Hauraki rail trail.

Somehow I convinced Caroline that riding a bicycle will be fun, and look how tantalising the pictures are in the brochures and website  for the Hauraki rail trail.
Brochure blurb:
"The Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the easiest trails in the country to cycle, with the 173km track made up of 5 sections.  This allows for a range of scenic day rides to comfortable 3 to 4 day tour rides.  As a Grade One cycle trail, the Hauraki Rail Trail is suitable for all fitness levels and cycling skills.
The Hauraki Rail Trail boasts some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer."

On holidays, your normal guards are compromised, and somehow there is agreement with Caroline to ride with me. We found a business (Adventure bike hire) that promises to meet us at the trail head in Waihi and pick us up free anywhere within 15km of Waihi – perfect.
Waihi station and platform
At Waihi station there is an active historical train service which looks fun, but we were late in the day for that so stuck to intents (which are to ride to Karagahake gorge) with the bike ride. Des, our host brings us our bikes which are in very good condition promptly at the agreed time.

The station has a few pieces of non functional rolling stock to act as an open museum of sorts. 
Old train
The trail wends its way along the river for quite some distance as the actual track is used by the vintage train service for 8km. It is quite pretty with the flowers blooming and associated aquatic scenes.
We were getting a bit peckish and tossing up as to whether to complete the extent of the journey to the gorge and have something at the winery or stop at the Falls retreat. The clouds emptied their contents upon us at that moment, so Falls retreat it was. The oven baked chips went down well, the steep climb up to the retreat not so well with Caroline !
With the water pouring over the rocks nearby, there is a reason why the venue was called Falls retreat:
Further up the trail there are the debris of the gold mining bygone era. Warning signs are in along the trail that we shouldn’t traipse into the scrub – I cannot but wonder if there is some residual cyanide or heavy metal compounds around.
The kilometre long tunnel was fortunately illuminated. It went on for a seemingly endless time with the end getting closer yet moving away as you reached out for it.
The heavens opened again, so we rang Des and asked him to pick us up back at the Falls retreat turn off. 
We had a look at the Waihi beach and were not overly impressed. I guess mucky brown sand doesn’t cut it against the golden sands we’re used to. What was impressive however was the meals at the Waihi beach hotel just past the turn off onto Wilson rd. The venue did not look much from the outside, but the food was delicious and up there in its presentation, the restaurant prided itself with sourcing local ingredients and using imaginative courses eg. lemon with juniper drink and slow roasted ribs from organically farmed beef.
We arrived back at our b&b at around 10:00pm as it was a two hour car journey there and back, somewhat tired but happy for the fun adventure day of cycling, sightseeing and dining. The car trip itself was pleasant as  it wends along the coast line (warning it has a lot of bends for those who get car sick). This trip is part of a ‘technical’ motor cycle tour on the Coromandel peninsula.