Hauraki Rail Trail Itinerary

Duration: 2 - 4 hrs

The Hauraki Rail Trail is a short drive from Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and is accessible from the quaint townships of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi and Matamata. Officially starting from Kaiaua in the North, the start of the trail traces the Shorebird Coast along the Firth of Thames.  Riders enjoy contrasting landscapes from the verdant Hauraki Plains, to the intriguing Karangahake Gorge, carved by the forces of nature.  Finally, there’s a gentle ride South through lush farmlands to Matamata, the hometown of the Hobbiton Movie Set.

An unexpected journey past goat, dairy and thoroughbred farms, with views to the Wairere Falls and the Firth Tower to Hobbiton (Matamata).

This section of the Hauraki Rail Trail is full of beautiful picturesque Waikato countryside. You will ride alongside the stunning Kaimai Ranges with lush farmland on the otherside. As you make your way down from Mt. Te Aroha we have compiled many accommodations as well as activities for you to enjoy on your journey.

Below you will find our section broken into a three part Hauraki Rail Trail itinerary so that you don’t miss out on all that we have to offer you. We also encourage you to contact us about any and all accommodations as we can assist in booking sections or the entire trail for you!

Section 1

Te Aroha to Manawaru

Section 1 covers Mt. Te Aroha to Manawaru. In Mt. Te Aroha you have many activities to choose from including; mineral spas, tramping, swim zone and Advenure Te Aroha. On the way to Manawaru you can make a slight detour to Waoirongomai Valley for tramping and heritage history. Waiorongomai Valley is just off Te Aroha Gordon road on Waiorongomai Road approximately 2.3 km from the HRT.

Section 2

Manawaru to Wairere Falls

Section 2 covers Manawaru to Wairere Falls. Not far from the trail there is another heritage point where the Kaimai air crash memorial sits (apprx. 2.3 km from the trail). While continuing along the Kaimai Range you will have the option to make another detour worthwhile. Just 2.7 km  from the HRT down Okauia Spings Road is Opal Hot Springs. Here you can have a relaxing dip after a long trek. From Opal Hot springs you can travel 8km north to the stunning Wairere Fall.

Section 3


Section 3 cover Matamata and surrounding activities. There are a number of activities to do in Matamata and the surrounding areas. Matamata offers a large vareity of places to eat and stay. When it comes to activities, we have; Hobbiton, farm tours, heritage walks, garden and animal tours, and so much more. Call or visit our isite so we can help you experience Matamata!

Te Aroha


Wairere Falls


We have an abundance of shops and eateries all within walking distance of each other, conveniently located in the town center. At the Matamata isite We also have a wide range of activities whether you’d like to relax or be active. If you are looking for something to fill your day or even your week we have a list of suggested itineraries you may be interested in. We take pride in our locally owned and operated businesses.


Matamata has a range of local accommodation providers including B & B's, motels and a campground.

Places to Eat

Visit the wealth of cafes, bars and restaurants that Matamata has to offer with takeout and dine in options available.

More Itineraries

Keen to explore Matamata but too busy to do the planning? See our pre-planned Itineraries to find one that suits you.

The mighty waikato

Support Matamata

Get involved and become a town supporter. Contribute towards community projects.


For Locals

Browse and learn about all the great businesses in Matamata, and connect with community groups and events.