Stories of The Thames

The friendship and the flogging


A dramatic event recorded by Joseph Banks in November 1769, during the 3-day visit by Lt. James Cook and the Endeavour in the Waihou - the Firth of Thames.

Black and White Star in Circle

The power of Cook’s potato


Horeta Te Taniwha was a boy when he boarded the Endeavour with his Chief.    Why was the 'white potato' such a power to the peoples of Hauraki?

Gunpowder Barrel explosion


John Logan Campbell became the guest of the Tama Te Ra tribe at Waiomu when he first arrived in New Zealand.  A tangi (funeral) for a chief went terribly wrong, and Logan Campbell learned the power of tapu - the sacred unseen forces of the Maori people.

Taraia’s utu to Logan Campbell


When a deed is done a deed is owed, either for good or harm.  Logan Campbell earned an utu from the feared cannibal chief Taraia

Striking a fortune


Auckland was in trouble, business was closing down, unemployment was crippling the town... was there gold at 'The Thames'?

Lynchmob at Kuranui Bay


The goldfields had been rushed by 1,000's of men, and at first was known as the ‘Honest Goldfields’.  When there's a rash of tent robberies a startling event occurs.

The Royal Visit and the Raceday


His Royal Highness Prince Alfred is visiting the colony!  Thames extends an invitation to the Prince, inviting him to honour the Goldfields with his presence, and receive a Royal welcome.

Armed Guard at St Georges Church Hall


The new Anglican Church plans to celebrate 'Orange Day'.  Religious hatreds from the old country threaten to raise their ugly heads on the streets of Thames.

The Inferno of Shortland


It all started with a bucket of hot coals being just a little too close to the wall.