Arrowtown, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Beach, New Zealand
Fiordland, New Zealand
Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Rotorua, New Zealand

Coromandel, New ZealandCoromandel History

Coromandel | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Uncover the history of the Coromandel peninsula, from the first European settlers to the deforestation of the beautiful kauri forests.

Coromandel History Overview

From as early as 1795 the huge kauri forests of the Coromandel were milled and used for the British navy ships. The first of the European settlers came to the area in the 1830s.

The Coromandel itself was named after the British Navy ship "H.M.S. Coromandel" which anchored first off Colville on 13th June 1820. The ship stayed in the Hauraki Gulf for 12 months then went back to England with a load of timber.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, Coromandel, New Zealand
Tip of the Coromandel Peninsula
New Zealand
Photographer: Bob McCree
(www.bobmccreephotos.co.nz)

Gold was later discovered, and the mining of it began in the 1860s.

Early Coromandel

The Coromandel region was first visited by Captain James Cook in 1769.

Bill Webster was the first European to settle in the Coromandel region. In the 1830's he deserted from an American whaling ship and set up his trading post on Whanganui Island (which is situated at the entrance to the Coromandel Harbour).

Webster learnt the Maori language and used Maori labour to build small schooners and prepare timber cargoes for the Australian market. At one time the island became the proposed site for the city of Auckland.

Kauri Deforestation

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Waipoua Kauri Forest, Coromandel, New Zealand
Waipoua Kauri Forest
Coromandel, New Zealand
Photographer: Destination Northland
(info@northlandnz.com)

Coromandel first became known for its giant kauri forests running up the peninsula. The ruination of the great kauri forests then began, and thousands of feet of timber was milled from the area.

From 1795 vessels were loaded with kauri which would be used for the masts and spars of the British Navy. By the time people became aware of the deforestation of the forests of the Coromandel it was too late. Nearly a quarter of the magnificent forests had been felled. The forests were reduced from 200,000 hectares to 5,000 hectares and approximately a billion feet of timber was taken from this area within 20 years.

Gold Discovery

Gold was first discovered by Charles Ring in 1852 and mining began in the early 1860s. Remains of mines and batteries can still be seen along the associated walks. In the peak of the gold rush days, during 1880 through to the early 1900s, the population of Coromandel was well over 12,000 and had 19 hotels. Some of the old buildings are still standing today.

The School of Mines, built in 1898, contains many relics of the early years of the Coromandel. It was built to teach all aspects of mining and mines engineering.

Useful Coromandel Links

To help plan your Coromandel holiday choose from the main categories below:


Coromandel Region Information


Coromandel Tourism Operators

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.