Wheels start turning on Te Aroha to Matamata rail trail

The wheels are turning and work has begun on the Te Aroha to Matamata leg of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

The extension will cover 38.5km from Te Aroha Railway Station (where Hauraki Rail Trail currently terminates) along Te Aroha-Gordon Road, Mace and Alexandra Roads, Manawaru and Tower Road to the Matamata Trail head by Railside by the Green on Hetana Street.

Contractors have begun work on specialized tree removal and hedges are also being removed. Construction of the track is expected to begin later in the year.

The Miranda to Kaiaua leg of the trail is also currently under construction.    

The total project cost for the Te Aroha to Matamata extension is $6.87million. Other funding comes from $3.4m from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, just over $3m from Matamata-Piako District Council, $320,000 from Hauraki District Council and $15,000 from the Te Aroha Business Association.

Future plans include connecting the Hauraki Rail Trail to Te Awa River Trail and connecting Waikato trails.

Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes said she is excited to see soil has turned and the wait is finally over for this leg of the trail. She is now working with business owners and entrepreneurs to engage potential business and tourism opportunities associated with the Hauraki Rail Trail.  

“It goes without saying this type of connectivity will enhance tourism throughout our district. Positive discussions I have had with people over the last few months tells me we are enthusiastic and ready to make the most of the opportunities that the trail is going to bring to our district.”

It’s been a long wait for Diane Drummond General Manager of the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust. Last week she, along with Mayor Jan, visited part of the trail along Alexander Road, near Te Aroha West.  

“To say I am excited would be putting it lightly. We still have a wee way to go yet, but before we know it, bodies on bikes will be enjoying the lovely vista of the Kaimai, Wairere Falls and Mount Te Aroha on this leg of the trail and I will certainly be among them.”

Caption: Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes and General Manager of the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust Diane Drummond inspect part of the cycle trail on Alexander Road near Te Aroha West.

 Hauraki Rail Trail jan and Diane px