Walking is a popular leisure activity for both residents and visitors to our area. Walking tracks provide opportunities for everyone to experience some of the natural and historic settings that are a unique part of our landscape, as well as providing a great opportunity to get outdoors, to improve health, and to socialise with family and friends.
Council currently manages about 17 kilometres of walking tracks throughout the district. There are also a number of other tracks in the district, provided and maintained by other groups such as the Department of Conservation and the local tramping clubs. Check out the walking tracks in your town below and explore some of the interesting scenery Matamata-Piako has to offer.
Mountain Biking Tracks
Mountain biking is a popular sport and recreation activity in New Zealand. The Matamata-Piako District has two exciting mountain bike tracks.
Hauraki Rail Trail
The Hauraki Rail Trail is a grade one (easiest) cycleway linking Matamata, Te Aroha, Paeroa, Waihi, Thames and Kaiaua and is suitable for all ages, fitness levels and abilities. This leisurely ride traces historic towns, lush farmlands, scenic coastlines and an historic railway corridor. With its gentle terrain, tour services, accommodation, and restaurants, it’s one of the easiest Great Rides in New Zealand.
The 197km Hauraki Rail Trail can be completed in four to five days. Made up of five sections ranging from 23km to 55km, it allows for excellent and manageable day rides. Starting from Kaiaua the trail follows the Firth of Thames, through a number of townships and the spectacular Karangahake Gorge, before crossing to Matamata.
Section A: Kaiaua - Thames Grade one (easiest), 55km, five to six hours
Section B: Thames - Paeroa Grade one (easiest), 34km, three to four hours
Section C: Paeroa - Waihi Grade one to two (easiest to easy), 24km, three hours
Section D: Paeroa - Te Aroha Grade one (easiest), 23km, two to three hours
Section E: Te Aroha - Matamata Grade one (easiest), 37km, two to four hours (coming soon...)
Te Aroha - Matamata
Construction is nearing completion on this gentle section of trail, which passes through fertile plains, horse studs, goat farms, groves of scented trees, the scenic Wairere Falls, ravines, Stanley Landing and Firth Tower.
Reaching the township of Matamata brings the opportunity to celebrate the end of your journey with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set. Make sure you book in advance if you want an evening experience. The gardens are beautiful in this fairytale world, and nothing beats a tipple at the Green Dragon Inn.
The region’s temperate climate provides a great all-season riding experience. The trail is predominantly wide and flat, with a gentle gradient, making it suitable for everything including children’s bikes and uprights, touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes. Bike hire, shuttles, luggage transfers, tours and accommodation are all available from operators based on and around the trail.
4WD Track and Trail Ride
Thompson's Track is a popular 4WD track and trial ride in the Kaimai Range. It can be accessed from approximately 12km south of Te Aroha off Thompson Rd. The western side of the track to the summit is approximately 6km. The eastern side (in the Western Bay of Plenty) is approximately 7km.