Paeroa is the largest settlement of the Paeroa Ward which is located
in the centre of the Hauraki District and has a population of around
5,930 people. The town was established in the 1870s and was
originally a thriving port. Paeroa is now an attractive rural
service centre, which is extremely busy given its central location
at the junction of three State Highways. Paeroa is conveniently
within an hour and a half drive of three of New Zealand’s largest
cities; Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga.
Paeroa is ‘world famous in New Zealand’ for the fizzy drink Lemon and Paeroa (L&P) which was originally developed in Paeroa by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the Paeroa Springs. Paeroa is well known for its ‘big bottle’, which is a seven metres tall imitation bottle of L&P and is located in the Ohinemuri Reserve on the side of the main road through Paeroa.
In February 2012 Paeroa was named Mitre 10 Community of the Year at the 2012 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards. Paeroa was highlighted as a community determined not to fall into decline as so many small towns do when faced with an increasingly mobile population. Paeroa has worked hard to counter this phenomenon with an active events calendar and enhancement of local opportunities to promote Paeroa as a great place to live in, work in and visit.
The area in front of the Paeroa Post Office won the Civic Heart Revitalisation Award in 2010. This award was given by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) to Soul Environments, who undertook the design of the area in front of the Post Office.
There are a number of smaller settlements in the Paeroa Ward including Mackaytown, Karangahake, Tirohia and Netherton.
View Map of Paeroa | View Maps of the Hauraki District
See also: Hauraki District | Plains Ward | Waihi Ward
Paeroa has a number of good cafés, restaurants and places to stay and is well known for its selection of antique stores. There are a range of attractions to keep any visitor busy in the Paeroa area, some of which are listed below.
A must do when you are in the
Paeroa area is a visit to the rugged and beautiful Karangahake Gorge
which is located just minutes from Paeroa and acts as the main
corridor from Paeroa to Waihi.
The Karangahake Gorge boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the North Island with the Ohinemuri River flowing through the Gorge, sheer cliffs towering high above it and stunning bush vistas. The Gorge has various walking and tramping tracks that take travellers through the mining relics which date back to the gold rush in 1875, more adventurous walkers can traverse up the mountain or further into the bush. See the Department of Conservation website for information about tracks and walks in the Karangahake gorge.
The Hauraki Rail Trail links Paeroa to the Karangahake Gorge and follows the old railway line through the Gorge to Waikino, this section of the Rail Trail is around 14km long. For more information see the Hauraki Rail Trail website.
The Ohinemuri Estate Winery and Restaurant is located opposite the entrance to the Gorge and is a great place to have a bite to eat and sample some delicious wines.
The Paeroa Ward has a number
of museums including the Paeroa and District Museum, located on the
main street of Paeroa, which provides some insight into the early
history of the area and has a large display of Maori artefacts.
The Paeroa Historical Maritime Museum and Park is located on Puke Road (SH2) just north of Paeroa. This museum has excellent displays of national and local maritime history including that of Captain Cook and the Northern Steamship Company.
Each year a number of major events take place in the Paeroa Ward including the Paeroa Battle of the Streets which is held annually on the third weekend of February. The Battle of the Streets attracts thousands each year with motorbike riders from around the country and overseas coming to compete. Another major event in Paeroa is the Highland Games and Tattoo which is held on the second Saturday of February each year.
Many events are listed here on our own website: HDC Calendar of Events and on the Positive Paeroa website.
Paeroa is centrally located to many main centres and approximate
travel times to these centres are noted below.
Distance to (km) Place Approx. Travel Time 128 Auckland Airport 1 hour 20 minutes 130 Auckland City 1 hour 20 minutes 86 Coromandel* 1 hour 30 minutes 75 Hamilton 1 hour 22 Ngatea 20 minutes 125 Rotorua 1 hour 15 minutes 172 Taupo 2 hours 87 Tauranga City/Mount Maunganui 1 hour 23 Te Aroha 20 minutes 32 Thames 30 minutes 72 Tairua* 45 minutes 20 Waihi 20 minutes 32 Waihi Beach 32 minutes 113 Whitianga* 1 hour 45 minutes
* The winding roads on the Coromandel Peninsula may require a greater time allowance.