Whangamata CoastPollen Street, ThamesWaihi Beach
Thames and the Southern Region

Tait's Fun Maps

One for each area of the beautiful Coromandel: Coro Town, Whitianga & Hahei, Southern Coromandel

Tait's Fun Maps
Coromandel Beach

Coromandel Accommodation

Motels, Lodges, B&B's, old boozers & backpackers

Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Backpackers, B&Bs
Hot Mineral Pools


Peter Tait's Coromandel Holiday Guide

Coromandel Guide

Thames, Whangamata and the Southern Coromandel

Including Seabird Coast, Thames Coast, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Karangahake Gorge, Waihi Town, Waihi Beach, Whangamata, Pauanui and Tairua

This part of the Coromandel Peninsula has plenty for the visitor: excellent cafes, restaurants, bars, a winery and all types of activities and attractions including train rides, gold rush history, museums, walking and tramping, sightseeing, gardens, fly fishing, shopping, surfing and all beach fun. The superb natural thermal hot pools at Miranda, Te Aroha and Athenree are an all year activity - do the Hot Pool Tour! Choose from all types of Coromandel accommodation - motels, B&Bs, backpackers, lodges and holiday parks.

The hill country and Karangahake Gorge, the coastal scenery and white sandy beaches in this region are superb.

To download the Tait's Southern Coromandel Fun Map and enjoy a virtual tour of the region. Or pick up the Fun Map brochure from any of the i-SITEs or other outlets and plan your day.

Close to Auckland and Auckland Airport

In this region, Thames (population 7,500) is the closest Coromandel Peninsula town when traveling from Auckland, just one and a half hours drive from Auckland, Hamilton or Tauranga. Only one hour from the Auckland Airport.

Thames New Zealand
Thames New Zealand
Thames coast
Thames coast - family friendly beaches
Orere Point Beach
Orere Point Beach
Paeroa, antiques town
Paeroa, antiques town
Te Aroha hot pools
Te Aroha hot pools
Karangahake Gorge
Karangahake Gorge
Waihi Town
Waihi Town
Waihi Beach
Waihi Beach
Superb Whangamata Beach
Superb Whangamata Beach
Tairua and Pauanui Beach
Tairua and Pauanui Beach


Don't just drive through on the way to the beach, Thames has all types of accommodation and a more diverse range of activities than any other region of the Coromandel – from hot pools, to overnight tramping, scenic flights to butterflies, hire a bike or take a gold mine tour. Check out the museums and enjoy the history – many of the buildings and some of the old hotels in Thames have been there since the incredible goldrush days.

Thames Coast

To the north of Thames there is a series of family safe, sandy beaches with picnic places and BBQs. Motels, holiday parks and friendly beach shops cater well for visitors.This coast is ideal for fishing, either by boat or off the rocks. There are launching ramps for those with boats. The Tapu Valley Road has several attractions including the sawmiller's delight, the Square Kauri.

Seabird Coast

The western coastline of the Firth of Thames is an interesting optional route to or from Auckland and the airport. This coast is a feeding ground for thousands of seabirds, hence the name.

The small towns of Kaiaua, Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point have accommodation, beach shops and good fishing.

The Miranda Hot Springs are a highlight of the area, try the huge 47m main naturally hot mineral pool or soak in one of the smaller pools and spas with a range of temperatures from 35-42 degrees. The adjacent Miranda Holiday Park has all modern facilities and a hot pool of its own.


The rural service town of Paeroa is a centre for sporting events including the popular annual motorbike 'Battle of the Streets', Jazz Festival, Highland Tattoo and V8 Motor Show. There is a Food, Wine and Art Festival and an Antiques Road Show each year. Nine antique and collectables shops make the town a magnet for collectors and memorabilia hunters. The Information Centre shares a building with the excellent Paeroa Café.

