Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration

Captain Cook & Ngāti Hei- Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration

What to Expect

A series of formal and informal events will be held in Whitianga, the Mercury Bay and throughout the Coromandel Peninsula area to celebrate this historic 250th anniversary.  The history of these first encounters between Ngāti Hei and Captain James Cook and his Endeavour crew 250 years ago in Te Whanganui a Hei - Mercury Bay will be commemorated.
Te Whanganui a Hei (Mercury Bay) has great seafaring significance as this is where the great navigator Kupe visited many centuries ago and in 1769 was one of four landing sites for Cook’s ship The Endeavour. 

Tuia Encounters 250 will be celebrated in Whitianga, Mercury Bay and throughout New Zealand as part of national and locally led initiatives.

Kupe & Captain James Cook in the Mercury Bay

A range of exciting events are in planning stages to commemorate Kupe and the historic visit of Captain Cook to the Mercury Bay.  The Mercury Bay is one of only four sites in New Zealand that Captain Cook went ashore. In November 1769 Cook landed on Cooks Beach and observed the transit of Mercury.  James Cook travelled around the Mercury Bay on the ship The Endeavour for 12 days.

Events Planned For Captain Cook and Tuia 250 Celebrations

  • Events could be subject to change
  • Follow the blue related links above for details of individual event and event organisers contact details
  • Follow the blue website link for the Mercury 250 website - for updates and additional information.

Tuia 250 Event Dates and Locations 

  • A series of local commemoration events at different dates and locations.
  • See the related links below and programme details in this listing.
  • Please note that events may be subject to change.

Tuia Events August - September 2019

  • Purangi Heritage Project - reinstatement of Transit Cairn, placement of Endeavour Buoy and new heritage signs
  • Stella Evered Reserve - new signage, flagpole and observation platform
  • Lets Talk Tuia Conversations - a series of expert talks
  • Ngati Hei Cultural Outreach - to local Kura (schools)
  • Telling Our Stories - Ngati Hei 18th century short radio stories
  • Mural Wall - A community collaborative mural wall will be completed and installed during September 2019 (date tbc)

Tuia Events and Captain Cook Events October 2019

  • Ngati Hei Tikanga Programme for Schools - to local Kura (schools)
  • Telling Our Stories - Ngati Hei 18th century short radio stories
  • 1 October onwards: Twelve Days - 1769  - Mercury Bay Museum (permanent display). Twelve special objects displayed telling stories of the first historic meetings in 1769. 
  • 15th October Kapa Haka Festival -  Mercury Bay Area School will be hosting this festival for Wharau and mainly  primary schools across the Coromandel Peninsula. Powhiri start at 9.30am and performances 10am - 2.15pm
  • 18 - 21st October 250 Voyage Flotilla - including The Endeavour  replica, waka, vaka, Spirit of NZ, R. Tucker Thompson  and others to visit. Arriving early on the morning Wharekaho (Simpsons Beach) and Marine Reserve Whitianga. 
  • 18 October Te Powhiri - Powhiri Welcome Wharekaho as part of formal commemorations (registration to attend is required as numbers are limited - go to the Mercury 250 blue website link on this page)
  • 19-20 October Tuia 250 Community Engagement programmes including pop up planetarium, view the anchored wake and va'a, youth voyaging presentation, Fa'afaite Presentation and Education Workshops, Waka Hourua sail and rope workshops, learn to build traditional star compass, HMB Endeavour education sessions
  • 18-20 October Tuia 250 Cooks Beach  - commemoration events including Cooks Beach Call, Conversations and movie day  at the Cooks Beach Hall, Sailing the Endeavour presentation,  and the Purangi Heritage project. Please see the related link for information on each of these events or download the poster pdf on this page. 
  • 19-28 October Te Powhiri Art Exhibition - combined exhibition of local artist and student art work
  • 19 October Tuia Stage Whakau Reserve (Taylors Mistake) - 12 hours of celebration featuring local artists 

Tuia Events and Captain Cook Events November 2019

  • 9th -13th Mercury Rising - Observing the planet Mercury and outreach programmes

Tuia Events and Captain Cook Events January 2020

  • 25th Sand Art Competition - create your piece of sand art and enjoy stalls and entertainment (registration 11.30am and competition start 1pm)

Tuia Events and Captain Cook Events february 2020

  • Te Oma Karere Adventure Race - enter a team to kayak, abseil, mountain bike, trail run and boulder hop on a Coromandel Course 250 years since Ngati Hei messenger Te Oma Karere followed this course. (date tbc)
Please note that these events are subject to change - please contact event organisers for more information about events.


Captain James Cook 250th Anniversary Celebrations Whitianga and the Mercury Bay.jpg
Portrait of Captain James Cook
Captain Cook Memorial Mural at the Mercury Bay Museum
Mercury 250 Trust Te Whanganui o Hei Anniversary Trust logo
Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration
Endeavour Ship Replica Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration
Street Art Festival Whitianga Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration
Celebrating Heritage - Tuia 250 Events in Cooks Beach New Zealand


  • File Description
    File Size
    File Type
  • Celebrating Heritage Tuia 250 Events in Cooks Beach, New Zealand
    Download this poster to see all of the great events happening in Cooks Beach!
    6 MB

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Mercury Bay Events Calendar

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