Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration

Captain Cook & Kupe - Tuia 250 Encounters Commemoration

Event Info

August 01, 2019
- February 29, 2020


Post Code


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.
Arched Rock with The Endeavour Captain Cook's Ship 1769

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 the great navigators Kupe and Captain James Cook who visited  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 Celebrations
Please follow the blue related links above for details of each individual event and event organisers contact details.

  • Book Launch & Te Powhiri Community Open Day - Launch of Mercury 250 Trust commissioned book "When Toawaka met Cook" 
August - September
  • Purangi Heritage Project - reinstatement of Transit Cairn, placement of Endeavour Buoy and new heritage signes
  • Stella Evered Reserve - new signage, flagpole and observation platform
  • 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)
  • Kapa Haka Festival -  primary schools based at Mercury Bay Area School (date tbc)
October 2019
  • Ngati Hei Cultural Outreach - to local Kura (schools)
  • Telling Our Stories - Ngati Hei 18th century short radio stories
  •  Kapa Haka Festival - primary schools based at Mercury Bay Area School (date tbc)
  • 12 Days of Cook - Mercury Bay Museum (date tbc)
  • 18 - 22nd October National Flotilla - including The Endeavour  replica, waka, vaka, Spirit of NZ and others to visit (approx date tbc)
  • 18-20 October Tuia 250 Cooks Beach  - commemoration events
  • Purangi Karanga - welcoming the national fleet as they enter Mercury Bay/Te Whanganui o Hei (date tbc)
  • Powhiri Wharekaho - Powhiri Welcome Wharekaho as part of formal commemorations (date tbc)
  • 19-28 October Te Powhiri Art Exhibition - combined exhibition of local artist and student art work
  • 20 October Tuia Stage Taylors Mistake - 12 hours of celebration featuring local artists (date tbc)
November 2019
  • 9th -13th Mercury Rising - Observing the planet Mercury and outreach programmes
January 2020
  • 25th Sand Art Competition - create your piece of sand art and enjoy stalls and entertainment
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

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Mercury Bay Events Calendar

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