Explore Cooks Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand

Cooks Beach

A georgeous seaside town with a stunning white sandy beach.
Cooks Beach, Mercury Bay, Coromandel

Cooks Beach


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.

Today, Cooks Beach is a favourite family holiday destination on the Coromandel Peninsula great for walking, swimming and sunbathing with 3km of white sandy beach beneath vine clad hills.

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Cooks Beach, Coromandel
Postcode 3591

Quick Facts

Named after Capt. James Cook visit in 1769
• 40 min drive from Whitianga (36.0 km)
• 2hr 30 min drive from Auckland (176 km)
• 24 min walk from Ferry Landing (1.9 km)
Population (2018):
459 permanent residents
Cooks Beach, Mercury Bay


Swap Start/End


Purangi Reserve, Cooks Beach
Cooks Beach blowhole
Cooks Beach vineyard
Replica of Endeavour ship sailing in Mercury Bay
Cooks Beach Pohutukawa tree

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Useful Visitor Information

Cooks Beach Local Tips

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Getting to Cooks Beach

You can get to Cooks Beach by car following SH25. Near Whenuakite there is a major intersection, which is well sign posted and will take you directly to Cooks Beach.
View in map.

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Where to stay

Renting a bach is a popular way of enjoying a stay at Cooks Beach.

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Cooks Beach Boat Ramp

  • Cooks Beach boat ramp
    – Purangi Reserve, Purangi Road
    (concrete ramp with pontoon and trailer parking close by). It's free to launch your boat, however for boat trailer parking the usual TCDC charges apply – $10 a day or $80 a year, which can be purchased from the Cooks Beach Resort, on the corner of Purangi Road and Rees Avenue.
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Must Do's

  • Nothing beats a walk along glorious Cooks Beach with an ice cream.
  • Find the Cook Memorial on Purangi Road where Captain Cook made his observation of the Transit of Mercury.
  • 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.
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Where to grab a bite to eat

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.

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Download and print our Tides PDF file for local tide times.

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Miss Pipers Goods is a the place to go if you are looking for a gift or a something for yourself, they sell a range of homewares and vintage finds. 

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Things to do with kids

Purangi Reserve at the end of Purangi Road has a small playground that is ideally located by a sheltered barbeque area and popular paddling spot for children.

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Public Toilets (restrooms)

  • Cooks Beach North
    – Riverview Road.
  • Cooks Beach Central
    – Marine Parade.
  • Purangi Reserve
    – Captain Cook Road.
Local Tips
  • Cooks Beach Mercury Bay
  • Pohutakawa tree in front of Cooks Beach bach
  • Purangi Reserve public bbq area. Holden sportswagon with kayaks on roof rack.
  • Cooks Beach Purangi Reserve
  • Cooks Bach Mercury Bay vineyard

Next Events in Mercury Bay

Join the colour club for six weeks of exploring and taping into your creative self!
Event Date
June 22, 2021 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
Join local Coastcare groups around the Mercury Bay in caring for our precious coas...
Event Date
June 25, 2021 - 8:00am to 10:00am
Enjoy happy hour every Friday evening in the restaurant at The Lost Spring. 
Event Date
June 25, 2021 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
A fundraising charity ball event for the Mercury Bay Community Support Trust.
Event Date
June 26, 2021 - 7:30pm to 11:30pm
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