The Māori name for this bay is Waingara.
The origins of this name are unknown but it has been suggested it is related to the New Zealand flax, waiharakeke, that grew in the swampy bay.1
Alternatively, the bay may be named for the Māori word for an eel bob, a piece of flax that is used to entangle the teeth of an eel when fishing.
The European name for this bay was given for Captain Cole, who lived here in the summer of 1842.2
1. James R. Eyles, Place Names of Port Underwood- a post European History (Picton: October Enterprises, 2002) 20.
2. Loreen Brehaut, the Bays of Port Underwood (Picton: Picton Historical Society, 2012) 9.