Thames is a historical New Zealand town situated between the calm waters of the Firth of Thames and the majestic ranges of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Being the largest town in Hauraki–Coromandel, Thames is a must do destination on the Coromandel Peninsula. Located only a short 1hour 20minute drive from Auckland airport Thames came into existence when gold was discovered in 1867 at the south-east corner of the Firth of Thames.
The government chose Shortland, at the mouth of the Kauaeranga River, for the town. Meanwhile, many miners occupied Tookeys Flat on the Kuranui Stream, in order to be close to the gold workings. In 1868 Auckland entrepreneur Robert Graham purchased the land in between, which became Grahamstown. The three towns combined to form Thames.
Thames has retained a wealth of historical buildings from the gold-mining days which are open for the public to view including the Goldmine Experience, Thames Historical Museum, St James Church, The Treasury and more.
Surrounded by the beautiful Kauaeranga Valley, and with one of New Zealand's greatest rail trails based there, Thames is a playground for adventure lovers. There are countless walking, hiking and cycling tracks plus everything from holiday parks and DOC camps to canyoning and fishing charters.
Nestled on the coast Thames is the perfect base for a weekend getaway or holiday. There is an array of great cafes, shops and things to do. Check out the Explore section to find out more.
In 2017 Thames is celebrating 150 years of prospecting for gold. Locals have fired up a 19th century battery in Thames as the town celebrates its history. 1 NEWS covered the story - watch it here!