The harbour is one of the earliest places settled by Māori, with Kupe landing on the shore in the fourteenth century.
Te Arawa arrived later bringing a leader called Hei, resulting in the local iwi of Ngāti Hei. The bay was called Whanganui-o-hei, the great bay of Hei.
It was later named Cooks Beach after navigator Captain James Cook, who with his crew and expedition astronomer Charles Greene, landed here on the 9th November 1769, to observe the transit of Mercury and establish longitude.
The annual Cooks Beach Summer Gala is good old fashioned gala fun.
For a seriously great view, walk or drive to the Shakespeare Cliff lookout.
Browse our inspiration pages and connect with some of our great Mercury Bay businesses, events and activities when you need a bit of inspiration for things to do, places to visit and ways to surprise your family and friends.
Catch the ferry from Whitianga Wharf to Ferry Landing. Cathedral Cove Shuttles run services from Ferry Landing that will take you to Cooks Beach.
Alternatively if you need to stretch your legs you can walk from Ferry Landing to Cooks Beach, which is a moderate flat walk that will take you approximately 40 minutes.
One of the best ways to get to the restaurants and bars in Cooks Beach is by shuttle. Take the worry of driving away and enjoy your time out with this safe and easy way of getting around.
If you want to have a good look around the Cooks Beach, you can get picked up by shuttle at Ferry Landing. From here you can be whisked away to some of the most beautiful areas of the Coromandel such as Cooks Beach, Hahei, Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.
For a casual dining options you can’t beat getting fish and chips from the Frying Scotsman Takeaways and dining on the beach kiwi style. Head to The Vessel and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere inside or out while sipping on a NZ beer or wine.
The Cooks Beach Liquor Store is a the place to go if you are looking for a gift, they not only sell Liquor they have some gift ideas for everyone including - mugs, warm socks, candles, ornaments, body lotion and more.
Fishing tides, checking the best tide times for launching and retrieving your boat at the boat ramp, entering or leaving Purangi, surfing local Coromandel beaches, and best low tide times for digging a hot pool at Hot Water Beach.
Download and print our Tides PDF file for local tide times.