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Ideal duration: 5-7 Days

Best Time: May - October Read More

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"Sunshine Capital of New Zealand"

Whakatane Tourism

Lapped in between two other major cities Rotorua and Taurnaga at an equidistance of 90 kilometers, Whakatane is an urban township of New Zealand that has become a major tourist attraction for people wide across. The city houses a resident population of around 19000. Whakatane is known to be the sunniest region of New Zealand and is believed to receive the most hours of sunlight during daytime because of its geographic position. 

The town is famous for the iconic White Island volcano which is located 45 km offshore and its rich marine life. People visit here for fishing and bring home some fine varieties of fish from the Ohope beach, a seven minute ride from the Ohiwa Harbour Entrance. It also offers several dolphin tours, kayaking, surfing, camping and picnicking at the sandy beach, and a vast number of historical spots which bear the rich legacy of Maori culture and its likes. 

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History and Maori Culture

The town has a population of around 20000 people, 40% of which has an ancestral lineage from Maori civilisation that date back to early Polynesian settlements. The etymological derivation of the town name has its roots from a tale of a woman named Wairaka who saved a canoe with men, and the arrival of Mataatua. There was a bronze statue of hers installed at the mouth of Whakatane river in the year of 1965. The European settlements came swamping in during the early 19th century after which Whakatne turned into an important economic hub of New Zealand.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

The place has a mild temperate climate, with moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall all through the year. The average temperature that prevails here throughout the year is around 15-degree celsius and the average precipitation is around 1425mm.

The month receiving most rainfall is August and with least precipitation is February. February is the hottest month while July is the coolest. The months of early May to early October experience the most moderate of climates when the sun is mellow during the daytime, nightfall comes with a cool breeze. These months are during New Zealand’s spring and fall seasons and hence the pleasurable weather.

Things to Do

  • White Island Flights- A centre that brings you close to the White Island volcano, lets you up-close and personal so you can observe the deep craters on the surface, and its steam vents and sulphur lipped fumaroles.
  • Kayaking and fishing in the Ohope beach on your own or through some professional guide teaching you how to. For beginners, it is advisable to heed professional advice carefully, since the tides could be unpredictable and could prove to be unsafe if you do not have prior experience.
  • Kiwi Spotting at the Ohope Scenic Reserve Mountain Biking along the Burma Road or the Whirinaki Forest Mountain Bike Track Relax in the Awakeri Hot Springs Visit the White Goose Winery that specializes in growing some rare breed fruits.
  • The vineyard produces some fine quality wine for you to take home or gift your loved ones. Shop handmade, local products bearing the indigenous essence of the Maori culture and locals of Whakatane.

Places to Visit

The Mataatua Wharenui, The House That Came Home- Built in the memory of the resistance the Maori people put against Ngati Awa, the house stands in remembrance of the solidarity. An experienced guide with the local knowledge about the place’s history will let you in about the other details and make the session an interactive and powerful one.

Whakatane Library and Exhibition Center- A great place for the book lovers to swamp in during the breezy evening and pick up books reeking of the indigenous culture of the Whakatane. It has free wifi, self-checkout and the library remains open from 9-5 on weekdays while 10-2 on weekends.

Kohi Point Walk- A seven-kilometre walking trail for anyone who religiously follows his walking routines either in the wee hours of the morning or during the evenings. It takes a rough 3 hours to complete around. There is also a stunning view of the Ohope beach as you walk by it.

Wairere Falls- A stunning waterfall in Whakatane for you to visit and click photographs. Know about the historical significance and how it was not just a sightseeing spot but was also once a water supply source to Ngati Awa.

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Kiwi Bird Spotted at Whakatana Islands, New Zealand

FAQs on Whakatane

What is the best time to visit Whakatane?

These months experience the most moderate of climates when the sun is mellow during daytime, night fall has a cool breeze. The months is during New Zealand’s spring and fall seasons and hence the pleasurable weather.
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What are the places near Whakatane?

The top places near to Whakatane are Gisborne which is 119 km from Whakatane, Auckland which is located 232 km from Whakatane, Rotorua which is located 68 km from Whakatane, Tauranga which is located 78 km from Whakatane, Hastings which is located 188 km from Whakatane

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