Paeroa is a small town that’s found in the North Island, located to the south of the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Tauranga and has a lot to offer travellers.
As well as being the birthplace of the country’s iconic L&P drink, there’s a fair bit to do in this area.
Whether you’re looking to head out cycling or visit a beautiful gorge, you’ll be surprised by just how much is on offer in and around this small town.
This Paeroa guide covers everything you need to know for your visit.
That includes the town’s top attractions, the best places to eat, and where to stay…
Things to do in Paeroa
In no particular order, these are our favourite things to do in and around Paeroa.
1. Take a picture with the large L&P bottle
No trip to Paeroa is complete without taking a picture with the Giant L&P Bottle.
L&P (Lemon & Paeroa) is one of New Zealand’s home-grown drinks and it really is a Kiwi institution.
It gets its name from this town as it is where the spring water comes from.
2. Try a bottle of L&P
After taking a photograph, make sure you head to one of Paeroa’s cafes or shops (or even the petrol station or supermarket).
You need to try this delicious drink for yourself… otherwise have you ever really visited?
3. Check out the Paeroa Historical Maritime Park
While in town don’t miss out on visiting the Historical Maritime Park. It’s just a 2-minute drive from the centre of Paeroa and is the perfect place to visit if you want to learn about the area’s history.
This museum offers plenty of maritime displays, some of which are about Captain Cook.
You’ll also get to learn about the role this town played in maritime history.
6894 State Highway 2, Paeroa
4. Ride The Hauraki Rail Trail
Paeroa is located right in the middle of the Hauraki Rail Trail so is a popular spot with cyclists.
The whole trail takes up to 5 days and covers an impressive distance of 160 km.
If you don’t want to cycle the whole thing, then Paeroa is a great starting point. This way, you can choose which route you’d like to do, riding in and out of town.
5. Explore Karangahake Gorge
Under a 10-minute drive from town (towards Waihi), you’ll find Karangahake Gorge.
This gorgeous natural attraction will take your breath away with its towering cliffside, blue waters, waterfalls and variety of hiking trails.
We particularly like the Windows Walkway. This popular option gives an insight into the gorge’s mining history.
Other popular hikes include the Tunnel Loop Walk and the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.
State Highway 2, Karangahake 3674
Pro tip: If you’re short on time, you can drive through the gorge, instead of walking it. It’s a beautiful road.
6. Take the kids to the playground
If you’re travelling with children, the Paeroa Railway Reserve Playground and Skatepark is a great place to stop.
With a range of playground equipment, it’ll help kids of all ages blow off steam and let them stretch their legs after a long car ride.
7. Visit Bullswool Heritage Farm
Bullswoll Heritage Farm is a fantastic introduction to rural life in Aotearoa New Zealand.
It includes a native bird reserve, heritage museums (including opportunities to learn about sheep shearing, kauri and gold, and working horses) and a farm park with lots of animals.
Visitors of all ages will get something out of a visit to this authentic farming attraction.
240 Rahu Road, Paeroa 3674
8. Snap a photo of the Paeroa Information Hub (and pop inside)
This beautiful old corner building featured in a classic L&P ad (making it ‘world famous in New Zealand’)… you can have a go at recreating it by standing outside and giving a royal Queen’s wave.
Or, pop inside to get some more information about the best things to do in the local area – it’s the Paeroa Information Hub these days.
101 Normanby Road, Paeroa 3600
9. Go antique shopping
Paeroa is known as the antiques capital of New Zealand, so it’s the perfect place to pick up an old knick-knack or memento of your visit.
With several shops to choose from on the main street, each packed to the brim with treasures, it’s easy to spend a few hours perusing (if that’s your thing).
Places to eat in Paeroa
While in town, you may want to stop for a bite to eat.
These are our top recommendations – and remember, there’s also a McDonald’s in town if you want a quick meal on the go.
One3One Restaurant, Cafe & Bar
One 3 One Restaurant, Cafe & Bar is known for its great service, extensive wine list and pub-style dishes. All of this makes this a very popular spot.
There’s a variety of meals on offer at this eatery including burgers, steak, salmon, and pastas.
You won’t want to miss out on the desserts either!
131 Normanby Road, Paeroa
Paeroa Cafe Bar & Restaurant
Paeroa Cafe Bar & Restaurant is another popular option… and there’s a statue of an L&P bottle outside (although it’s not ‘the bottle’ that we wrote about earlier).
Even though it gets busy here, service is fast and efficient, and the food is good.
In terms of food, there are burgers, salads, meat dishes such as steak, and a variety of other mains.
You’ll also find some tasty light snacks here if you’re not feeling too hungry.
2 Seymour Street, Paeroa 3600
Kumar’s Something Special
If you’re after something a bit different then head to Kumar’s Something Special which specialises in Indian cuisine. There, you’ll get to try a variety of traditional curries.
Not only is the service excellent, but there are plenty of dishes to choose from, including some great vegetarian options.
The portions are also generous and the food is so flavourful!
76 Normanby Road, Paeroa
The Refinery is one of the most popular eateries in town and it’s not hard to see why! Boasting rustic decor, a roaring fire, and a large collection of vinyl records, the atmosphere is just perfect.
It’s open for breakfast and lunch and offers plenty of options including French toast, grilled sandwiches and brunch bowls.
5 Willoughby Street, Paeroa 3600
Where to stay in Paeroa
Accommodation in Paeroa is limited so you’ll want to book your stay in advance.
However, there are a few fantastic mid-range options…
Mid-range: Pedlars Motel
Pedlars Motel is one of the most affordable accommodation options in Paeroa, and it’s well-located too.
There, you can choose from a variety of studios and suites that feature a private bathroom and kitchenette.
Better yet, there’s a restaurant on-site and breakfast is available at the property.
Mid-range: Racecourse Motel
Racecourse Motel is just a 2-minute drive from the centre of town. With laundry facilities, a BBQ area, and an on-site tour desk, this property has a lot to offer. There’s also free on-site parking.
There are plenty of studios and suites to choose from, with some sleeping up to 5 people, making this motel the perfect option for families.
Mid-range: Paeroa Bed and Breakfast
This sustainable B&B is another popular option, with its indoor children’s play area, sun terrace, and delicious local produce. The owners are also lovely! Better yet, breakfast is included with your stay.
The rooms at Paeroa Bed and Breakfast are affordable, spacious, and feature lots of amenities. These include a private bathroom, seating area, free WiFi, and a flat-screen TV in each room.
Although small, you’ll find lots of great things to do in Paeroa. Not only that but thanks to its location, there are ample day trip opportunities.
Have you ever been to Paeroa? If you have, what’s your favourite thing to do there?
Let us know in our Facebook Group.