COOKS BEACH, SHAKESPEARE CLIFF and LONELY BAY
Cooks Beach is a beautiful crescent shaped white sandy beach, stretching approx. 3 kms. The long and lovely sandy beach which caught Captain Cook's eye is today a beach resort with Cooks Beach accommodation, cafe and a shopping centre. The beach is safe for family swimming. The adjacent Purangi Estuary has an excellent trailer boat launching area.
Lonely Bay (you can walk down from the Shakespeare Reserve) is a highlight of the area. Across the estuary the new Stella Evered Park has two beaches and the stream where Cook refilled his water barrels. Access to the park is from Lees Road.
Located between Cooks Beach and Flaxmill Bay is Shakespeare's Cliff, an interesting scenic reserve. A very short track leads to a vantage point with memorable views of Mercury Bay. At the site a cairn records the arrival in 1769 of the HMS Endeavour under the command of Lieutenant Captain Cook.