One of the easiest Great Rides, the Hauraki Rail Trail, is a gentle cycle through New Zealand’s gold mining history.
The 123-kilometre, five-section track follows historic railway lines and runs from Thames or Kaiaua, via Paeroa to Waihī. But most scenic section takes you through the stunning Karangahake Gorge
While many Kiwis will have driven through the gorgeous gorge, few will have ventured into the walkways, tunnels or discovered the relics from when it was home to one of the busiest and most lucrative goldstrikes in the country.
Lush native bush clads steep hills running up from the Ōhinemuri river, but thanks to the work of industrious gold miners, today’s cycle trails and walkways are flat and easy.
Do get off your bike in the gorge though. There, you can discover the region’s gold mining heritage at the Crown, Victoria or Woodstock Batteries, explore the 1100-metre Karangahake Tunnel or take a stroll across bridges and tram lines on one of the many walks.