19 Best Things To Do In Thames, New Zealand

things to do in thames nz
| 9 min read

New Zealand has always been a hotbed of attractions. There is just so much to see and do, and it is rightly so that it is a top destination in most people’s travel bucket list. Though there are wonderful gems you can check out in the country, Thames, located at the doorstep of The Coromandel, is one of the places you should prioritize if you love outdoor and adventure. The town is seen as a gateway to outdoor adventure, given the superfluity of rivers, volcanic mountain ranges, lakes, valleys, hiking trails, and camping sites present in the area. If you are gifted with the spirit of adventure, then Thames is a paradise you must surely visit when you are in New Zealand. With that said, here is a look at some of the things to do in Thames, New Zealand, when you visit this little hamlet.

1. Check out wonderful works of art at Quintessential Fine Art Studio

Art Studio room, mirror frames, art, paintings, Arcelia Barbero Gomez's home, Mexique, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Source: Photo by user Wonderlane used under CC BY 2.0

Quintessential Fine Art Studio showcases the works of an acclaimed documentary photographer, Peter James Quinn and his partner, Terri Alexander, who was a designer, sculptor, and a ceramic artist. The works of these two renowned artists have been featured in both national and international arenas, and they have always been seen as great inspiration not just to aspiring artists in New Zealand, but the entire world. Inside this studio, you will have a chance to sample some of their best pieces and learn more about their lives, their process of work, and the things that inspired them to do what they did. You should, however, note that a visit to the studio is by appointment only.

Quintessential Fine Art Studio Tour

Address: Thames Town, New Zealand

Website: Quintessential Fine Art Studio

Opening hours: Open by appointment only

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2. Discover the intrigues of the Thames Goldmine Experience

Posted by Linda DB on Thursday, 17 January 2019

This is a guided tour ideal for groups, though you could also go as a couple. In the tour, you will learn more about one of the richest goldmines of the 19th century, and taken through the operations of gold mining machinery operated by an enthusiastic volunteer. You will see the operations of the water-powered engines, and appreciate the kind of effort it took to restore steam. You will also get a chance to see how the early hotels and mines looked like in a large photo display, and you may also try your luck in panning gold using the methods that were in place back in the day.

Thames Goldmine Experience

Address: Tararu Rd, Thames 3500, New Zealand

Website: Thames Goldmine Experience

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

Price: Adults: 15 USD, Children: 5 USD

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3. Sample local produce at Thames Market

Posted by Thames Market - Every Saturday on Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Thames Market opens every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm, and it is a nice place worth visiting if you want to sample some of the things that the region has to offer. You will find fresh produce such as fruits and veggies, with most of them being grown organically. You will also find a good collection of organic plants, flowers, collectibles, art, and nice places to try some of the local delicacies.

Thames Market

Address: 700 Pollen Street Thames, New Zealand 3500

Website: Thames Market

Opening hours: Sat: 8am - 12pm (Closed Sun - Fri)

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4. Cool yourself with a dip in Hoffman’s Pool

Hoffman's pool

Posted by Cestovatelský sen on Saturday, 17 November 2018

Hoffman’s Pool is located in the Kauaeranga Valley, and for you to get to the pool, you will have to do a short nature walk, starting from the visitor’s center, and making your way through the bushes to the beautiful pool. The pool is ideal for an afternoon dip after a hot morning of sampling the various attractions in the region. Be ready to jump off a cliff and fall in a big splash in the cold, clear waters below.

Hoffman’s Pool Tour

Address: 1160 Kauaeranga Valley Rd, Thames 3577, New Zealand

Website: Hoffman’s Pool Tour

Opening hours: Always open

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5. Go fishing with Legionnaire Fishing Charters

Fishing Charter
Source: Pixabay

If you are passionate about fishing and you would like to sample the experience of fishing in New Zealand and also know the kinds of catches you can get out of the New Zealand waters, then you have every reason to go for a fishing expedition with Legionnaire Fishing Charters. These are some of the best Thames fishing experts who will not just provide you with the boat and the gear, but also will advise on the best fishing spots depending on the fish species you are targeting. Even if you haven’t gone on a fishing expedition before, this is an outdoor activity you shouldn’t miss just to get another perspective of Thames outdoor experience away from valleys, mountains, and hiking trails.

Legionnaire Fishing Charters

Address: 672 Thames Coast Road, Waiomu Thames

Website: Legionnaire Fishing Charters

Opening hours: Send a booking inquiry

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6. Marvel at the beauty of Rapaura Watergardens

Rapaura water gardens, New Zealand
Source: Photo by Flickr user Stephen Colebourne used under CC BY 2.0

Rapaura Watergardens is a very mature garden that has been around for nearly five decades. It is one of the most beautiful gardens you will find in New Zealand, and it promises to bring delight to each and every soul that steps foot on its soils. What you find here is beautiful native trees, meandering walks through green lawns and lush green vegetation, seasonal flora, ferns, nice lily ponds, garden sculptures, and streams among other things. The highlight of a visit to this garden is the refreshing bush walk to the cascading waterfall christened, The Seven Stairs to Heaven.

