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The Mercury Bay area of the Coromandel Peninsula is an area of stunning beaches and bays. Azure blue waters roll onto clean white sands, while protective arms of bush clad hills shelter the bays and further enhance the scenic splendour of the area. Mercury Bay is a very popular holiday destination and during the summer months the population swells considerably. For the rest of the year a relaxed, away from it all, atmosphere prevails.


ferry landing
Whitianga | photo by Dreamland

Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay, an attractive township with a deepwater harbour. The wharf in the centre of town is the departure point for fishing enthusiasts, charter boats and scenic cruising. If taking your own craft, Mercury Bay has several launching ramps.

Lonely Bay
Lonely Bay | photo by Tourism Coromandel

An enjoyable excursion for young and old is the ferry crossing across the river to Ferry Landing. Passengers alight at the oldest stone wharf in Australasia. A short walk up the hill from the ferry leads to Front Beach then on to Flaxmill Bay. You can hire a scooter and explore further to Cooks Beach and beyond.

Front Beach
Front Beach | photo by Dreamland

There are many fabulous beaches, walking tracks and great scenery to take in. Further south is situated Coromandel s first marine reserve, officially designated in early 1993. It is easily accessed from Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove.

Cathedral Cove
Cathedra Cove | photo by Dreamland

It incorporates the offshore area from Cooks Bluff and Motukorure Island to Hahei and Mahurangi Island. Marine reserves are set aside for the regeneration of the marine environment and this particular area was chosen for the quality, complexity and diversity of its habitats. ' The reserve is named Te Whanganui-A-Hei after a Maori Chief who arrived on the Te Arawa waka (canoe) at the time of the Polynesian migration to New Zealand in the 1300s. Taking of fish and shell fish in the reserve is prohibited.

Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach | photo by Dreamland

South again is wonderful Hot Water Beach, so named because of the hot springs that surface on the sand two hours either side of low tide. You can take a spade & dig your own hot pool.

For golfers there is an 18-hole golf course 3.2km south of Whitianga, a 9-hole course at Purangi near Cooks Beach, and an 18-hole course at Matarangi, 26km north of Whitianga. A short distance north of Whitianga is Wharekaho Beach where there is a fine stand of Pohutukawa trees. One of these is a gnarled old specimen that exactly fits a description in the journal of explorer Captain Cook written in 1769.

Kuatounu Beach
Kuatounu beach | photo by Dreamland

A further 18km north over a scenic winding sealed road is Kuaotunu, gateway to the pristine beaches of Otama and Opito. These beaches are worth the journey but are accessed only by travelling over a steep, winding, narrow, unsealed road.

Matarangi Beach
Matarangi beach | photo by Dreamland

As you travel towards Coromandel you may visit the white, sandy beaches of Matarangi and Whangapoua. The warm climate and rich soils of the Coromandel promote lush growth and this is shown in the native bush that covers much of the Peninsula.


Huge majestic trees, including Kauri that survived the intense milling of last century, have been protected and can be seen by the highways and walking tracks.

photo left:
Kauri Tree on 309 Road

photo by
Tourism Coromandel


The famous 309 Road connecting Whitianga to Coromandel Town is a mostly gravel road, very scenic with lots to see and do along the way. An unusual square Kauri tree is located on the Tapu - Coroglen Road. In the spring the yellow flowers of the Kowhai tree break the green of the forest while the red blossoms of the Pohutukawa tree provide a flaming brilliance at Christmas time.

Pohutukawa Tree | photo by Dreamland


The famous Tahitian explorer and master mariner, Kupe, with a group of his people, set foot in Whitianga approx. 950 AD. Kupe landed at Whitianga which he named TE WHITIANGA-a- KUPE - the crossing place of Kupe. Kupe left some of his people here to settle and he carried on with his journey.

Toi-te-Huatahi arrived further south about 1100 AD where his descendants quickly flourished and spread north to eventually dominate the Whitianga area. Hei arrived with the last great migration in about 1350 AD. He was a sailing master on the canoe Te Arawa.

