The record of that area now known as Coromandel in trading relations with European ships dates backto the 18th century.
While at Mercury Bay in 1769 Captain James Cook gave potatoes to the Maori's from the Ngati-whanaunga tribe who had come from Coromandel and they, taking great care of them, returned to their home and planted the tubers. Consequently, when the timber ships began arriving, starting with the "Fancy" in 1795 supplies of potatoes were available for the crews. By 1803 potato growing at the Coromandel was considered "extensive".
From the timber industry the tale is told(though not believed) that on October 15, 1852, Chas Ring offically discovered the first gold in New Zealand. It seems Mr Ring saw a trace of gold imbedded in the end of a log which was floating down Driving Creek and then traced this gold to its source. For a time Sir John Logan Campbell resided here while the initial development of Auckland was taking place, as did others whose names have been notable in the history of New Zealand.
This gold totalled approximately $3,000,000. The search for minerals has not yet ceased for keen geologists congregate around the shores and at the Tokatea Saddle at times finding exellent specimens of the various types of quarts, opal, jasper, amethyst and silicas as well as flints and types of petrified wood.