Rapaura Watergardens Tours

Address: 86 Tapu Coroglen Rd, Thames 3575, New Zealand

Website: Rapaura Watergardens

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Adults: 15 USD, children: 6 USD

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7. Take the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail – Pinnacles Walk

The Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, also known as the Pinnacles Walk, is a very popular walk among both the kiwis and tourists. The location is upriver from the Thames, and it is a walk that will lead to the summit of the Pinnacles. Along the trail to the top, you will be treated to breathtaking sceneries of the valleys and the vegetation below. If you are considering this walk, be sure to book in advance so that you don’t miss out on the 80 beds available in the hut. Again, if you are fit enough, you can do the walk in one day. This is one of the best outdoor highlights in New Zealand, and you should never miss if you are a true outdoor enthusiast.

Kauaeranga Kauri Trail – Pinnacles Walk

Address: Kauaeranga Valley Rd, Thames 3577, New Zealand

Website: Kauaeranga Kauri Trail – Pinnacles Walk

Opening hours: By appointment

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8. Relive history at Burk Street Wharf

I never get sick of capturing the surreal remains of the Burke Street Wharf. Location details: Burke Street Wharf,...

Posted by Nick Van Deursen Photography on Saturday, 9 February 2019

Burk Street Wharf is dotted with history all over. It is the depiction of a beautiful piece of Thames history that has remained over the years, and currently, it is considered among the most fascinating places in the region. Due to the silting that has taken place up to the harbor area, the wharf is unusable, and what you find now are pillars of the old wharf. During low tides, the area becomes so peaceful and provides nice spots for photos that will forever be etched in your memory.

Burk Street Wharf

Address: Thames, New Zealand

Opening hours: Always open

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9. Check out the Thames War Memorial Monument

The Thames War Memorial Monument is one unmissable landmark in Thames. It is a permanent reminder of the eternal sacrifices made by the country’s troops, the First World War generation. Visiting this monument will give you a glimpse into the country’s history regarding the Great War as well as the First World War. Since it is perched on a hill overlooking the town, it also forms a nice backdrop for great photos to remind you of your visit to this place.

Thames War Memorial Monument

Address: Thames, New Zealand

Website: Thames War Memorial Monument

Opening hours: Always open

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10. Educate yourself on the town’s history at Thames Museum

latest addition to the museum donated by hauraki publishers an early 1900s printing press

Posted by Thames Museum on Tuesday, 28 May 2019

It doesn’t hurt to learn the history of the places you visit, and if you are in the Thames, then the Thames Museum is where the town’s history resides. Inside the museum, you will find the various elements that were responsible for creating the iconic town in the heart of Coromandel Peninsula. You will get a rare chance to see the rooms that depict the kind of lives the ancestors lived, including miner’s huts and the kind of comfort and luxury that was present in the Victorian homes.

Thames Museum Tour

Address: 503 Cochrane St, Grahamstown Thames, New Zealand

Website: Thames Museum Tour

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

Price: Adults: 5 USD, Children: 2 USD

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11. Enjoy mouthwatering Asian delicacies at Nakontong Thai

Our recommend

Posted by Nakontong Thai Restaurant at Thames on Saturday, 29 July 2017

Nakontong Thai is a great joint to check out if you love Thai delicacies. The restaurant is purely Thai, but they have incorporated a bit of kiwi flare in their menu so that their diners can have an experience of both worlds. They serve meat, though they also have vegan options just to ensure that no one is locked out.

Nakontong Thai

Address: 728- 730 Pollen St (Grametown) Thames, New Zealand

Website: Nakontong Thai

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9:30pm; Fri: 11am - 10:30pm; Fri - Sat: 5am - 10pm

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12. Watch a movie at Embassy Cinemas

Posted by Embassy Cinemas Thames on Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Though there are lots of outdoor activities you can engage in when in Thames, it is good to remember that sometimes the weather can be brutal. When you can venture outdoors, and you don’t want to stay in your hotel room, then simply locate Embassy Cinemas on Pollen Street and catch a movie. The cinema showtimes are available online and so you can check in advance what you will be watching. Embassy Cinemas is a reputable brand, and you are sure to find a great experience with every visit.

Embassy Cinemas

Address: 708 Pollen St, Thames 3500, New Zealand

Website: Embassy Cinemas

Opening hours: Check cinema schedule online

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13. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage at Thames Thai Massage

Posted by Thames Thai Massage on Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The jumping, hiking, fishing and hopping from one attraction to another may leave you with sore muscles, and what better way to recharge and rejuvenate your body than through a Thai massage? At the Thames Thai Massage, you will find professional masseurs who will give you the rest and relaxation you need with the massages. The establishment is known for its professionalism, quality massages and good customer experience they give to all their guests.

Thames Thai Massage

Address: 470 Pollen St, Thames 3500, New Zealand

Website: Thames Thai Massage

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 7pm (closed on Suni)

Price: From 70 USD

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14. Enjoy a Kiwi shopping experience at Goldfields Shopping Center

Westfield St Lukes upper level mezzanine 2014
Source: Photo by user Pear285 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Goldfields Shopping Center is centrally located in Thames, and the best place to visit if you want to have a glimpse of the Kiwi shopping experience. Just like most malls in the major cities, you will find a variety of establishments, including both local and national brands. With the variety available, you will be free to shop as much as you want, whether you are interested in local goods, or you prefer to stick to the renowned international brands. There are also several gift shops and souvenir shops where you could pick an item or two to remind you of your trip to north New Zealand.

