Paeroa was a thriving port before the vast Hauraki Plains were drained and converted to productive dairying land.

This provincial town at the southern extremity of the Coromandel Peninsula, still retains its proud maritime links and actively promotes itself with a none too subtle message in a bottle.

That seven metre high ‘Lemon and Paeroa’ bottle stands beside the main street as an eye-catching icon that rivals Ohakune’s mammoth carrot and Tirau’s giant sheep, making the Paeroa shopping centre seem like a part of Lilliput. New Zealand’s very own soft drink was born early last century, when local mineral spring water was blended with lemon. It is still going strong as a thirst quencher of choice today, under the promotional catchphrase ‘World Famous in New Zealand.’

Paeroa’s Maritime Museum beside a loop in the broad, brown Waihou River, features a number of restored vessels including the double paddle-steamer, Kopu, which once made regular sailings between Auckland and Paeroa.

The Museum on the main street, Belmont Road, has cleverly displayed exhibits covering the town’s early history, shipping and gold mining in the nearby Karangahake Gorge. A large collection of Maori artefacts, such as stone adzes, tools, ornaments and fish hooks is ranged alongside an equally fascinating stash of Royal Albert bone china.

Bus Pass New Zealand

Out on the billiard table flat Hauraki Plains, which were recovered by digging 1,000 km of canals and stopbanks, there are many places to visit. These include a bird sanctuary, water gardens, hot pools, farm tours, art and craft centres and the Ngatea gemstone store. This little gem of a place is an Aladdin’s Cave of tempting treasures with 1,000 sq metres of displays of stones, fossils, shells, crystals, minerals and jewellery.

East of Paeroa is the Karangahake Gorge, an impressive cutting between the Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges, that simply oozes gold mining history. The delightful walkway along the old railway formation, beside the Ohinemuri River, is a ‘must do’ outdoor attraction. The walkway’s eastern terminus is the quaint Waikino Railway Station, which has a museum and refreshment rooms. From here a vintage train makes regular runs to Waihi township in the summer.

Paeroa is a good base for historic walks in the gorge and for forays out into the plains. A range of hotels and motels offer comfortable accommodation. There is no chance of succumbing to thirst as that giant bottle of ‘L&P’ never runs dry.

By | 2016-11-26T18:58:17+00:00 April 12th, 2014|Coromandel|0 Comments

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Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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