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Hauraki Rail Trail Tips With The Coromandel Distilling Co.

The Coromandel Distilling Co. in Thames craft Gins and other limited release spirits with a relentless focus on quality and the art of distilling. 

Since opening their doors at the end of 2019, they have achieved awards at every competition entered, from the World Spirits Awards in San Francisco to the highly prestigious International Wine and Spirits Awards in London.

In 2020, they won Gold with their limited art edition gin ‘The Cuckoo’ at the New Zealand Spirits Awards.



Gin from the tiny micro-distillery was also recently awarded the World’s Best Classic Gin.

The Awildian Dry Gin was selected by a panel of International judges at The World Drink Awards, with one point short of a gold medal.

When International borders re open, the distillery will draw tourists to Thames seeking a bottle of the world’s best Gin. Only 130 bottles are made in each batch. The Gin has between 20 and 25 raw ingredients, one third of which they grow or forage themselves.



Founders Paul Schneider and Daniela Suess have lived in Thames for 15 years and were scientists and conservationists prior to launching the distillery. Paul claims their scientific training has taught them to be meticulous, taking notes and observing the process.

Their love of nature also extends to exploring the Hauraki Rail Trail and its surrounds. We asked Paul for a few of his insider tips. Here’s what he had to tell us.



The best place for lunch is… when you've cycled to Thames and go to Cafe Melbourne.


The adventure we add on… when in Thames is to hike the Karaka Track and come back down the Waiotahi Track. The loop takes the better part of a day.


Take a detour to… the Tararu cemetery on the Thames Coast Road just north of Tararu. This is a very special place and worth visiting. When in this area it’s also really nice to cycle up Victoria Street and enjoy some of the stunning swimming holes. 


Go swimming… in one of the beautiful swimming holes in the Karangahake Gorge.


Photo Credit: Caleb Bird - Owharoa Falls, Karangahake Gorge



Don’t miss… checking out the mine shafts that are accessible in the Karangahake Gorge.


Photo Credit: @yeahitsmemk on Instagram - Windows Walkway Tunnels


The distillery is located at 715 Pollen Street, Thames. Pop along on Fridays between 11.00am - 3.00pm or Saturdays from 10.00am - 2.00pm to sample the range of Gin. You can read more about the award winning duo here.


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