We mentioned Kauri trees and the effects of Kauri logging on the Coromandel Region recently. But what we didn’t know at the time was that people tried to farm in this rugged volcanic region as well! Apparently, large areas were arbitrarily divided up and allocated into parcels of land. The parcels were then leased to prospective farmers.
Crosbie’s was one such farm. The lifestyle was hard. Access was difficult, being at least 5 hours walk from Thames township on horse or foot, along a rough track cut through the forest. And that was weather permitting. Imagine setting off at 6am, arriving at the Thames village stores by midday, buying your groceries and loading your horse(s) before walking back to the farmstead. Moving livestock was no easier, whether to market or back, it took a whole day and a lot of effort. When the new road across the Peninsula bypassed the farm, it signalled the end and the farm was abandoned in 1926.
It took us 5 hours to reach here, and we really appreciated the warmth from the coal fired range as it was freezing overnight. But dawn comes late in winter and the world was crisp and crystal clear. I was able to take just a few quick photographs of the views from the clearing before the light changed.
Crosbies also has a sadder history. A memorial plaque commemorates two Swedish tourists, Urban and Heidi, who went missing in 1989. Extensive searches at the time failed to find them, Urbans body was eventually found 18 months later in deep bush.