We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Buffalo Beach a nice beach in Whitianga”
Review of Mercury Bay

Mercury Bay
Ranked #6 of 27 things to do in Coromandel
Attraction details
Reviewed 12 January 2015

Buffalo Beach is the main beach at Whitianga. We found this to be a very pleasant place spend time during our recent visit. It is a nice beach for walking, swimming during warmer months and for watching the boats sailing into and out of Mercury Bay.

Interestingly, Buffalo Beach takes it name from the HMS Buffalo, a vessel that was shipwrecked here during a storm in 1840. The beach runs the length of the town of Whitianga, making it easy to visit. There are plenty of accommodations, restaurants and a marina within short walking distance to the beach.

In addition to being another of Coromandel's attractive beaches, what we really liked about Buffalo Beach was the presence of thousands of perfect condition seashells as well as mussels and clams that you can pick in the morning as well. That made for a memorable experience, something that we felt would be enjoyed by pretty much anyone who visited Buffalo Beach.

In the end, Buffalo Beach was one of our favourites beaches visited during our recent trip to North Island. We would happily return here in the future to spend more time in the pleasant community of Whitianga and to enjoy more time at Buffalo Beach.

2  Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (57)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"captain cook"
in 4 reviews
"coromandel peninsula"
in 5 reviews
"lovely outlook"
in 2 reviews
"famous cathedral"
in 2 reviews
in 15 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 3 reviews

20 - 24 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2014

From the long arc of Opito Bay, if you are lucky enough to have, rent or share a 'bach', kiwi for holiday house, you see Great Mercury Island & Mercury Bay spread out before you.

The area is historically interesting, as Captain Cook assisted his astronomer Charles Green’s observation of the transit of Mercury at Te Whanganui-o-Hei (Mercury Bay) on Coromandel Peninsula. As the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, occasionally pass across the Sun and can be observed as small black dots. Timing these ‘transits’ from different locations was the first accurate method of determining the distance of the Earth from the Sun.

Captain James Cook and his expedition had recently been in Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus, and were now on a mission to search for the rumoured ‘Great Southern Continent’. When stormy seas caused damage to the Endeavour, Cook turned his course towards the land discovered by Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman in 1642. On 6 October 1769, cabin boy Nicholas Young spotted hills behind the east coast of the North Island. Of course, Cook did get to that great south land, Australia, and the rest is history, as they say. And I am an Australian, married to a Kiwi and we are lucky enough to have a bach here to holiday in.

Over the next few months Cook mapped the entire coastline, providing the first-ever ‘outline’ of New Zealand – and establishing that it was not the Great Southern Continent. His charts were so accurate that some were still being used in the 20th century.

During this time Cook and his expedition members had many encounters with Māori, whom Cook described as ‘a brave, war-like people, with sentiments void of treachery’. The Endeavour’s occupants were at first taken for atua (supernatural beings), ancestors, or living visitors from the ancestral land of Hawaiki. Contact was sometimes friendly, but at other times conflict broke out and several Māori were killed by members of the expedition.

Much of Cook’s surveying was done from offshore, but as 9 November approached he sought solid ground from which to observe the transit of Mercury. A cairn on what is now known as Cook’s Beach marks the spot. The observation was made using the cutting-edge technology of the time, a sextant (invented in 1757).

The next transit of Mercury that will be fully visible from New Zealand will occur in 2052. And if you are younger than us, you might just see it in New Zealand's Mercury Bay!

3  Thank AndyLandry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2014

Beaches, boats, outstanding scenery, friendly people, Mercury Bay has it all.Every age will find something of interest. Museum, Farm type tours, great food, easy walk around town. Many things to see and do a short drive away , or take the ferry across the river for a lovely picnic or stop at a cafe with a view. Many nice places to stay. Worth a visit!

1  Thank Artsinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2014

This large bay on the west coast of the Coromandel can be accessed from a number of towns, Whitianga being the largest. White beaches, scenery and beautiful water

Thank Tina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 12 October 2014

Mercury Bay is a lovely area to visit in northeast Coromandel. We very much enjoyed spending time here during our recent trip. It is a relaxed and beautiful seaside destination with plenty of activity options for visitors.

There are long, sandy beaches, some loaded with good condition seashells. You can find boating, fishing and other ocean based activity like the nearby Hot Water (springs) beach. You can also see the famous Cathedral Cave at Hahei.

There is a quiet little community of Whitianga at Mercury Bay that makes a great place to use as a base to explore and enjoy the area. At Whitianga, you can find plenty of accommodation and dining options within walkable area to the town centre, the beach, marina and the beach.

It is also worth stopping at the i-SITE in Whitianga to pick up information on local activities and attractions. You can also make bookings here.

2  Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Mercury Bay also viewed

Coromandel, Coromandel Peninsula
Coromandel, Coromandel Peninsula
Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula

Been to Mercury Bay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing