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Activities & Surrounds

Welcome to Cotswold Cottage Bed & Breakfast - the perfect base for exploring the wonderful Coromandel Peninsula.  Close to local beaches, bush walks, bird watching, thermal pools and historic sites.


  • Cotswold Cottage Bed and Breakfast - Thames
  • Thames Boutique Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
  • Coromandel Peninsula Accommodation


Local Attractions

Thames is known as the “gateway to the Coromandel” – one of the most stunning and diverse parts of New Zealand.  Thames township is a short drive from fabulous beaches, world class bush walks, historic gold mine remains and museums and timber trails.  It is a boaties’ paradise and a drawcard for cyclists now that the cycleway to Waihi is complete.

 

The Kauaeranga River runs right through the Kauaeranga Valley and during the summer it is well known for its swimming holes and DOC camp sites.  From the end of the valley road there are several well-marked walks for varying fitness levels.  Maps and advice for all of these walks can be obtained from the DOC Visitors Centre based near the end of the valley road.

 

Thames has a number of excellent cafes and restaurants, and every Saturday morning the Thames Market is held in the main street.  Thames is a town built on gold mining and kauri logging in the 1800’s.  Consequently there is much rich history in the buildings and museums.

 

The drive up the coast from Thames to Coromandel is stunning, especially around Christmas when the pohutukawa trees are in full bloom with their scarlet blossoms.  Take time to stop at the lookout points on the hills approaching Coromandel.  As you drive north there are numerous attractions worth stopping at – the Butterfly Gardens, Waterlily Gardens, art galleries and a detour along the 309 Rd. There you will come across some quirky ways of killing time.  It won’t be long before you come upon Stu the pig man, with his 55 pet pigs.  A kilometre further along is the Waiau Waterworks, a fun park full of water-themed activities for the young and the young-at-heart.  Also on the 309 Rd, the Waiau Falls and the kauri walks are a short, easy walk from the road.  If time permits the climb up Castle Rock, otherwise known as The Sleeping Giant, is well worth the effort for the fantastic views from the top.

 

Coromandel Town is a historic mining town.  It has an air of charm and tranquility, created by the many conservationists and craftspeople who reside there.  Just out of the township, as you drive north is the Driving Creek Railway, a must see for all visitors.  Built by artisan potter and passionate conservationist Barry Brickell, it is a marvelous feat of engineering and ingenuity.  The narrow gauge railway takes visitors through kauri forests and native bush to the “Eyefull Tower” lookout, which has 360 degree views.

 

Along the east coast of the peninsula are the popular Whitianga Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and Hahei, plus more great walks.  The white sand east coast beaches are beautiful, and great for swimming and other water sports.  Hot Water Beach is famous for its hot springs, which you can tap into  two hours either side of low tide by digging a pool and letting it fill up with hot water.  The beach is not suitable for swimming because of dangerous rips and currents.

 

A visit to the Coromandel is not complete without a visit to the Karangahake Gorge.  This was the site of the country’s second most productive goldmine in the 1870’s.  From the carpark at Karangahake, visitors can take a number of scenic walks alongside the beautiful Ohinemuri and Waitawheta rivers.  Particularly unique is the Windows Walk which takes you through tunnels high above the river.  There are several ‘windows’ blasted out through the walls of the tunnel, from which the views are spectacular.  The whole area is full of gold mining relics as you follow the Ohinemuri River to Waikino, the site of the Victoria Battery.  There is a small museum and enormous quartz roasting kilns, which are open to the public.  Opposite this site is the Waikino Station Café, from where you can take the 6km trip to Waihi on the cute Goldfields Railway during weekends and summer months.  The gorge has a number of excellent cafes and other great tourist and family attractions.

 

Waihi township is dominated by the old Cornish Pumphouse, and right beside it is the  gigantic open pit of the Martha mines.  This hole in the ground has a circumference of 4km around the rim.  Waihi’s museums and information placards tell the story of the town’s past and several charming bronze statues in the town depict days gone by.


Guest comment

Keryn  (Mature couple) Christchurch, New Zealand
10 October 2013

"Lovely hosts that went out of their way to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable."


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