If you're exploring the Coromandel Peninsula, you'll soon come to Whitianga the main town in Mercury Bay. When native forests were being harvested on the peninsula in the 1800s and early 1900s, Whitianga was a timber port. Ships from Europe came to load up with kauri. Today, Whitianga depends on fishing, farming and tourism for its prosperity. If you're in Whitianga round September, don't miss the Whitianga Scallop Festival - a weekend of indulgence with more than 60 food and wine stalls, seafood cooking demonstrations and competitions including scallop shucking. Accommodation is plentiful for much of the year, but the town gets busy over the summer holiday period. You'll find a great choice of places to eat and drink. Dolphins live in the bay and sometimes frolic around the wharf. A passenger ferry provides a link with the Cooks Beach side of the harbour.
From Whitianga you can enjoy the beaches and boat excursions of Mercury Bay. This town is home to a fishing fleet - expect great seafood!