Goldfields Shopping Center

Address: 100 Mary St, Thames 3500, New Zealand

Website: Goldfields Shopping Center

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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15. Take a dip in Miranda Hot Spring’s thermally heated mineral pools

Miranda Hot Springs features thermally heated fresh mineral water pools where you can go and relax to wind down your day. The pool waters range between 360C and 380C, depending on the season. There is also a children’s pool maintained at lower temperatures as well as an adult-only sauna pool with slightly higher temperatures. In addition to these pools, Miranda Hot Springs also has four private spas to further help their guests have the ultimate relaxation. While you enjoy the heated pools, you can take short breaks to enjoy the hot foods, confectionery, cold drinks and ice cream available within the facility.

Miranda Hot Spring

Address: Front Miranda Road, Miranda, Thames, New Zealand

Website: Miranda Hot Spring

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

Price: from 7 USD

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16. Visit the Thames School of Mines & Mineralogical Museum

Thames started as a mining town, and at one point, it had the largest deposits of gold in the region. This history and heritage won’t just go away like a bad smell. The discovery of gold in the region in 1867 not only transformed the fortunes of the entire peninsula, but it also brought thousands of people who were eager to strike it rich. At Thames School of Mines & Mineralogical Museum, you will learn more about the history and intrigues of the mining that took place in the town, including some of the classic gold machinery as well as a humongous collection of other mineral types found in the region other than gold.

Thames School of Mines & Mineralogical Museum

Address: 101 Cochrane St, Thames 3500, New Zealand

Website: Thames School of Mines & Mineralogical Museum

Opening hours: Always open

Price: Adults: 10 USD, Children: 3.5 USD

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17. Take a miniature train ride at Thames Small Gauge Railway

Posted by Thames Small Gauge Railway on Sunday, May 9, 2021

Thames Small Gauge Railway station was a project by a few dedicated people who wanted to create a miniature railway station for the good of the whole community. It remains one of the points of pride of local communities. Though a miniature, it demonstrated their determination to create the changes they wanted in society. Currently, it is one of the town’s cherished attractions and a place worth visiting when you are in the Thames. It only opens on Sundays between 10 am and 3 pm. Feel free to visit with the kids so that you can all enjoy an entire family miniature train rides.

Thames Small Gauge Railway

Address: Brown St Thames, New Zealand

Website: Thames Small Gauge Railway

Opening hours: Sun: 11am - 3pm (closed from Mon - Sat)

Price: 2 USD per ride

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18. Grab a few drinks at Thames Workingmen’s Club

Thames Workingmens Club including the Thames RSA

Posted by Thames Workingmen's Club on Thursday, 30 November 2017

There is more to grabbing just a few drinks at the Thames Workingmen’s Club. The club is located on the northern end of the town at the junctions of Cochrane and Pollen Streets. It is the club’s history that adds to the excitement of grabbing a drink. It was one of the 90 odd hotels that served the gold seekers who trooped to the area during the gold rush, nearly over a century ago. Walk-in and enjoy the history that has stood the test of time as you interact with the locals over drinks.

Thames Workingmen’s Club

Address: 407 Cochrane Street, Thames, New Zealand 3500

Website: Thames Workingmen’s Club

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 2pm - 6pm; Fri & Sun: 1pm - 12am; Sat: 11am - 10pm

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19. Get a bird's eye view with Skyworks Helicopter Tours

We are at the Matakana School Gala today! It's a beautiful day to get amazing scenic views of the Warkworth/Matakana...

Posted by Skywork Helicopters Ltd on Friday, 21 October 2016

How about going on an aerial tour of Thames town? Skyworks Helicopters are ready to treat you to scenic flights over the town so that you can enjoy the breathtaking views; landscapes, rivers, valleys, and lakes, from the sky. The picturesque coastlines, native forests, and mountainous interiors look magical from a helicopter, and these are rides you are likely to remember for the rest of your life. You will have a chance to choose which aerial routes you want to fly, with the most common ones being flights over the Coromandel Peninsula, The Pinnacles, East Coast Discovery Route, Beautiful Bays and the Peninsula Explorer routes.

Skyworks Helicopter Tours

Address: 510 Hauraki Road, RD4 Thames 3574

Website: Skyworks Helicopter Tours

Opening hours: Always open

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Enjoy a magical stay in Thames, New Zealand

New Zealand: Sunset in Thames
Source: Photo by user Eli Duke used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Thames has something for everyone, even though it is considered as a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Irrespective of the time of your visit, you are sure to find lots of attractions to keep you thoroughly engaged. When the weather is good, you have lots of outdoor options to consider, and during instances of bad weather, you still have museums, cinemas, shopping malls and a plethora of hotels to keep you entertained. As such, you’ve got everything you need for a magical stay in Thames, New Zealand.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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