THAMES, a seaport and gold-mining centre in North Island, New Zealand, in the county and at the mouth of the river of its name, on the Firth of Thames, a deep inlet of the Hauraki Gulf of the east coast. Pop. (1906) 3750. It comprises under one municipality the settlement formerly called Grahamstown, with its suburbs Shortland and Tararu. It lies 42 m. S.E. of Auckland by the steamer-route, a pleasant journey among the islands of the Gulf. There is also railway communication with Auckland (but by a circuitous route of 120 m.), and with the neighbouring districts by branch lines. The harbour is good; the industries include foundries, shipbuilding yards and sawmills. The sea fisheries are valuable, a large part of the yield being exported to Auckland. The inland district watered by the Thames river is auriferous; Waitekuri (40 m.) and Karangahake (28 m. S. of Thames) are centres of operations. The small town of Te Aroha (32 m. by rail), on the river, besides being the centre of mining and agricultural industries, is a favourite health resort on account of its hot medicinal springs. The river is navigable for steamers of light draught. The scenery along its course is pleasant, and at Ohinemuri (20 m. from Thames) it flows through a fine gorge.
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