The laid-back yet vibrant resort town of Whitianga, on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, is a drive of about 2,5 hours from New Zealand’s capital, Auckland. Whitianga, located on Mercury Bay, has not only been voted the best holiday town in the North Island of New Zealand but also ranks number one for quality of life. Not surprisingly, Mercury Bay, named by the British explorer Captain James Cook in 1769, is an ideal location for game-fishing, diving, and yachting.
In a move to offer an additional 31 berths, Whitianga Marina was looking to expand its marina, and at the same time make more efficient use of its footprint, by replacing an old rock sea-wall with a pile and panel breakwater. Inside the breakwater a 240-metre-long, curved, pontoon dock was built, with fingers ranging between 17,5 and 19,5 metres. The eleven pontoons, coupled through a patented system that absorbs and distributes the stress loads, are anchored by steel pile guides to keep the structure stationary but accommodate water fluctuation. Utilities, such as power and water, are routed through internal ducts. The concrete pontoons and fingers were designed by SF Marina in Sweden and manufactured and distributed locally under licence by Heron Marina, based in Port Whangarei, New Zealand. Heron also built the pile and panel breakwater.
The expanded Whitianga Marina, now offering 231 berths, was officially opened in April 2023.