HMS Endeavour’s voyage

  •  Fri 18 Oct 2019 - Mon 21 Oct 2019
  • at Mercury Bay
  •  Fri 18 Oct 2019 - Mon 21 Oct 2019

In commemoration to mark the 250th year since Captain James Cook made his first landfall in New Zealand, the replica HMS Endeavour will visit Mercury Bay.


This year, New Zealand marks 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Europeans during Captain James Cook and the Endeavour’s 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tuia Encounters 250 acknowledges this piviotal moment in our nations’s history as well as the exceptional feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.

A highlight of the commemorations is the six-boat Tuia 250 Voyage Flotilla, which will start its journey in Gisborne on 5 October and will sail to Uawa/Tolaga Bay before visiting Mercury Bay from October 18-21.

Wharekaho (Simpsons Beach) in Mercury Bay is the third main site where Māori and Captain Cook met. Purangi estuary, also in Mercury Bay, was where Cook and his crew observed the transit of Mercury.

The fleet will land at the northern end of Wharekaho where it will be met by Ngāti Hei and proceed to the southern end of the beach to the historic Ngāti Hei pa site where a pōwhiri will take place.

When the boats visit Mercury Bay there will be opportunities for the public to go aboard. Alongside the boats, a range of other events will include:

  • National Science Technology Roadshow about Pacific and European voyaging
  • Pop-up planetarium focusing on celestial navigation
  • Activities by waka hourua crew to instruct the public how to use waka sails and build a star compass
  • Speaker presentations about the Spirit of New Zealand youth programmes
  • Educational sessions hosted by the HMB Endeavour crew
  • Display of story boards about the R. Tucker Thompson
  • Wānanga and educational programme about sustainable oceans


5 - 11 October - Voyage begins with national Opening Ceremonies in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Gisborne

12 to 16 October - Ūawa/ Tolaga Bay

18 to 21 October -Te Pōwhiri, The Welcome

25 – 28 October - Labour weekend at Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland

31 October - November to Whangarei

7 - 11 Novemberto Bay of Islands

21 - 28 November to Marlborough Sounds / Picton

30 November - 3 December - The Tuia 250 Flotilla arrives in Wellington

6 - 10 December to Christchurch/ Rapaki/ Lyttleton 

15 December - Closing ceremony at Te Māhia

How to find us?

Get Directions

Physical Address


  • Find us on