DANNY : DE HEKSpecial Feature: Multiple blocks with accessible wild pigs.

The rugged volcanic Coromandel Peninsula is Auckland’s most important summer recreational playground, offering sheltered golden sand beaches and superb boating and fishing.

Inland areas have equal appeal to energetic trampers and hunters who trek the extensive bush tracks bisecting the huge Coromandel Forest Park. This park occupies most of the rugged high country on the peninsula, running from the Karangahake Gorge between the towns of Paeroa and Waihi, up to the northern tip at Cape Colville. Seven roads wind their way across the peninsula giving good access to hunting areas.

Most of the native forests have been logged for kauri and the land scoured and tunnelled by gold miners, so hunters can expect hard going through dense undergrowth, which sometimes hides sump holes and washouts.

The Park headquarters is found in the picturesque Kauaeranga Valley, inland from Thames, where DOC rangers issue permits, give excellent advice and administer the dozen or so separate hunting blocks as outlined below:-

Maratoto Block is mainly native forest and is accessed by the beautiful Wentworth Valley on the east and Maratoto Road in the west. It is adjoined by the extensive Tairua Block. Both have low to moderate populations of wild pigs and goats.

Kauaeranga Block is north east of Thames and south of Tapu-Coroglen highway, forming one large tract of bush together with the Hikuai Block, both containing modest numbers of wild pigs and goats.

Waikawau Block is accessed from the Tapu-Coroglen highway and contains a moderate population of wild pigs and low numbers of goats. It meets Whangapoua Block, which extends from Coromandel township across to Mercury Bay.

Otama and Kennedy Bay blocks, north of Whitianga, have low to moderate numbers of wild pigs and goats. Moehau at the northern tip of the Peninsula has a moderate density of both species. There are several DOC campsites around the Moehau block on the adjoining Farm Park.

Mallard and grey ducks are found in low numbers and pheasant and quail are sparsely spread around the peninsula.