He eventually settled in the Hahei area, naming the area after their tribe building the prominent headland Pa Hereheretaura. He named the Bay Te Whanganui-a-Hei, meaning the great bay of Hei. Hei s descendants intermarried with those of Toi, eventually dominating the area from Whangapoua to Whangamata.

Captain James Cook, master seaman, surveyor and astronomer, sailed on the Endeavour into Mercury Bay on 3rd November 1769.

Cook anchored at Cooks Beach off Purangi. He spent several days in the area exploring and taking astronomical readings and while here he observed the transit of Mercury.

There are two monuments commemorating this event: one at Cooks Beach, and the other at Shakespeare Cliff.

Shakespeare Cliff
Shakespeare Cliff monument | photo by Dreamland

Cooks explorations were the starting point for what was to become a vibrant Kauri timber industry.

The potential of the Whitianga area became recognised in the 1830s when Gordon Browne purchased land for Mr Ranulph Dacre, a prominent merchant of Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach, establishing the first European settlement in the area.

Mercury Bay has a rich and interesting history, full of Maori and European settlers arriving, flax milling, collecting & trading Kauri gum, gold mining and ship building. You can learn much more of the local history by visiting our museum.

Mercury Bay
Mercury Bay Museum | photo by Dreamland

Mercury Bay Historical Museum 11 The Esplanade - opposite the wharf - Phone: 07 866 0730

For more information visit


10 The Esplanade, Whitianga
Ph: (07) 866 0778

At The Espy Café we have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for you to sit and enjoy the food and espresso, or something cold from our range of drinks, as we are licensed ...... whether it be in our lounge/kids area, in one of our inside seating spaces or on our deck with the amazing views.

 Poivre & SelPoivre & Sel
2 Mill Road Whitianga
Ph (07) 866 0053

French restaurant on a quiet street near the centre of Whitianga township, hidden away in a tropical garden oasis, featuring outstanding local and european fresh products.

Mercury Bay EstateMercury Bay Estate
761A Purangi Road
Cooks Beach
Ph (07) 866 4066


Mercury Bay Estate commands the most spectacular views. We have spent many years developing the grounds to create a simply stunning setting for weddings and special events.

Lukes KitchenLukes Kitchen
20 Blackjack Road 
Ph (07) 866 4480

Situated in the laid back village of Kuaotunu; Luke’s Kitchen uses fresh, locally sourced fish, fruit and vegetables to create pizzas, wraps and snacks which have not only locals, but visitors too, queuing out of the door.

Sangam Indian CuisineSangam
Indian Cuisine

13/1 Blacksmith Lane
Ph (07) 867 1983

Whitianga's only authentic Indian Restaurant. Dine in or take away. Fine dining, BYO wine.

SALT Bar & Restaurant SALT Bar & Restaurant
1 Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga
Phone: 07 866 5818

Enjoy fine dining at the Salt Restaurant. Situated right on the water at the Whitianga Marina, the views are superbly complemented by the extensive cuisine cooked by our international chef.

No 8
No 8 bar Whitianga
Bar & Restaurant
8 The Esplanace, Whitianga
Phone: 07 07 866 4566

No8 offers casual waterfront dining at it's finest with beautiful views of the Whitianga harbour. Central location, come and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lunch or a casual dinner with family or friends.

EGGSENTRIC Café & Restaurant

Café & Restaurant

Phone 07 866 0307

FOOD - FUN - ART - MUSIC | At beautiful Flaxmill Bay next to Cooks Beach, a 5 minute ferry ride from Whitianga & free pickup at night or a lovely 15 minute walk. We specialise in live music, fresh Coromandel food, films, national musicians, poetry, art exhibitions, afternoon concerts.

Other :

Coghill House Cafe ph (07) 866 0592
Dinos Pizza ph (07) 8671010
Taste Cafe ph (07) 866 0550


Cathedral Cove Dive & SnorkelCathedral Cove
Dive & Snorkel

Shop 2, Grange Court, Hahei, Ph: (07) 866 3955 or Ph: A/H: (07) 866 3955
Mob: (027) 271 3187

SCUBA DIVING- SALES - GEAR HIRE Scuba Diving & Snorkelling Trips - both within and outside the Marine Reserve boundaries; quality tuition.

