Coromandel

"Gold Mining Run"

Hamilton to 'Coromandel Loop' back through Morrinsville.

This is a big day ride but more suited to an overnight ride staying in Coromandel, Whitianga, or Whangamata if you take the longer route. Yon can go either way but we will cover the west to east which is the clockwise way.

Head east out of Hamilton toward Paeroa, there several routes you can take till you get on the Tahuna/Paeroa road which links into Awaiti Road which leads to Hauraki Road and through to Kopu. The Kopu Pub opposite the gas station is very biker friendly and makes a nice stop for a food break. Head up the Thames Coast Road through to Thames, with the sea on your left, it is an awesome ride as you are so close to the water, till you get to the Tapu Pub which also makes a nice place to stop. Watch out for trucks and cars towing boats on the tight corners as well as light clay which falls off he hills further to the north of the road. The coast road climbs into some steep hill country at Wilson's Bay and then winds for a while, there is a nice viewing stop at the top, then you get down into Manaia Village followed by Coromandel Town with stunning views on the way. Coromandel has some nice motels to stay at, as well as good food at the historic Star & Garter Hotel which is the head quarters for the local Biker Club. There is another Hotel at the bottom end of town where fishing competitions are held and usually has good entertainment and live music. Fishing is very good out on the mussel farms should you get a chance to go out. To get over the Coromandel ranges head back south just out of Coromandel Town and do a left to take SH25, this is a very hilly and windy road but finally flattens out on the otherside at Kuatounu.

From there you head to Whitianga which is another good small town to stay at, the road South from there is through native bush with spectactular views of the East Coast of Coromandel. See our recommendations to eat and stay.

Once you have headed through Tairua, about 15 km's later there is a gas station and a left hand turn off to Pauanui, keep going past that and further down the road you can go straight ahead to Whangamata, or right back over the ranges through to Kopu. The ranges road is spectacular, windy on the way back down and becareful for the road seal falling apart during summer.

The road straight ahead known as Tairua Road takes you to Whangamata where you can stay and then ride through to Waihi which is a fairly windy road but not many cars. From Waihi it is a nice ride through the Waihi gorge with a river to your left which takes you to Paeroa for gas and food, from there you take SH26 which will leads to Te Aroha and then Morrinsville. If you are heading to Auckland, there is a right hand turn a few km's out of Paeroa on SH26 that will take you to the Tahuna by-pass which is relatively traffic free. Either route you take it is trip you won't forget with beautiful NZ coast line, native bush clad hills and gold mining history to go with it all.

Refer to this months Feature Ride.