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Collingwood is a town in the north-west corner of the South Island of New Zealand along Golden Bay. The town is an ecotourism destination due to its proximity to Kahurangi National Park and Farewell Spit Nature Reserve.HistoryThe town was originally named Gibbstown after the local settler and politician William Gibbs (1817–1897), who arrived in the area in 1851. The settlement was later renamed Collingwood after Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Lord Nelson's second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.Following the discovery of payable gold-deposits in the Aorere Valley in 1856 the town's population surged and the suggestion was made that Collingwood should become New Zealand's capital. The town has been damaged by fire several times, being almost destroyed in 1904.GeographyCollingwood is located along the western shore of Golden Bay at the mouth of the Aorere River. The town is the endpoint for State Highway 60.EducationCollingwood Area School is a composite school catering for primary, secondary, and adult education in the greater Collingwood area, and has around 130 students on roll. The school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009.
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