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Last Sunday I headed to Paeroa to begin the 21 kms Paeroa to Te Aroha section of the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Cycling at 10km per hour is a realistic goal on the flat, gravel surface. There are many cattle stops to cycle over and some 20 dismounts required to negotiate your way through narrow styles on some parts of the Trail.
There are two toilets on the trail, located between Paeroa and Te Aroha. The track is nice and wide and easy to follow.
I spoke to five people on the trail, having their lunch under a shelter, near the first toilet. They were from Matamata.
Scenery is rural – lush green farm pastures, cows, bobby calves and spring lambs with their mothers. Mount Te Aroha makes a perfect backdrop to the rural setting.
Two hours later, I arrived at the iconic Te Aroha railway station, the end of the first leg of my journey.
A short cycle up the road brought me to the township of Te Aroha and a choice of cafes and shops on the main road, Whitaker Street.
After a drink and snack at Ironique Cafe, it was time to get back on my cycle and retrace my journey back to Paeroa.
I made it back to Paeroa just before sunset, a 4 ½ hour journey altogether.
Park your car near the L & P bottle in Paeroa, as cycleway begins nearby
If you decide to cycle from Te Aroha, there is plenty of car parking beside the old railway station
Be prepared for all weather conditions and bring a water bottle. There is only one shelter enroute
For further information:
• One of many bridges on the rail trail
• Rural landscape
• Te Aroha Rail Station
• Te Aroha clock on Whitaker Street