Welcome to Thames


Captain Cook arrived here in 1769, naming the Waihou River the ‘Thames’ ‘on account of its bearing some resemblance to that river in England’; you may well think otherwise. This area belonged to Ngāti Maru, a tribe of Tainui descent. Their spectacular meeting house, Hotunui (1878), holds pride of place in the Auckland Museum.

After opening Thames to gold miners in 1867, Ngāti Maru were swamped by 10,000 European settlers within a year. When the initial boom turned to bust, a dubious system of government advances resulted in Māori debt and forced land sales.


Top experiences in Thames

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Thames activities

$196.84 Cultural & Theme Tours

Oxford City plus Cotswolds Cycle Tours

Please note that we can only offer this tour to children aged 14 or older and to adults height 5 foot (1.52m) or higher. This is because on day 2 in the Cotswolds, you will be riding electric bikes to be able to manage the landscape. The schedule is approximately 10am to 4.30pm each day. Day 1: See the city of Oxford as locals do on 2 wheels. We will introduce Oxford's most well known sights such as Christchurch meadows where Alice in Wonderland & Lewis Carroll lived. Plus we'll escape the crowds to explore the Port Meadow, Godstow priory. This tour includes a visit inside university college venues and rides along the Thames river path, where you will see how much Oxford celebrates its rowing sporting traditions. Lunch stop and free time options to stop in a picturesque village with Normal church or to stop back in Oxford city centre.  Day 2: Starts outside Oxford in Kingham (which you can easily reach quickly by train from Oxford and we'll advise you of the timetable. Make use of an electric bike to enjoy an adventurous ride of approximately 40km, taking in scenic views & picturesque villages. See manor houses or other historic sites and take in some of the best views in England. You will have time to also enjoy lunch at an excellent & affordable pub on the route. NB ONLY ONE CHILD UNDER 14 can join the tour. We have one tandem bike only and it is subject to availability. This child must be approximately at least 4 feet (1.2metres) high. POLICY FOR BAD WEATHER: Unfortunately, we can never predict the weather in the UK, even from hour to hour. However, if the weather forecast does look awful, you have the option to request us to give us advance notice of more than 24 hours to either reschedule the date for cycle tour or alternatively we can replace the cycle tour with walking tour and a visit in Oxford to Christchurch college Harry Potter film site (presuming Christchurch is not closed) and option to replace Cotswolds cycle tour with a driving tour or a visit to Blenheim palace (presuming palace is not closed).