Explore Cooks Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand

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

Cooks Beach


Cooks Beach
New Zealand 3591

Quick Facts

Named after Capt. James Cook visit in 1769
• 40 min (36 km) from Whitianga
• 2hr 30 min (176 km) from Auckland
• 24 min (2 km) walk from Ferry Landing
Population (2018):
459 permanent residents
Cooks Beach, Mercury Bay


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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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

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A big thanks to local photographer Dmitri from Fern Vision, for supplying epic Coromandel Peninsula photography.

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