In pioneering days, Colville was a busy timber milling town. Then in the 1970s it became a magnet for hippies drawn to the natural beauty and isolation of the area. Today Colville is a quiet country town serving a local community of farmers and artists.North of Colville, the road winds along the western shoreline where the Moehau Range (Sleeping Wind) rises steeply from the sea. At the western tip of the peninsula, Port Jackson (Poihakene) is a long, spacious beach that is popular for camping and fishing. Fletcher Bay, situated at the north-east tip of the peninsula, is rich with legends of shipwrecks, mariners, gold and gum digging. Between them, Cape Colville looks out on the Watchman as well as Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands. You need to return south to Colville Bay and cross the range to the eastern side to explore Port Charles, Waikauwau Bay and Kennedy Bay.Most of the bays have tent camping sites. The farm park camp site at Waikawau Bay, for example, has access to a sweeping sandy beach. The beach is good for swimming, diving and fishing. In the breeding season it is home to New Zealand dotterel and variable oystercatcher birds. There are several walkways in the area north of Colville, ranging from 20-minute strolls to half-day hikes.