Ferry Landing to Shakespeare Cliffs...

Ferry Landing to Shakespeare Cliffs

Ferry Landing to Shakespeare Cliffs



3 Rankers Reviews

3 Face-to-Face

16 Whitianga

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!



Front Beach


4.6 km return | 1 hour 30 minutes return

From Cooks Beach or Whitianga, the profile of the edge of the cliff resembles an orator. Cook noted that this figure must be speaking poetry and thus named Shakespeare Cliff. There are great views from the lookout and a useful plaque names prominent landmarks and islands of Mercury Bay.


Follow the road from Ferry Landing to Flaxmill Bay (1.5 km). A track departs from a white sign nailed to a shoreside tree at the mouth of Flaxmill Stream.

Alternatively, a signposted vehicle track, 1km from the entrance to Cooks Beach, takes you to the summit carpark.


The path from Flaxmill Bay is wide and well-formed, but unmetalled. It skirts along the cliff-edge before crossing a grass paddock and meeting the vehicle track.

From the summit carpark, the metalled path loops around the various lookouts.

European History

In November 1769, whilst moored at the Purangi River end of the beach to which he left his name, Cook observed the transit of Mercury across the face of the sun. By accurately recording the time this took place, he was able to calculate his exact latitude and longitude. Mercury Bay thus became the verified reference point for his subsequent charts. A plaque at the lookout commemorates this observation.

A royal picnic was held in the paddock near the carpark. In 1970 Queen Elizabeth II and her royal entourage visited the area to celebrate the bicentenary of Cook’s visit.


Feature Value Info


North IslandCoromandelWhitianga


  • Walking
  • Free


Noel Jacobs's avatar

Noel Jacobs


Ranking: 8/10

Short walkway, beautiful view.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Heike Schreiber's avatar

Heike Schreiber


Ranking: 7/10

A nice little walk with a great view!

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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Leon Courtney's avatar

Leon Courtney

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

A good walk from Ferry Landing which can also go down to a nice sandy bay (Lonely Bay) near Cooks Beach.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner