What to Do in Paeroa
A town in the “middle of everywhere”, Paeroa is bound to be a town that you visit in the North Island whether you’ve planned it or not. Situated on State Highway 2 in between the Coromandel, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, it’s a town that seems impossible to miss so it’s a good thing that the town has a few great things to do! Explore the nearby Karangahake Gorge and its myriad of walking trails or learn more about New Zealand farms at the Bullswool Farm Heritage Park. Of course, you can’t leave the town without getting an obligatory photo with the giant soda bottle! Find out more about all of that in this list of things to do in Paeroa.
While you’re here, you might also like 15 Coromandel Must-Dos.
1. Get a Photo with the Giant L&P Bottle
Yes, Paeroa is the origin of New Zealand’s very of soft drink, Lemon & Paeroa, otherwise known as L&P. The therapeutic spring water discovered in the town in the 19th Century was mixed with lemon and manufactured into New Zealand’s first natural soft drink. The town commemorated this with a giant sculpture which just begs to be taken a photo of.
Location: Normanby Road on State Highway 2
2. Cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail
Paeroa lies in the middle of one of New Zealand’s Great Rides, the Hauraki Rail Trail. Either hire a bike from town to do one of the day rides or complete the entire 160km of trail between Thames and Matamata with side trips to Waihi and Kaiaua. One of the highlights of the trail is riding through the historic Karangahake Gorge (see below), verdant farmlands and around the mining relics of Waihi.
3. Visit Karangahake Gorge
Just outside of Paeroa is the unmissable Karangahake Gorge. Not only is this one of the most scenic stretches of river in the North Island, but Karangahake Gorge is rich in gold mining relics. Delve into gold mining tunnels while capturing tremendous views of the Waitewheta River on the Windows Walkway, or walk to Owharoa Falls on the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. Check out more walks in the area in our 16 Awesome Hikes in The Coromandel.
Location: 7km from Paeroa south on State Highway 2
4. Wander Around the Antique Stores and Op Shops
See why Paeroa calls itself the “Antiques Capital of New Zealand” by simply wandering around the town. The town is brimming with antique stores and op shops (secondhand stores) so see what trinkets you’ll discover!
Location: Paeroa town centre
5. Check Out the Local Museums and Art Galleries
Another thing Paeroa has going for it are its museums and art galleries in and around the town. Check out local arts, crafts and gifts at the Paeroa Society of Arts and at the Mikkelsen Gallery in the town centre. Just outside of town are a couple of fascinating museums including The Historical Maritime Park showcasing naval displays, as well as relics from Paeroa’s mining past. For something a little different but totally New Zealand, visit the Bullswool Farm Heritage Park. See an early milking shed, kauri museum, sheep shed and visit the animals on this working farm.
Location: 240 Rahu Road, 8km from Paeroa