Whakatāne is the heart of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. From endless coastlines to ancient forests, it’s blessed with breath-taking landscapes, rich culture and plenty of sunshine. The perfect place to unwind, explore nature and connect with locals.
Getting out on the water is a major part of the Eastern Bay’s allure, with world-class fishing, diving and snorkelling to be found at Whakaari/White Island or around the area’s second most famous island, Moutohora/Whale Island. Moutohora is one of New Zealand’s most exclusive wildlife sanctuaries. Accessible by guided tour only, the island is home to a number of rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles, friendly fur seals and a hot water beach where you can dig your own geothermal pool. Add to this, swimming at Ōhope – voted New Zealand’s Best Beach – and a small but dynamic township with great shopping and dining options, and you have everything you need for the classic Kiwi getaway.
The District’s rich cultural history is also well worth exploring, and there are no better places to start than Te Koputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatāne’s award-winning museum and exhibition centre – and the Mataatua, te Manuka Tutahi. Te Koputu offers an intriguing and multi-layered glimpse into the history of the District, as well as demonstrations of the area’s creativity via modern gallery spaces. Mataatua provides an unforgettable encounter with the wharenui that toured the world for 130 years before returning to its home, its story told by Ngati Awa story tellers and illustrated by world-class digital technology.
Whakatāne is the perfect base for an exploration of the region’s pristine coastline on the world-class walking track Nga Tapuwae o Toi. This bush-clad coastal walkway takes in the best of Whakatāne and Ōhope’s scenery. Trek from the town centre up to Kapu-te-rangi, one of NZ’s oldest pa sites and along Kohi Point into seemingly untouched Ōtarawairere Bay. Enjoy the full 18km loop track or take it one section at a time. Pick up a map from the Whakatane i-Site.
Golfers are also spoilt for choice in Whakatāne, with spectacular scenery and dry greens year-round. Ōhope International Golf Club is rated one of the top links courses in New Zealand and Whakatāne Golf Club offers an equally enjoyable game. If you’re after a more laid-back game, head to one of the scenic inland courses.
Whakatāne has much to offer on many levels, but it retains the small-town charm and friendliness that the larger centres and more-developed tourist destinations lost long ago. Come for a couple of days, but don’t be surprised if you stay for much longer.
For more activities and accommodation options visit www.whakatane.com
Or contact the friendly team at Whakatane i-Site
Corner Quay Street and Kakahoroa Dr, Whakatane