Cooks Beach

ABOUT cooks beach

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Cooks Beach is a seaside community located on the east coast of Mercury Bay on New Zealand's stunning Coromandel Peninsula.

Close to Ferry Landing, Front Beach and Flaxmill Bay, the 3 km sandy beach is the longest stretch of beach in the area and is framed by beautiful tidal estuaries at each end. 

The area plays an important part in the early history of New Zealand. It was here that Captain James Cook anchored in 1769 while he observed the transit of Mercury and carried our maintenance on his ship The Endeavour. Hence the name, Cooks Beach. More Local History >>

Aside from private holiday home rentals, there are limited accommodation options available in Cooks Beach, Flaxmill Bay, Front Beach and Ferry Landing. Flaxmill Accommodation offers some of the only all-year round holiday accommodation in the nearby area. From fully self-contained Holiday Houses and Cottages to backpacker Sleeper Cabins and a boutique Campground set within a beautiful, seaside environment with family sized campsites for tents, Motorhomes or Caravans.

snap shot ON cooks beach...

  • Located on the eastern side of NZ's Coromandel Peninsula
  • 3 kms of sheltered sandy swimming beach
  • General store, hardware shop, takeaway, bottle store and restaurant
  • Framed by Shakespeare Cliff at one end and Purangi Estuary at the other
  • Tidal estuaries provide shallow spots for wading or gentle body surfing
  • Picnic areas with BBQs, playgrounds, seating areas and public toilets
  • Boat ramps for launching your boat
  • Beautiful nature walks through to Lonely Bay, Flaxmill Bay and further for the more adventurous!
  • Near popular tourist attractions Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach
  • Only 2.5 kms to the passenger ferry to Whitianga
  • What to do in Cooks Beach?
Where is Cooks Beach? Aerial View of Shakespeare Cliff and Cooks Beach. Photo credit Dmitri Kotelevski. The Purangi Estuary at Cooks Beach at dusk View from Shakespeare Cliff to Lonely Bay and Cooks Beach Historical sign at Cooks Landing, Cooks Beach Cooks Beach in mid winter

More about Cooks beach

Over the years, Cooks Beach has become a popular holiday destination due to its close proximity to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga (all within a 2.5 hour drive). Normally a quiet seaside community in the low season, during New Zealand's summer months (December - February), the population of Cooks Beach swells as people occupy their holiday homes. In the shoulder months of March, April, October and November, the area also sees many international tourists exploring the wider region in Campervans and Motorhomes. Some major attractions within easy distance from Cooks Beach are Hot Water Beach, the start of the Cathedral Cove walkway in Hahei and the passenger ferry across to Whitianga (the main town in the area).

Due to its location, Cooks Beach is relatively sheltered from the open ocean and doesn't see the big surf or rips that you find on other beaches around this coastline. Because of this, and also due to its sheer size, it offers one of the best swimming beaches in the area. Even with the large number of people in the area over summer, you can always find a great spot to set up for the day. In winter time, the pace slows right down and you can often find you're the only one on the whole beach!

Within strolling distance from the beach are the local Cooks Beach shops - perfect for grabbing some fish and chips, a coffee or an ice cream. For those already "sold" on the area, there is also a local Richardson's Real Estate office for you to browse the properties for sale in the area.

Other eating establishments include Go Vino (for a full restaurant experience) and Mercury Bay Estate where you can enjoy Italian inspired platters or woodfired pizza with spectacular views of Cooks Bay. A short drive (or walk) to Flaxmill Bay takes you to Eggsentric Cafe with all day offerings from breakfast to dinner as well as live music events (closed during winter). For a special night, take the passenger ferry from Ferry Landing to Whitianga and choose from the range of restaurants, cafes and cuisines on offer. See our dining guide for more info.

The Purangi Estuary, at the southern end of the beach, houses the main boat ramp where local boaties launch their boats. There is also a popular family picnic spot with electric BBQs and a playground for the kids. The estuary at the northern end is also a popular spot for people with young families allowing smaller children to potter about in the shallows away from the waves. If you have a kayak you can also explore the caves at the base of Shakespeare Cliff. 

A popular summer event is the annual Cooks Beach Gala, held on the 4th January every year raising money for the local Whenuakite School. Over 100 stalls include local produce, arts and crafts, clothing, food and rides for the kids.