Rugged, wild and densely forested, the Coromandel Peninsula a gnarled finger raised admonishingly at the urban sprawl of Auckland on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. Settlement on the peninsula is relatively sparse and limited to the ragged coastal fringes where, especially on the east coast, the visitor can find some excellent beaches.
Though the peninsula has retained much of its natural grandeur and is now protected as a forest park, it did not escape nineteenth century New Zealand’s hunger for gold, kauri gum (used in varnish) and timber. The gold and gum booms were relatively short-lived, but the tree-fellers only stopped after they had decimated the once extensive kauri forests. The peninsula still has large deposits of gold, silver, zinc and lead and some locals fear that commercial interests could again threaten an ecosystem that is still recovering from the excesses of the past.
Destinations in Coromandel Peninsula:
Colville, Coromandel, Paeroa, Tairua, Thames, Waihi, Whangamata, Whitianga