Colville, New Zealand

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Colville is located in North Island
Coordinates: 36°38′3″S 175°28′35″E / 36.63417°S 175.47639°E / -36.63417; 175.47639
CountryNew Zealand
DistrictThames-Coromandel District

Colville, a small town in the north of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand, lies 26 kilometres north of Coromandel in Colville Bay on the Hauraki Gulf, and is the northernmost town of any note on the peninsula. North of Colville, 28 kilometres of rough road lead to the small settlement of Port Jackson, close to the peninsula's northwesternmost point, Cape Colville and 20 km to Port Charles on the northeastern side.

The town is the service and social centre for the area, with a co-operatively-owned general store, Postal Delivery Centre, volunteer fire brigade, school, community hall and several houses. Just beyond the town is the beginning of the Te Moehau Range, which forms the bulk of the northern end of the Coromandel Peninsula, and contains valuable ecological areas, including a population of the threatened North Island brown kiwi.

Colville the town took its name from the cape, which Captain James Cook named[1] on November 18, 1769 after Rear Admiral Lord Colville, under whom Cook had previously served (1759-1761) on HMS Northumberland in the Royal Navy.[2] Colville was also known as Cabbage Bay, thought to be in reference to the cabbage trees in the bay.

Colville General Store

Colville township grew following the construction of a general store with a motor garage alongside.[3] This was built by Richard (Dick) Goudie, a local man whose grandparents had settled in Cabbage Bay. Dick Goudie later ran a taxi service from the town, being the first to drive a motor vehicle across the new bridge at Papa Aroha which opened up the northern peninsula from Coromandel. Fossicking for semi-precious stones such as carnelian and for kauri gum are popular activities among tourists visiting the town.[4]

Another member of the Goudie family, John, developed a motor camp a few kilometres north of the town some years later.[when?]

The Motukawao Islands lie five kilometres off the coast to the southwest of Colville, in the Hauraki Gulf.


Colville School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 2[5] and a roll of 27 students as of August 2018[6].


  1. ^ Coromandel Peninsula Archived 2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Compare: Arlidge, Allan S. (2016). "Some Factors Governing Cook". Captain Cook Society. Retrieved 2016-11-01. [...] a part of one letter bears repetition in the context of this work, as it shows the good opinion that Cook's naval superiors had of him as early as 1762. On 30 December of that year, Lord Colville, commander-in-chief of the North American Station included in a letter to the Admiralty: [...] 'Mr Cook late Master of the Northumberland acquaints me that he has laid before their Lordships all his draughts and observations relating to the River St Laurence, part of the coast of Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland... I beg to inform their Lordships, that from my experience of Mr Cook's genius and capacity, I think him well fitted for the work he has undertaken, and for greater undertakings of the same kind.'
  3. ^ Historic Colville New Zealand Began with the General Store
  4. ^ "Colville Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
  5. ^ Education Counts: Colville School
  6. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.


  • Reed, A. W. (2002). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0761-4.

Coordinates: 36°38′S 175°28′E / 36.633°S 175.467°E / -36.633; 175.467