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.
Thames Hospital is the oldest still operating in New Zealand, having been built in the 1860s.
Thames today has a commercial heart that continues to grow, with new shops opening at a pace.