The Tapu Community is both typical and unique...

It has all the qualities of a New Zealand small town: sense of community, traditional values and an eclectic mix of characters. The town has a primary school, a volunteer fire brigade, an art gallery, a pub and a camping ground. There is also a range of accommodation within a few ks - from comfortable to five star. Thames is 20 minutes south on the renowned Thames Coast Road, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and east coast beaches are 45 minutes away. Coromandel Town is just 30 minutes north. Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga are all within an easy 1 1/2 - 2 hour drive.

What to do at Tapu

The Thames Coast is an idyllic Coromandel secret. Tapu can delight you with swimming in waterholes, great fishing off the rocks, sea food gathering, walks in the bush to Kauri groves and through award-winning gardens, fishing charters, browsing in art galleries and working studios.

As an event destination it provides a great mix of activities for your guests - and most of them are free!

People booking the Hall for a special event will have helpful advice from a local to help with activity and accommodation bookings as well suggestions about things to do in our community.


There are two items in this section of the website. One is an original contribution from a former resident - CLICK HERE - and the other is based on a section of the book “These Hills are Tapu”, written by Deborah Jowitt ...

Prior to 1830 Tapu was known as Waipatukakahu which can be interpreted to mean.. “the stream where flax garments are beaten or washed “… Jowitt suggests that at that time it could have been a place of peace and domestic industry. However, that all change in 1830 when the resident Ngati Tamatera and a raiding party of Ngati Hei from Mercury Bay were involved in a massive conflict leaving the area labelled as a sacred place. Women and children were slaughtered while the men were fishing and hunting. The river was said to flow red with blood into the sea.

Tapu is situated on the western coast of the Coromandel Peninsula , mid way almost, between Thames and Coromandel. Life in Tapu revolves around the Hotel, School, General Store, and Camping Ground. The community also is served by a Volunteer fire station and Memorial Hall built in 1948- 49. There is a quiet settled feeling about Tapu which in a way belies its tragic past. People are drawn to Tapu because of the abundance of sea food, shell fish and leisurely pace of life.