About Whakatane


Whakatāne has a busy shopping precinct with numerous cafes and eateries, a whole range of sporting and recreation outlets, fashion stores, bookshops and more. The town comes alive with local musicians and touring bands through the summer months. There’s also a multi-screen cinema complex showing the latest blockbusters and great pubs and bars for evening drinks.

Whakatāne has a fleet of charter boats, which give visitors the chance to dive the crystal clear waters of the Bay, fish for the "big ones", visit New Zealand's only active island volcano, White Island, or swim with dolphins.

The town is the artistic and cultural hub of the District, with regular art exhibitions at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi - the Whakatāne Exhibition Centre, and many sites of historical significance to Māori.

Whakatāne's climate is without equal; it was the Sunshine Capital of New Zealand in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and the North Island's Sunniest Place in 2011.

Ohope Beach

Abundant sunshine, warm waters and safe swimming make Ōhope Beach the perfect summer holiday destination. Maybe that’s why it was voted NZ’s Most Loved Beach—with 11 km of easily walkable white sand beach from the Ōhiwa Harbour entrance all the way to West End.

Otarawairere Bay is the hidden wonder of the Whakatāne-Ōhope area. This secluded beach is accessible only on foot or by kayak, but the trip is definitely worth the effort.

Ohiwa Harbour is one of the natural jewels of the region. Explore its islands by kayak or yacht, or spend a day jet skiing, water skiing or sail boarding. It’s also a safe swimming spot for children. The surrounding hills are dotted with pā sites, including Tauwhare Pā near the turnoff to Ōpōtiki. Ohiwa is a haven for bird life -- godwits migrate from Alaska every season to nest on its shores. 

More information on Ōhope's attractions, accommodation, restaurants and events is available below.  For more information visit: whakatane.com

Credit White Island Tours

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Term dates

2024 Term Dates

Term 1 -  Wednesday 31 January to Friday 12 April

Term 2 - Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July

Term 3 - Monday 22 July to Friday 27 September

Term 4 - Monday 14 October to Wednesday 11 December