Te Aroha

The translation of the Maori name is 'Place of Love' and the flowing, naturally hot soda water has made it a special place since history began. The small and friendly resort town is nestled against the southern-most tip of the Coromandel Ranges, (Mt Te Aroha 952m). The well maintained hot water pools and spas and the Te Aroha Domain with the original Edwardian spa buildings are a highlight of the entire region. The naturally hot, theraputic soda water is unique to Te Aroha. Don't miss it!

The Domain also includes the I-SITE, museum, geyser, café and a free, hot, foot bath for walkers – make new friends as you soak those tired feet! The Mokena Geyser, playing at 40 minute intervals, is the world's only Hot Water Soda Geyser.

The town has good accommodation, shops and cafes, bush walks, bike trails, art, golf, summer paddle boat cruises, trout fishing and gold rush history.

Te Aroha Leisure Pools

The Leisure Pools in a natural bush setting, include a 20 metre pool, an outdoor spa, a toddlers pool and you can try the water, there's a drinking fountain too!

Te Aroha Hot Spas

Indulge your senses with an aromatherapy bath - add your chosen oils to one of two freshly filled old fashioned claw foot slipper baths and, side by side with a friend slip into a state of total rejuvenation! Then check out the spa therapies. Or treat your loved one to our Romance Package which includes a spa for 2 in a candlelit room, chocolates, drinks and a lovely rose – mmm!

Karangahake Gorge

The picturesque Karangahake Gorge on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi is a fascinating area with plenty going on: enjoy the cafes (one in the original old railway station with an open fire in the winter), a winery, farm park, waterlily gardens and extensive walking tracks which include rushing waters with swing bridges, old (1872) gold mining and train tunnels. Excellent local accommodation is also available.


Waihi (pop. 4500) is the southern gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula. The town services the southern region and has good accommodation, cafes, art, history and old pubs and plenty of attractions for the visitor. You can take a tour of the very large open cast gold and silver mine which is adjacent to the town centre or try the old train ride to the Waikino Café.

Waihi Beach

The superb, 9km long, white and sandy Waihi Beach is one of the best on the East Coast and well enjoyed by visitors. The beach township at the north end has everything for the holidaymaker: shops and accommodation, cafes and bars, surfing and all beach fun. Try the coastal walk to the beautiful pohutukawa lined Orokawa Bay – the best short walk on the Peninsula.

Bowentown and Athenree

At the Southern end of Waihi Beach the Bowentown Headland divides the Tauranga Harbour from the Pacific Ocean. There's the big beach, a safe family beach, rock and boat fishing and an excellent café.

Hot Pools

The Holiday Park at nearby Athenree has a natural hot spring with two nice pools, one's a hot one to relieve those aching muscles!


'Wanga' is the Coromandel's top surf beach resort. Partly sheltered by off-shore islands, the curved beach is just the best for safe surf swimming and all beach fun. The small harbour includes a new marina and the harbour bar creates a surf break which is internationally famous with surfers. The well kept town has plenty for the visitor: all the shops, good cafes and bars, accommodation, surf club, golf and bush walks. The Whangamata Beach Hop is a famous, annual, late summer celebration of 'Rods and Rock n Roll'.

Whiritoa, Onemana and Opoutere

Onemana has shops, café and accommodation, Whiritoa a small estuary on the north end with a walk to Waimama Bay, both are nice sandy beaches. Opoutere is a 'best kept secret' with an estuary, a 6km long white sandy beach and the Prana Retreat for those wanting rejuvenation.

Pauanui and Tairua

These two resort towns straddle the beautiful Tairua Harbour and a summer ferry links the two. Tairua is on the main road with an Information Centre, cafes and accommodation. If you're into diving and fishing don't miss Tairua Dive and FishInn. Pauanui is a beach resort with a top surf beach, good accommodation, coastal walks, golf and cafes. Take the walk to the top of Paku for fine views.

How to Find Us

Refer to the Maps page.

Where to Stay

The visitor has a choice of all types of places to stay in the southern region: lodges, motels, campgrounds with cabins, campervan parks, wineries and backpackers.