• H.M.S. Buffalo







Mercury Bay Museum
11A The Esplanade
Whitianga  New Zealand

Phone 07 866 0730

Email info@mercurybaymuseum.co.nz


The Mercury Bay Museum is proud to present a range of historic displays:

The Navigators

Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook spent 12 days in Mercury Bay. Here are some important facts on his vist here:

1) He was under orders from the British Council of the Royal Society to observe the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun. He wrote, (by obtaining) "this Observation the Longitude of this place and Country will thereby be very accurately determined".
(Amazing fact: The longitude line that cuts almost midway through Mercury Bay, is directly opposite that of Greenwich.)

2) Cook, Banks, and other members of the ship's company visited Wharetaewa Pa by invitation. This is the first recorded visit by Europeans to a New Zealand pa (or settlement).

Coastal Shipping

HMS Buffalo

The most important of these is HMS Buffalo, a ship with a colourful history. The museum has a wide range of artifacts from the Buffalo on display. Other shipwreck information is also available.

A Dairy History

This display houses the only know Anderson Butter Churn to still be in its working space.  The churn is the heart of the display which also features a working model of the churn and other equipment used in the Dairy Factory.  This display is scheduled for an upgrade which will be started in September 2017.

The History of Fishing

Unique displays that emphasise the passion the people of Mercury Bay have for the marine environment and fishing, both recreational and commercial.

The 1950s School Room


The 1960s Bach


Natural History

Take a walk through Cathedral Cove and the bush to see the native birds, animals and preditors that inhabit our region. But the best of all is the giant moa bird.

Kauri Logging and Gum Digging

Our Kauri Room displays many artifacts to illustrate this important period in our history. The main milling period was 1862 to 1922. Some interesting facts:
The second largest kauri ever recorded was in this part of the Coromandel Peninsula. First to be built in Australasia: a water-powered sawmill on the Ounuora River (now Mill Creek) and the oldest remaining stone wharf at Ferry Landing (1837).

The Whitianga Blacksmith’s Workplace in 1900

This realistic display contains many of the tools used by blacksmith,Billy Keane.  His smithy was situated in Blacksmiths Lane.