In the 19th century the gold rush descended on New Zealand's village of Thames and it grew to be the second largest city in the country. As it goes with fortune seekers however, as soon as the gold rush ended things quieted down, resulting in the small town of nearly 7,000 inhabitants that is left today.
Thames is based at the southwestern bottom of the Coromandel Peninsula on New Zealand's North Island, there where the Waihou River flows in land. The inhabitants that stayed behind after the gold rush ended surely couldn't complain about their scenery: flat lands across the river, calm waters out in front, towering mountains of the Coromandel Ranges behind town and endless beaches to the north.
All of this makes Thames an excellent spot to base yourself in to explore the region. The nearby Kauaeranga Valley, with its rivers, forest and waterfalls, makes for great hiking and/or camping terrain. Or you could of course just choose to bike or walk along the coast.
The town itself may be small but makes up for its lack in size with an abundance of (colonial) charm, something which is maybe best experienced on a Saturday by visiting the Thames Market (at the end of Pollen Street). The town is also home to two museums and has a number of pubs, restaurants, cafes and interesting shops to check out. [Review by travelindicator]
- Thames is a city in New Zealand's region of Waikato. It has a population of 6,756, is situated at an altitude of 10ft and the best airport to fly into is AKL (Auckland International, Auckland)
- The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Other cities in the region (Waikato, New Zealand)
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More Thames travel resources
You can begin by having a look at the attractions listed by Tripadvisor, quickly followed by the good intro of Lonely Planet and wall of text from Wikitravel. Next, Fourcorners has info on accommodation and activities while the website on the Coromandel keeps it nice and short when writing about Thames. Some good treks in the Kauaeranga Valley can be found here.
Thames Attractions (Foursquare)
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Waiheke Island, Auckland, Tongariro National Park, Milford Sound, Wellington, Nelson, Queenstown, Hamilton, Christchurch, Hobbiton, Northland, Napier, Thames, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Dunedin, Kaikoura [Browse all]