In November 1769, Captain Cook and his ship Endeavour anchored off Mercury Bay in the Coromandel, to observe the transit of Mercury. The ship was also here, on orders from the British Admiralty, to search for a great southern hemisphere continent that was believed to exist, to balance the world.
Rounding the Coromandel, Cook and his crew also explored the Firth of Thames and Waihou River, which he named the Thames.
The Endeavour then sailed up the east coast of Waiheke, anchoring off Pakatoa Island (near Man o’ War Bay). The ship’s log records: “…it appear’d very probable that these form’d some good harbours.”
The ship left the Hauraki Gulf on 24 November 1769.