The Coromandel was the first place gold was discovered in New Zealand, initiating feverish migration to the area, with prospectors seeking to find their fortune in the deep veins of the Coromandel Ranges.
About 400 hectares of mature kauri trees remain in the 2000s. Many of these survived because they were located in areas too difficult for loggers to access. The main stands are in the Moehau ecological area, the Manaia Forest Sanctuary and the upper reaches of the Tairua River.
The Coromandel offers a unique opportunity to experience the area for the first time, as the great navigator, Captain James Cook did, in November 1769.
The observation of the transit of Mercury enabled Captain James Cook to establish the geographic coordinates of New Zealand - literally placing it on the world map and resulting in the now familiar place names of Mercury Bay and Cooks Beach.