Operating hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm.
The Talisman Café is situated opposite the Karangahake Gorge car park on State Highway 2. Operating hours: 7 days, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
The Falls Retreat is situated at 25 Waitawheta Road, Karangahake Gorge. Operating hours: 7 days, for lunch and dinner (summer hours)
FOR YOUR SAFETY
- BYO torch / headlamp
- Remove sunglasses when entering the tunnel
- Cyclists to dismount and walk at peak times.