Story: Hauraki–Coromandel region

Vegetation in the lower Waihou valley before human settlement

The banks of the lower Waihou River were covered with kahikatea forest well into the 19th century. On the west bank the Tūrua forest extended, apart from some swampy areas, to the Piako River; on the east bank stands of kahikatea went up tributary river valleys into the Coromandel Range. The range itself supported a mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest, including stands of kauri, the largest tree in New Zealand (kahikatea are the tallest). The kahikatea forest was logged between the 1860s and 1910s, and in 2010 was almost all pasture. Much of the forest in the range, including almost all the kauri, was logged between 1880 and 1920. Some forest has regenerated, and other areas are scrubland – relatively little is farmed.

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Source: Caroline Phillips, Waihou journeys: the archaeology of 400 years of Māori settlement. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2000, pp. 21,56

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How to cite this page:

Paul Monin, 'Hauraki–Coromandel region - Climate, plants and animals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/30365/vegetation-in-the-lower-waihou-valley-before-human-settlement (accessed 6 August 2020)

Story by Paul Monin, updated 1 Apr 2016