Hakarimata Rail Trail
This easy walk follows the route of the former Ngaruawahia/Glen Massey railway. The railway was closed in the 1950s coinciding with the closure of the Glen Massey coal mine.
The trail is suitable for buggies, wheelchair assisted and bicycles.
Walking from the car park to the first bridge you pass a wetland restoration site which is part of Perry Quarry. The trail follows Firewood Creek through an area being replanted to a picnic site with toilets. From here, a short walk leads to attractive stream cascades. This is also the start of the southern section of the Hakarimata Walkway.
Return via the same track.
The track starts from Waingaro Road, off Hakarimata Road, approx. 3 km south of Ngaruawahia.
This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.
History and culture
Future plans are to extend the trail along Firewood Creek to the site of the historic train crash of 1933.
On 28 March 1933, in wet conditions, a coal laden train and carriages careered away from Glen Massey shunting yard.
The driver stayed on to sound the whistle to alert people along the track and to see if he could gain control of the train, choosing not to jump off when he could.
After manouvering it at speed through much of the route the train jumped the bridge at Firewood Creek and crashed into the stream. The carriages followed and landed on the engine killing the heroic driver instantly.
The new track will terminate at the remains of the wreckage of the locomotion.
Know before you go
Firewood Creek is a long-term native fish monitoring site and is vulnerable to disturbance. Please remain on the walkway and do not access the upper creek.