Thames is a surprise town. At every turn there is something about Thames is quite delightful.

Thames has a strong historic that dates back to the vibrant gold mining era. Thames has worked hard at preserving the old buildings and activities that once made up the culture of the town.

The town was initially built during a gold rush, and its population peaked at about 18,000 in 1868. For a while it was thought it would replace Auckland as the major town in the area.

Thames was formed from two historic towns, Grahamstown and Shortland, of which many original buildings still stand. The two towns merged in 1874 after it emerged the heart of the Goldfield were in Grahamstown.

Many people migrated to Thames at its peak, and it was soon the second-largest city in New Zealand (the largest being Dunedin then Auckland).

The population is circa 7,000 and a number residentís work in tourism and locally owned businesses servicing the local farming community. A small number of Thames residents commute to Auckland.

The land involved in gold mining in Thames was Maori owned, and now a physical museum is testament to that colourful era.

The Methodist Church has been magnificently preserved and is a must visit.

A number of heritage hotels continue to trade.

Thames Hospital is the oldest still operating in New Zealand, having been built in the 1860s.

The Thameses War Memorial is one of the most spectacular in New Zealand, with views to the Firth of Thames.

Thames today has a commercial heart that continues to grow, with new shops opening at a pace.

Just south of Thames is the notorious Kopu single lane bridge. The Kopu Hotel quite often benefits from the long lines of stalled traffic.


Fireplace Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet Caravan
Camping 4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
Campervans Accommodation
Meals Airport
Pets Allowed Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water Walking tracks
Rotary Club   Lions Club
Gymnasium   Gardens
Winery Whitewater Rafting
Surfing Skydiving
Skiing Scenic Flights
Postal Service Police
Movie Location Mountain Biking
Kayaking   Jet Boating
Information Hospital
Hang Gliding Golf Course