Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. The town is located on Mercury Bay, on the northeastern coast of the peninsula. The town has a permanent population of as of making it the second-largest town on the Coromandel Peninsula behind Thames.GeographyWhitianga is located on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, 208 km from Auckland, 93 km from Thames, 42 km from Tairua. It is situated on the coast of Mercury Bay along the 5 km long east-facing Buffalo Beach. The town centre is at the southern end of the beach.Buffalo Beach is named after the HMS Buffalo, which was wrecked during a storm while anchored in Mercury Bay. Her anchor can be seen at a monument at Buffalo Beach.A passenger ferry crosses from Whitianga to Ferry Landing, close to Cooks Beach. The alternative to the two-minute ferry crossing is a 45-minute drive around Whitianga Harbour.HistoryMāori historyWhitianga has been continuously occupied for more than a thousand years since Māori explorer Kupe’s tribe settled here after his visit in about 950 AD. Following this visit, many of Kupe's tribe settled here. Te Whitianga o Kupe is the original place name of the town, meaning Kupe's crossing place.
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