You can see why this was an important area for early Thames, it had multiple gardens, and was used extensively by many sports. Running events, rugby, cricket and hockey were regularly played on the paddocks south of Barrett Road.
Thames Racecourse. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-63640-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23174107
On second look, there a few areas of interest.
At the end of Barrett Road the evidence can be seen of the old Kauaeranga Bridge, that was the only bridge into town. for many decades pre 1920s
The land north of the Parawai Racecourse is only partially developed. Yet to come is the Parawai School and stopbank developments.
Below is the Totara area. There is housing along Tony's Avenue, but many more houses to come in the following years.
See the Totara Cemetery in the distance, which has expanded considerably over the decades.