Welcome to Coastal Route from Thames to Coromandel Town
From Thames, narrow SH25 snakes along the coast past pretty little bays and rocky beaches. Sea birds are plentiful, and you can fish, dig for shellfish and fossick for quartz, jasper and even gold-bearing rocks. The landscape turns crimson when the pohutukawa (often referred to as the ‘New Zealand Christmas tree’) blooms in December.
A handful of stores, motels, B&Bs and camping grounds are scattered around the picturesque bays. At Tapu turn inland for a mainly sealed 6km drive to the Rapaura Water Gardens, combining water, greenery and sculpture.
From Wilsons Bay the road heads away from the coast and negotiates several hills and valleys before dropping down to Coromandel Town, 55km from Thames. The view looking towards the island-studded Coromandel Harbour is exquisite.