When the sun is out over the Karangahake Gorge, the Ohinemuri River glistens and the light shining on the sienna cliff faces is magical. There is a big car park and great facilities such as bathrooms, maps and picnic tables.
You can’t help but stop and stretch your legs and explore. Right off of Highway 2 as you are heading up to the Coromandel is the old gold mining railway and gorge.
You can walk the entire trail which is about 4 hours or do something in between. We took the railway loop which is about 45 minutes and very interesting taking you across bridges, along the cliff face and through tunnels. Some of the tunnels are intense and you need a torch to make it through but great fun. After a great walk, we then planted ourselves by the river’s edge for an impromptu picnic. This was only a diversion on our way to Cormandel but I could see spending days here.
The Hauraki Rail Trail by bike is also a great way to explore the Karangahake Gorge and the more in depth history of this gold mining area. You ride along the old railway, along the river and into some gold mining towns. This is an easy ride for the entire family and features some great views of the Kaimai forests