Kayak Tours

88 Hahei Beach Rd, Hahei
Ph (07) 866 3877

"Beaches, Islands, Caves, Coves & Cappuccinos": 1/2 day eco tours run from Hahei beach, he, No experience necessary. Your safety is our priority. Phone bookings essential. "Simply the best tour I have ever done!" (Kristen, Hawaii)

Cave Cruzer AdventuresCave Cruzer Adventures
14 Monk Street, Whitianga
0800 4 CRUZE

View possibly Dolphins up close from this safe & comfortable NZ rescue inflatable. Recommended in the Lonely Planet, 100% Pure Kiwi Magic!

Dive HQ Dive Zone
7 Blacksmith Lane
Ph: 07 867 1580

ice - Gear Rental Dive HQ Whitianga is an audited & approved delivery site of Academy of Diving Trust which is registered as a Private Training Establishment by NZQA pursuant of the Education

Glass Bottom Boat - Mercury Bay Glass Bottom Boat
Departs Whitianga Wharf
Ph 07 867 1962 or any
Information Centre

Scenic Boat Trips year round departing from Whitianga wharf.

Whitianga Adventures
FREEPHONE 0800 806060

Come on board & explore the beautiful Mercury Bay and some of its islands. Coromandel, Cave, Crabs, Penguins, Coastal Seabirds, Volcanic Blowholes, dolphin spottings & much more...


Thermal Hot Pools
and Day Spa

121A Cook Drive Whitianga
Ph: (07) 866 04565

Nestled in the heart of Whitianga, the hot pools of The Lost Spring are surrounded by the tropical and native New Zealand bush. Recline in the shade of the trees, soak in the water and forget your world for a day. Relax in the pools and be waited on by our friendly staff. Wander through the crystal and amethyst caves and enjoy the abundant bird life in our lush gardens. The Lost Spring is an adult relaxation centre and we cater for supervised children 14 years and over. Relax in beautifully hand sculpted hot pools filled with natural thermal spring waters and surrounded by luscious native Coromandel bush.

Bay CarvingArts & Craft
@ Bay Carving

5 Coghill Street Whitianga,
Ph: 021 105 2151

Carve your own high quality souvenir We also sell high quality bone and shell carvings plus much more. Visitors welcome. No artistic talent required. Recommended by the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide.

The DunesThe Dunes
Golf Course Matarangi

Matarangi Drive, Matarangi
Ph: 07 866 5394 Freephone: 0800 165 777

Perhaps the golf experience of a lifetime, The Dunes Golf Resort Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula is a must stop on any golfing holiday. The Dunes is one of the most picturesque and challenging courses in New Zealand today. It will test even the very best of golfing abilities and if the golf is only mediocre, the walk is still fantastic. The world-class Dunes golf course in Matarangi sits at the tip of a sand spit, with its sand base providing the ideal all-weather course.

Golf Whitianga Mercury Bay Golf & Country Club
12 Golf Road, Whitianga
07 866 5479

M18 Hole Golf Course, Full club hire. Well equipped golf shop. Memberships available.

High Zone AdventureCombat Zone
Adventure for the WHOLE FAMILY!!!
108 Kaimarama Road, Whitianga
(266 228) or 07 866 0038 available 7 days, bookings recommended.

Combat Paintball, Paintball Target Shooting, Argo Rides, Archery, Kids Quadz and more...Great for birthday parties, stag dos, team building, work functions etc. Discounts available for school groups, youth groups and kids sports teams. Swimming hole/picnic and bbq area available

Whitianga WalksWalks & Tracks

Enjoy beautiful hiking trails all around our area. - Scenic Shakespeare Cliff, Front Beach, Rings beach and many more. For more information click here



Bookings / Contact:

Your hosts: Lorilei & Graham Bambery
Ph +64 7 867 1682 or Mob 021 615 540
3 Landel Place, Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula, NZ

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