Pauanui Departure (North)
Departing pristine Pauanui Beach with its airfield stretching from the estuary to the beach we cross to Slipper Island(Whakahau-“windy place”). After an orbit of the island( named by Captain Cook on his second voyage to New Zealand), we head via Shoe Island to Tairua Beach and then coastal northbound for Sailors Grave(Te Karo Bay) the site thought to be the oldest Sailors grave in NZ(1842).
We then take in Hahei and the natural springs of Hot Water Beach before crossing Cathedral Cove with its Kayaks and Snorkelers to Cooks Beach.
Cooks beach boasts some of New Zealand’s oldest history. Capt James Cook sailed on the HMS Endeavor into Mercury Bay in 1769 to make anchor there. The same bay that Kupe the mythical Polynesian explorer had chosen when he first landed in New Zealand calling it Aotearoa.
We then pass Whitianga into beautiful Mercury Bay before turning back South for Pauanui past the stunning beaches we explore again, with the rugged Coromandel Ranges as the backdrop.